I am a twenty something mom to three, wife to a wonderful husband of almost eleven years, about to embark on the exciting journey of thirtyhood, lover of dark chocolate, and Life cereal who loves to take pictures, sew, crochet, cook, and create with my kids.
I spend the majority of my day doing mom stuff: making meals, helping with homework, breaking up fights, trying (sometimes failing) to keep my home in order, escaping to the park, building Legos, coloring and doing my best to teach and rear little human beings to be great ones.
I spend my evenings blogging, and generally being a sewing and crafting geek online.
We keep things simple for the most part. On the weekends we like to spend our time outdoors hiking, fishing, or tossing the frisbee around. We also have a Friday night tradition of pizza and a movie. Since my daughter was diagnosed with dairy, egg, and peanut allergies, we have mostly cut out the pizza part, but still look forward to the ‘cheesy’ family flick.
I blog at Delia Creates. It’s pretty straightforward. I’m Delia and I create. 🙂 It’s who I am and it’s one of my life’s loves. When I’m not creating in some form or another, I feel less like me.
I’ve always been creative more or less since childhood, but have only recently let this part of me bloom since having children. When I started my blog three and a half years ago, I didn’t realize it would become such an important part of the creative side of me. Sharing what I love to do with others, has been fulfilling in ways I find hard to quantify and it has given me wings to try things I’ve never imagined I would.
Working inside or outside of the home (or running a blog or website on a part to full time basis) can be especially tough because of the difficult choices we have to make with how to divide our time between work and family. Have you ever felt guilty about the choices you’ve made, and what advice would you give to someone struggling with those same types of feelings?
Wow. This is a really tough question, because I am in the thick of figuring this out right now. I wish I could say, it gets easier, or it’s simple, or just get a schedule! But…I think there is really no easy or simple answer. Kids get sick, projects take longer than anticipated, and life happens.
I have ideas brewing in my head constantly, many which never come to fruition because there just isn’t time or energy to spare. It can sometimes be completely frustrating, but it all comes down to my family. They are the reason I create and the reason I have been able to grow in this area of my life. And this creative part of me is the means to the end of being a better person for my family. I just have to remind myself of that..often. 🙂
Being a work at home mom is awesome and challenging at the same time. On the one hand, I feel immensely lucky to do something I am deeply passionate about on a schedule I set, and get paid for it. On the other hand, it takes incredible strength to not let it overrun family life.
All I can say now…is we’re working on it. I am working on trimming down my obligations and making room for only the best stuff, in family life and blogging/work life.
There is curvy path leading up to my leap. When I started my blog, any kind of leaping was far from my mind. I didn’t want ads, or giveaways, or any of that. I just wanted to share what I loved.
Over time, my hobby became an abiding passion and as you know, the nature of passions, when nurtured, take a lot of time. After just over two years of blogging, I finally decided that it was time to make my time count in tangible ways. I joined an ad network, added sponsors and became a work at home mom. So, my decision was mainly family based. The choice was not between whether I would continue creating and blogging, that was a given, but whether I would add the stress and responsibility that comes with money.
You might ask, “Money? What’s not great about earning money doing what you love?” Which is mostly true. As I mentioned above, I feel so blessed to get paid to do what I love and to stay at home with my kids. It is mostly great. Otherwise, I wouldn’t do it. But it also definitely adds not fun to dos to my list, like taxes, and it adds pressure to grow. There is more pressure to keep fresh content on the blog which can sometimes impede creativity. However, it also pushes me to try new things, which builds my creativity.
I am not going to say, “it’s awesome! Everyone should do this…start a blog and make money!”
It’s not that simple. Making the leap from hobby to business is hard work. You have to really love what you do, not just the creative side, but the blogging side as well. You have to love it enough that you are willing to give up television on most nights so that you can get a post scheduled or tackle an overwhelmingly full email inbox. Or maybe that you give up on working out all the time, or reading books. You have to be willing to “work” even when you don’t feel like it that night, because you have deadlines with sponsors or other bloggers.
There are times that I contemplate breaking up with blogging or at least paid blogging, but I always come back, because I truly love it and I love the way in blesses my family.
That is my stance for now anyway. I can’t foresee any more curves in my path at this point, but I am open to the fact that they might be there.
I want to mention another thing. If you are new to the blogging game, you also have to be willing to work for a long time…unpaid. It’s possible you could see instant success, but mostly likely, it will take time. A lot of it. Even when I decided to monetize, I didn’t see a significant paycheck for my efforts until almost a year later. So… almost three years from when I first started. If you are thinking of getting into blogging for the money, you might want to reconsider. The only thing that has kept me going, when I get zero comments, or only a handful of page views on a post I worked really hard on, is that I loved creating it. This is a vulnerable business. The only thing that has consoled me when my ego has taken a beating is my passion for creating.
Finding the time to mother AND craft or sew can be a big challenge. How do you carve out time to create? When your children nap or are at school? Or have you found other ways to “sneak in” some time?
I have my Mom hat on during the day, almost all day. I will sometimes instagram, or facebook here and there, but for the most part, my computer is off, the door to my sewing area is shut and I am “home.” I’m ushering my son off to the bus stop, changing diapers, playing with the kids, going on walks, running errands, answering endless questions, doing laundry, being constantly on the move with three kids.
I try to do all my planning, organizing, and computer work at night after bedtime. During the day, I have an hour or two during my baby’s nap when my preschooler has earned some screen time. I try to take all tutorial pictures or finished pictures that require natural light, during that time. I will sometimes take a whole week or longer to finish one tutorial so that I can get good pictures.
My husband also, fortunately has a flexible schedule and works four, ten hour days most weeks. I spend the bulk of many Fridays blogging and sewing. It’s a nice mom break for me too. 😉
Before I had my Fridays to work, I often dubbed Saturday as “Sewing Saturday.” During the week, I restricted my kids’ TV time, and our routine was busier. On Saturdays though, we would just hang around the house and I would sew in spurts throughout the day. The kids would watch movies, build epic forts and make a huge mess of their toys while I sewed to my heart’s content. Sometimes they would join me to see what I was up to, or to play with my button collection, and sometimes they simply enjoyed having the unrestricted movie and play time.
Of course, this was when I had just two children or when my third child was still a baby and not a curious toddler. It does not work to do that right now. 😉
AND…if this schedule sounds intense to you. It is. Sometimes, I throw my blogging to do list out the window and spend my baby’s naptime, napping myself or watching something on Netflix.
My lovely mother-in-law often says, “This too shall pass.”
And she’s right. Not many things last forever. This brings me comfort during bad days and terrible toddler phases and motivation to seize the day with my kids on the good ones.
In terms of family, career and motherhood, how do you define success?
For me, success is having the strength to prioritize. Family first, then career. It can’t just be in deed either. My heart has to be firmly planted in the right place. The days I do this best, is when I feel the most deeply satisfied. Even if I have nothing to show for it.
How has being a mom changed your life perspective?
Being a mom has helped me see that life is more than just our own journey. We are not just here for ourselves.
And…that life is happier when I allow it to be a little messy. 🙂
Come back Monday for Day 28 of Moms Know Moms and our interview with Bonnie from FishSticksDesigns.
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A Question for You:
If you’ve transitioned your blog into a business, what are some of the challenges you’ve faced? Rewards?