I get asked this question very often- How Do you make time for your kids and your blog?

time management and productivity for moms who blog

Today I want to share my best tips for time management for moms who blog.

Sometimes, the kids lay down for naps and I curl up with a tall iced coffee and my computer and enjoy a few hours of blissful silence while I blog the afternoon away.  But that's really pretty rare. Most days are a lot like this...

I started this blog when Olivia was just 3 months old. Life was pretty simple. As she got older and there was less nap time, I adjusted my schedule according to hers. Just go with the flow, you know? Then when she was 9 months old, I found out I was expecting beast number 2 and after he was born, things stayed the same for several months because he was still in the eat, sleep, poop stage.

Now, I have two toddlers and if I didn't have the laid back attitude I adopted when Olivia was a baby, I think I'd lose my mind.

So how do I blog, social network, run an etsy shop and spend time with the family? I'm sure every blogging mom has her method. This is mine!

Attempt To Keep a Clean House
This is number one for me and it's the hardest. As soon as I turn my back, someone is making a mess somewhere so I have a cleaning schedule.  I do the basics daily and do the big stuff throughout the week.

 If I slip up one day, the house goes to hell so I stick to that schedule no matter what, even if I have to stay up much later than I hoped for. This list changes sometimes, depending on what needs to be done around here but that's a general outline of my week

daily- sweep and vacuum, do the dishes, make the bed, tidy up all rooms before bed
monday scrub the bathroom and mop
tuesday  crafty day, no chores!
wednesday  laundry day, dusting
thursday the day I do projects that I've been putting off or any other misc. stuff. Also the day I veg out.
friday clean out the fridge, make weekly menu, mop the kitchen
saturday laundry day, grocery shopping, family play day
sunday yard work, clean out the car, change sheets on beds

Use a Planner Every Day
All of my posts are carefully planned out. I plan my editorial calendar months in advance and work on posts at least a few days i advance. I plan sponsored posts first so I can give advertisers a date for their posts, then fill in around them to make sure that there's plenty of variety for my readers.  I bought this beautiful yearly planner from target this spring and it has been the best $15 I've spent in years. I keep login information, affiliate stuff, sponsor info, contact info, blog post ideas, blog post schedule and even my cleaning schedule in this book. I open it in the morning and I have a tidy to-do list for my housework and bloggy stuff all in one place

"I schedule all of my media stuff in the morning while the kids are eating breakfast so I can log off and spend the day romping with them!"

Schedule Everything in Advance
I tweet and facebook at all hours of the day and night but am I sitting here at the computer at 3 am? Hell no! I'm asleep but I know you girls in Australia are awake so I'm sending stuff out at crazy hours. For twitter, set up a free account through Hootsuite. It's the best thing since sliced bread. It's easy to use, doesn't cost a thing and cuts down on time spent online in a big way.

You can also schedule your facebook posts. Write your post, add your link and image and click the clock in the bottom left corner of your status box. Choose the date and time and hit post and it'll publish it at your chosen time. I schedule all of my media stuff in the morning while the kids are eating breakfast so I can log off and spend the day romping with them! I also schedule my blog posts so I can get on in the morning, promote my posts on social networks and be done for the day.

Have Office Hours
I wake up pretty darn early and begin my day with email, Facebook scheduling, Hootsuite and a blog post. If I'm good and I already took pictures for my blog post, it's about 2 or 2/12 hours of work. If I'm bad and I get lost on Pinterest or chat with friends on Facebook, it could be all day long so I have office hours and I log off when my time is up. If the kids decide to nap, I might pop on for some Pinterest or whatever but if I spend all day online, my neck hurts and the kids get really bored and start to act like lunatics so I shut it down and tune in to them after my time is up.

 The great thing about my office is that I can take as many breaks as I need to so we can have our story time, snack time, I can sit outside with them while I write notes for a post and they play. When I know that a blog project will take a long time, I will put it off till nap time or if they just want to lay down and watch a movie in the living room while I work, we do that sometimes too.

 If there's some burning need to do something else after hours, I wait till after dinner, baths and bedtime to log back on. I also try to limit evening time spent working because Pj gets home at 3:30 and he doesn't want to stare at the back of my head while I type all night. Office hours are generally between 5am and 1pm with many breaks for lunch, chores, my hobbies and playtime in between. If I get up around 6 or 7, blog stuff is done before the kids have finished breakfast.

"I had a ton of time left in the day to knit, sew, go to the park,"

Do a Time Study
How much time do you really spend watching tv every day? How about pinning things or looking at pics on Instagram? If you feel like you never have enough time to do everything, do a time study. Start as soon as you wake up and write down everything you do, as you do it. Log your time spent doing this. Log your time for at least 3 days and see what you do that can easily be cut out. I did this and realized that I had a ton of time left in the day to knit, sew, go to the park, work in the garden and do craft projects with the kids if I just log off the computer and turn off the tv. You can also use the Rescue Time tool to time your activity on a certain website. I am a Pinterest addict and can easily get lost all day so I use the Rescue Time tool  to only spend 10 minutes on Pinterest. Alternately, pick up a cute egg timer and keep it on your desk.

Let the Kids Help and Create a Work Space Together
My kids are big helpers and a great inspiration. If we go on a walk, I bring the camera for blog pics. If I'm blogging a recipe, they help me cook. Even in my etsy shop, Olivia loves to help bring me the next dress to take pictures of and cut pieces of tape when I'm sending an order out.  While I take etsy pics, the kids play in the sprinkler in the yard, just 20 feet from me or if I'm in my etsy studio downstairs, they have a play room down there with toys, books, movies and snacks. My office area where I blog is in the living room so they hang out in here with me while I work. They watch movies, build tents or great block towers or color.  They are currently playing in a great pillow fort that they built using tv trays, pillows and the coffee table!

"If I work online when they are in a bad mood, no one is happy so I wait for another day."

Be Realistic
There will be days when that post in your calendar just isn't going to happen or you wont be able to get to Facebook till evening and seriously, it's okay! I'm pretty hard core about my blog, I admit, but some days the kids wake up early, they don't nap and they need mommy all day and that's okay. We curl up and watch a movie or take a dip in the pool and the blog can wait till evening or tomorrow. If I work online when they are in a bad mood, no one is happy so I wait for another day.

I also found out a long time ago, my kids will be in my outfit pictures sometimes and they will want to sit on my lap and hit the publish button before I'm done writing a blog post. That's life as a mommy. Go with the flow, adjust your schedule so it works for everyone in the family, get creative and have fun because that's what motherhood and blogging is all about.

For more on managing time and successful blogging, check out my ecourse, Bloggerific where I teach you everything I know about blogging