Monday, April 14, 2014

Why I'm Not A Full-Time Blogger

I thought that this post was going to be as easy as writing "I've learned a BIG lesson over the past three weeks. I learned...well, actually I remembered, that I am not a full-time blogger, I'm a full-time mom. I realized that I really need to cut back on big projects when I found myself telling my kids, for the second week in a row, that we can't go on a bike ride because mommy is working on another project. I realized that was just too much." The End

Then I sat on our couch with my husband last night and just cried. I knew from my tense jaw and throbbing head that there was so much more going on under the surface but I couldn't articulate it, so he told me to just start writing.

How have I gotten to this place?

I think it was the moment that I was snapping at our kids to stay away from the freshly painted yellow doors that made me realize I was off course.

"Why can't they just stay away from these doors I'm painting like I told them to?" You know, those MAIN doors in the CENTER of our house that lead to EVERYTHING." I just don't understand why they can't just leave them alone?!? I have a deadline and I need to get this project done so that I can clean everything, take pictures, edit pictures and pull my post together for the Spring Parade of Homes!"

"That's right kids...our home is inviting. Let me show you the web page to prove it..."

I started this blog 17 months ago as a way to encourage others. I knew right from the beginning that my niche would be talking about four topics: Parenting, Adoption, Organization, & Decor. I also knew that as a stay at home mom of five kids with three little ones still at home during the day, I had limited hours per week to invest into writing & sharing about these topics.

Keep things...simple, I told myself.

I wanted to inspire others by encouraging them that you really can be content...have a budget, go at a slow pace of making changes to your home, and have time to invest into your family and others. 

Then with each new post the blog started growing little by little and somewhere in there the lines got blurred. I started spending a whole lot of time learning about blogging. I discovered something that I was good at, something that I was passionate about. I may know nothing about engineering or being a nurse or even a high school teacher, but over the course of 17 months I've learned a little something about paint colors, html, picture editing, social media and doing DIY projects on a dime.

My standards for blogging started to raise and somewhere in there I decided that I needed to "grow my blog". After all, if I am taking time to write and post helpful ideas the more people that see them the better, right? I need to do A, B & C to make this baby grow. If only I had "this" many facebook followers then I would be viewed as a success...if only I had "this" many page views then a brand will want to work with me.

Never mind the fact that I don't have time to work with brands right would still make me feel successful.

Ten hours a week was quickly becoming 15 and then 20. The time I was spending on projects and blogging was quickly adding up and something had to give. For the past two weeks the thing that gave was meal planning: "Honey, would you mind picking up some pizza tonight? Yes...again."

I always thought that once all of our kids were in school it would be a dream job to blog full-time. To me that didn't mean that I would necessarily post more projects (coming back to inspiring a slow pace and being content) but it did mean that I would have time to respond to emails, connect with other bloggers, get quality content out there and learn more about the industry.

Kind of like what I am doing right now...

Wait a minute...

And that is where I have always been torn.

I'm not a full-time blogger because I don't have time to be one at this stage of life, not to mention that my measure of success was totally off.

I am currently living out my dream job...being a mom. A job that for many long years I thought might forever be just that...a dream. No dream job is ever perfect. Sure, I don't get paid for being a mom but I remind myself that I'm worth a small fortune compared to what it would cost to pay for childcare for all of these kiddos!

As a mom I can't measure my success in the short term. I have to invest my life for the long term.

However, as a blogger I thought that I could measure success right now. "If I just have 500 facebook likes then I'll be a success"... Ok, "what I really meant to say was, if I just had 2000 facebook likes then I'll be a success."..."Ok, what I really meant was..."

You see, no number is ever going to be enough nor any amount of time for that matter.

I can honestly say that I have found that God is the only thing in my life that has ever been enough.

So as I try to put words to the confusion in my heart I can only say, yes. Yes, there is something in my heart that wants others to discover An Inviting Home if it means that they find a place that is encouraging, helpful, and offers something more than just another idea that they saw on Pinterest. Yet no new project I do will ever be enough, or ever recognition or compliment or high five will ever be enough because, until we find our satisfaction in God, there will always be something missing...something more we could do, something more we could achieve. So, satisfaction and recognition can't be the reasons why I write. I am choosing to find those things in God first.

So I'm going to bring it back to the basics...I'm cutting back the hours that I spend on the blog (you might not even notice the difference since a lot of things are behind the scenes) and I am going to use the time that I do have to invest into my full-time job and into my part-time blog to the best of my ability. Whether I talk about laundry, chalkboard walls or kids around the world, I want every word I say, thing I write, picture I post to glorify God.

That is enough.

When I stand before God at the end of my life,
 I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left, and could say, 'I used everything you gave me'.
~Erma Bombeck

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  1. Seems like you're on the right track to me 😊 HE always has the best laid plans - sometimes we don't follow His road map and veer off, but HE has perfect timing for leading us where we need to be. I am very grateful for finding your blog. I only have 2 little ones ( 3 1\2 & 4 1\2 girls), and I've utilized a few of your methods, read several and loved reading many of your posts. God is great! You're blog is awesome! I pray for your continued successes...however and whenever HE wills it. 😊

  2. Thanks so much for your thoughts. Thanks for being real. I love your blog.

  3. I admire your decision! And thanks for reminding me of what's most important!!

  4. I think it is wonderful that you can recognise now where you want your time to be spent and don't look back in ten years and realise, oops, that wasn't really what I wanted to do. To be honest, the blogs that churn out content each and every day (sometimes twice a day!) start to get overwhelming for me. I like to follow quite a few blogs and thank heavens for the less regular posters! Otherwise I would have to cut a few loose. :) Ha ha. I really enjoyed blogging for a couple of years and then, after our last move, I kind of stalled and my poor old blog has been limping along since. Before we moved I had started to get worried about page views and so on and it started impacting how I was writing and what projects I was doing. I kind of lost my passion for it and then I ended up in a season of health challenges/family challenges and so on and I am slowly starting to feel enthusiasm for blogging coming back to me again now. This time I am just going to write from my heart like I did in the start and do things I would be doing anyhow just to show other's how to do it if they want to. You have so much great content on your blog that everyone will enjoy whatever you do, even if there are time gaps in between posts. (phew, that was a little long winded...sorry!)

  5. Sarah, very well said. It is so easy to get on the hamster wheel of trying to be more, more, more. Especially when it comes to blogging and there is ALWAYS more that you could be doing. I am definitely with you - it is so hard to find balance. And really, even to decide for sure where my blog fits into my life and what I want it to be.

  6. This is such a wonderful post! I know you're hurting and it was probably difficult to write, but your message is so important. It's so easy to push aside our families in exchange for other "important" tasks. Keeping our focus on the only one who has ever been enough and the position He wants us to fill is the only thing that matters. God bless you and your little loves. You're home is beautiful, your blog is beautiful and even in strife you have a beautiful message to share with the rest of us.

  7. Wow, well said! I needed a small reminder in this. I've been caught up some as well and definitely need to find the balance. Love you decision.

  8. Thank you! When you give yourself permission to keep it simple and focus on the little ones in your care, it inspires us to do the same.

  9. Sar: kudos to you for writing this post. I am proud of you: you saw a problem developing, and you made things right (right quickly, right NOW). You know, I love your creativity, but over the past couple of months, I was growing somewhat disinterested in your blog, if only because it was losing the voice that I was attracted to initially. I want to read quick reports offering real insight into motherhood, money savings, and incorporating God into family---I don't want to read just another edited blog that sounds like it came from a magazine (or worse, some Hipster, lol). That's simply not real enough for me to invest my limited time into. But I digress---I am very excited to read that you are back, Babe!

  10. Well said, thank you for sharing this.

  11. Great post. Thanks for sharing. I'm a new reader and have really enjoyed your blog, been working my way through your archives. :)

  12. Thanks for this post!! I came to a similar conclusion recently about my blog. I love how you pointed out that nothing will bring satisfaction the way we think it will, except God.

  13. Your self-awareness is an inspiration and an encouragement. And I must let you know that your blog was the push over the top I needed to actually begin the process of becoming a foster family. So stick that in your pipe and smoke it.

    1. This makes my heart happy!!! So amazing to step into the foster family role! Be blessed in your journey!

  14. I was really encouraged by this post. I've been at it for a year now and find it SO hard to balance being a mom, taking care of our home, and blogging. Blogging can take up all my time if I let it, which I can't--so I'm constantly trying to figure out how to balance it all. Realizing/remembering that being a mom IS my full-time job is a great place to start.

  15. Words fail me....... I've typed and erased this message multiple times. I'm a grandma, turning 50, raising my grandchildren, and you teach me grace, patience, and compassion Every day! Thank You!

  16. Oh I can totally relate to you on this one. it's a tough line finding the balance. I'm constantly finding myself having to scale back. Good luck.

  17. This is a really great post... thank you for taking the time to think through these things and write them out as a reminder for the rest of us. It's a hard thing to do, but truly important. Thanks for posting!

  18. So need these reminders don't we? I am just over a month into my blog and all ready feeling like I can't keep posting every day. It is not sustainable. And I have to find a balance not to mention more sleep. Thanks for keeping it real and to keep seeking Him for our direction and affirmation. Stopping by from Thrifty Thursday. BTW LOVE the yellow doors! They look awesome. So bright and happy!

  19. Beautiful post! I totally get it too. I've got 5 babes with 3 at home and it is so tough to do and be everything! Great job and many thanks!

  20. I wish you and I could go out for coffee together because your words really hit home! I feel like I'm in a similar place where God is trying to point my efforts back in the right direction. I need to read this every so often to keep a good balance. I love blogging but I love my family more. They need to be more important than the blog. You are so right--God is all that really satisfies! Thanks so much for this encouraging post!

  21. I love this. Way to bring it back to God- He is good at grounding us :)

  22. I found your blog a month or so ago. I love it!. I can tell that your blog is authentic. My favorite blogs are not the really polished ones. It all seems a bit much. Kudos to you for recognizing and prioritizing. I think if people like your blog they will return to it, even if you are not posting daily. Stay real and your followers will stick with you.

  23. I was blogging for about two years when I took a break.... That resulted in a two year break! I have recently started blogging again and this time around I am only planning on doing 3 posts a week because while I enjoy it, I am not ready for it to be a full time job. Good for you!

  24. Beautiful Post. We can do everything if we let God guide us in this life.

  25. What a precious post! Look how your words are ministering to others! I could never have done this blogging thing even two years earlier, and my youngest are now 15 and 16. Being an adoptive and bio homeschooling mom (as well as responsibility for my elderly parents) took every single ounce out of me for so many years. It's only in the last 2 years that I consider myself a full time blogger (with part time income, you know!) Your blog will be waiting and you are making the right decision to honor God with your time and give your family your best. God bless you, gal!


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