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Mum Life: Finding My Groove

I want to get something off my chest. For a while, I feel like I’ve been getting my priorities all wrong. I feel like time is disappearing and I’m running round in circles trying to get a lot done and then beating myself up when I forget to do something that I really wanted to do. Above, you can see me filming a TV documentary for a German TV channel that few people I now will watch. Why am I doing that instead of blogging for Baby VIPs?

I am going to change. In the interests of my own sanity, and the existence of this blog, I need to make a list of what matters to me most. The thing that slips off my To Do list should be the thing that matters least, not the cool thing that I just never got round to doing.

The reason for this blog post, is that I haven’t properly blogged on Baby VIPs for two months since my wedding and honeymoon. I thought about burying my head in the sand and coming back to it like nothing had happened. But I feel like the reasons that stopped me from blogging are worth talking about as surely I can’t be the only mum to find that time disappears way too quickly when the little one arrives?!  Also, I don’t want to make-up the weekly diaries that I didn’t get round to writing. I’d prefer to keep this blog current as then my experiences are raw, real and relatable and we can all move forward on a positive note.

Because I’m back!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

So what happened?

(1) The baby just doesn’t sit still

Rory wakes up at 6am, and has three 30 min naps at around 9am, 1230pm and 4pm and for the rest of the time he’s on full fire, exploring and trying to figure out how the world works and what things do.

rory-jumperoo

I need the nap time at 9am to get dressed or attempt to do a bit of exercise and the 1230pm nap time is for lunch as mummy has to eat too. Often, the 430pm nap is taken in his buggy as we’re doing something to get out of the house and it leaves me with 20 mins to write a blog post by the time I steer the sleeping baby in his pram to a coffee shop. That is not enough time to write a high quality blog post and it’s barely enough time to check my emails.

I’m getting up at 5am most mornings to work out as I have a lot of baby weight to lose and blogging in the evenings is out because I’m exhausted and because my husband has asked me to be ‘more present’. Before our wedding, I was often on the laptop until midnight doing a combination of wedding planning and blogging and my husband got sick of spending every evening alone.

I would love to know when other parenting bloggers find the time to write. Do they have more childcare?More forgiving husbands? Babies that have longer naps? Rory is so excited about life in general that he hates to sleep…

rory-shades

(2) I’ve taken on TWO big new jobs and I have a mortgage to pay

I’m a freelance worker / entrepreneur so I don’t get paid maternity leave except the £139-a-week statutory maternity pay from HMRC. My mortgage is more than £1,000 a month and then I need to eat,  drink coffee, buy nappies and pay for the baby’s swimming and music classes. As a result, I took my laptop to hospital and did sponsored blog posts for my other blog Live Like a VIP and maintained the blogs of some corporate clients.

Although I wish I could relax more now that I’m a mum, part of me wants to work harder. We live in a flat and I want to buy a house and I dream of giving my son the best education money can buy. To do that, I need to earn money and they way I usually earn the most money is to sort out the blogs of big companies / brands. One brand approached me after hearing a positive recommendation and I stumbled across another company that I fell in love with and wanted to re-vamp their blog.

I now have enough to cover my mortgage and more but I have a significantly lot less time to build up Baby VIPs to a level where I’m seen as an online influencer in the parenting blog world. In order to earn money from a blog, you have to spend a significant amount of time creating awesome content for free and I just haven’t had the time to write for free.

(3) I already have a blog

I started livelikeavip.com in 2009, it has more than 100,000 unique readers a month and I just can’t let it go. Although I go to significantly fewer parties, I love my community of readers, I love the brands that I work with and I love the fact that I have enough of an audience to earn money with affiliate revenue and sponsored content.

I feel it’s too risky to give up a blog that’s doing well to start something completely new and I don’t want to because it’s been part of my life for seven years. But at a time when I should be reducing my workload to care for the baby, I’m doubling my blog output and Live Like a VIP’s been coming first as I didn’t want to disappoint the community of readers that I’ve steadily grown over time. How can I grow Baby VIPs readers without losing Live Like a VIP readers?

(4) My social life is already dead

Before I got pregnant, I thought I had a lot of friends. While I was pregnant, I was able to distinguish between friends and drinking buddies. Now I have a baby, I find it a struggle to see those friends that I genuinely care about and I’d like to meet up with the friends that I made at NCT occasionally (although even that’s difficult). When I’m not looking after Rory, I’m blogging for my corporate clients and I work at least six days a week, only taking Sunday days off before returning to my diary on Sunday evening to plan my goals for the week and work out what I need to do each day. So basically I have a few hours on a Sunday to catch up with people. I could spend that time blogging but then I’d never have any face-to-face adult interaction and that would be terrible for my sanity. Plus it wouldn’t be a life, certainly not a VIP life.

Do you have to sacrifice real-life friendships in order to make virtual ones? If not, when do you fit time in the day to blog?

(5) The longer you leave it, the harder it is to return

I have a big backlog of posts and I honestly don’t know where to start. I want to blog about swimming lessons and music lessons, I want to blog about some of the cool clothes he’s worn recently, I want to blog about finding my own style, about fun books that we’ve read together and the toys that keep him entertained the longest. I want to ask some awesome, talented mothers to contribute posts about the subjects that they’re knowledgable about and I want to blog about my wedding. Which one do I do first? The more I think about it, the more daunting it becomes, which makes me freeze and do nothing at all.

However, I’m not happy that I started a blog that has essentially become stagnant. I guess the only way to change that is to start blogging again, one post at a time. Hopefully once I start I’ll find my rhythm again. Maybe I should start with the posts that interest me most because if they excite me, there’s a good chance they’ll make others feel the same way.

These are a few of the blogging topics on my To Write list:

(1) Baby Swimming Lessons
(2) Baby Fashion Outfits
(3) Baby Fashion Shop Reviews
(4) Book Reviews
(5) Finding my mum fashion sense
(6) Weaning
(7) Sleep training
(8) My wedding
(9) Doing a newborn photo shoot
(10) Honeymooning at a 5star hotel with a 4-month old

So I guess this is a good cue for me to get started! I’ve scheduled time into my diary for blogging on Mondays and Wednesdays and if I stick to those time slots, I’ll plan one more in on Saturdays.

Wish me luck! I need it.

Zoe Griffin

Journalist, author and mother-of-one. I love fashion, beauty and gossip (preferably over a glass of bubbly). I founded the blog LiveLikeaVIP.com in 2009 and BabyVIPs.com launched in April 2016 - the same month my son was born.

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