28 July 2009

Blog Life Balance

My name is Sandy and I'm a blogoholic.

There I've said it.

I was inspired to write this post by a question the lovely Sian asked on British Mummy Bloggers. She was in Chicago for BlogHer09 and wanted to know: how do you as a Mum and a blogger find the right balance in your life? You can read the full discussion here. Sian also has a wonderful blog called Mummy-tips, although while she was away her son Dinoboy has taken it over!

I had started to comment, but soon realised I had enough thoughts for my own blog post.

I started reading and commenting on blogs in May this year. I soon started blogging myself and over the past two and a half months I have become totally addicted to blogging. If I'm not writing my own, I'm reading and commenting on other people's blogs. I've just had a look at the blogs I'm following.

I'm following 172 blogs.

The majority are mummy blogs, but I've come across so many other interesting writers. I don't want to remove any of the 172 and I'm finding new ones every day. So how do I keep up?

  • I've got the boys to take their afternoon naps together.
  • I've pretty much stopped watching TV.
  • I don't spend very much time on my music any more.
  • I stay up late.

That still doesn't give me enough time.

Something has got to give.

I don't want this 'something' to be my relationship with Andy. I'm lucky that he is very understanding. He knew that I was feeling quite isolated and is glad that I have found the friendship of the blogging community. Andy spends a lot of time on his music, so he's not sitting around waiting for me to step away from the laptop.

We still make time for each other. When we had children, we thought about the best way to still be Andy and Sandy (don't laugh, we could have called the kids Randy and Mandy!) as well as Daddy and Mummy. This is what we decided:

  • We always eat together every evening, in the dining room. No TV, no PCs. We talk about our days.
  • Every other night or so we'll watch a TV programme we've recorded, we may have a glass of wine too.
  • We always go to bed together at the same time too.

I'm an all or nothing kind of person. I want to read blogs, read the comments and add my own comment too. I've got 83 posts unread in my Google Reader. It's hard, but I'm going to have to cut down on the commenting for a while. Just until I've caught up!

By the way Blogger isn't letting me view followers' profiles at the moment. If you leave me a comment I should be able to find you that way! Thanks.

I would love to know how you manage blogging, relationships and parenting.


In other news, have you been to Cafebebe yet? The wonderful Karin has set up a great community for mummies. It includes blogs, reviews and forums. It is currently holding its first giveaway. What are you still doing here?!



  1. Hi Sandy--I know what you mean about the addiction! Its fun, interesting and if you take it seriously can stretch your brain when you work at writing good posts and gaining new 'converts' by creating a better and better blog all the time.

    But I am also suffering from an inability to manage the blog and life! SO Ive decided to cut back on the number of blogs I read, I assign one day a week to writing and commenting, the other days I dip in and out but I FORCE myself to not sit down and write much. I may take noted for a new post but thats it! I cant allow it to take over my life or my productivity in all areas drops. And I have seen that if I keep the blog ticking over like this, I still maintain (and find new) readers and I can keep up pretty well with my followers and those I follow.

    Happy blogging, and happy multi-tasking!! :)

  2. I know what you mean about it becoming addictive. I tend to catch up on my blogs whilst b/f baby girl or when the kids are asleep.

  3. Hi

    I seem to go through weeks where I can keep up with great swathes of blogs and other weeks where I struggle to comment on any! Writing my own isn't a problem but replying to comments (I can't reply to all of them, but any from new readers or any with questions etc) is something I struggle with.

    I know that what I would consider to be the most popular craft type bloggers don't reply to anyone or comment on other blogs as far as I can see. I guess that's their way of keeping the time spent down but it seems a bit too one way! I think most bloggers enjoy reading other people's as much as they enjoy writing :)

    Right now my girls are both watching Mr Maker on TV and the PC is in the room next door so I can type away and keep an eye on them at the same time. Or I go online late at night after my husband is in bed (v naughty, I like your rules better!).

    I really like your blog though xxx

  4. I too am a blog-a-holic. I was never a big tv person, but I did like to read, this has sort of fallen by the wayside to make way for time spent working and blogging. I am lucky that my kids are older and do not need me to be with them constantly so I can usually find some time to read and comment on a daily basis. I find if I do not, then it all piles up and I can not be bothered. Great rules by the way!

  5. I don't comment on the same blogs every day. I have a long list of blogs I like to visit, but I just go round to them in turn. It's not as organised as it sounds, but at least it reduces the time I could be blogging.

  6. Just 83? Lightweight. I've got 244 in my Google Reader! Seriously, don't let it get out of hand, click 'mark all as read' every so often and don't worry about it. Life's too short to spend it glued to a laptop - talking of which - off to have a real evening with my hubby now!

  7. Im with you working mum - every now and again I matk all as read and feel like my soul has been cleansed. And sometimes i even delete some out of my reader where Ive decided I skip them anyway!

    Just went to BMB and posted there too, thanks for the heads up :)

  8. I am so happy that my post has caused such debate. At one session at BlogHer it was openly acknowledged that everyone in the room was a addict!
    I can vouch for that as I had not signal on my phone for 24 whole long hours. I couldn't text (on no), or email (no, no, no) or tweet (OMG I think that I am going to die).
    Seriously, I was pretty anxious by the end of they day - then I got cross with myself for being like that - then I found some wifi - phew.......
    Thanks for the post Sandy. Don't forget to tap in to the live discussion on BMB tomorrow at 2pm.

  9. I know just what you mean. I feel like we are in this together, as we started about the same time. :-) I'm completely addicted, too. I'm always reading just one more post, and making just one more comment.

    Actually, hubby is waiting for me in bed - better go, because I also don't want that to be the thing that will have to give.

  10. You're so sweet! Thanks for the plug. As far as balance, it's a tricky one isn't it. My husband doesn't understand but happily suffers it as I've gotten some good things for our family because of blogging. When you figure it out, let us all know! Love your blog Mrs...thanks for inspiring! :)

  11. I have a hard time keeping up. There just comes a point where something has to give though. I know my priorities thought, if something is gonna give, it will be my blog life, not my family life.

  12. I know just what you mean. Until today I haven't posted or commented since last Friday.If I leave it too long I start to panic that all my readers will lose interest and start to desert me! It's really silly but our blogs are also our babies, mine even keeps me up in the night sometimes.

  13. I seem to find more and more of my free time given over to checking up on BMB (as have had some great giveaways and offers so far). It gives me such a bloody good laugh and faith that as a mum who is more often than not tearing their bloomin hair out I am not alone! I find that reading blogs both on BMB and on here, makes you feel that if you're not following the "experts" to the letter, or your children are candidates for a visit, no make that a season of Super Nannys help, you are far from an abnormal family, and in no way a useless parent.
    I also love to write, and have done in one way or another for years, and to be able to do so, for free, even in a snatched five minutes whilst gulping a lukewarm coffee, a great outlet.
    Love the blog Sandy x

  14. Great post. This debate is really important because it would be very sad if bogging (or any addiction!) affected someone's family life. Having said that, blogging got me through the isolation of post natal depression and a happy mum equals happy family too. Your tips for finding the right balance are great.

  15. Michelloui, hi there! You make a good point about trying to create a better blog. Practice makes perfect!

    Laura C, yes I try not to sit at my laptop when my kids are awake!

    Mel, I like to reply to comments because I'm grateful that people have made the effort. I can understand why you can't reply to all, you get so many, it would take you all day! Yes, thank goodness for CBeebies!

    b, glad you like the rules! Yes, I don't read (books) as much as I'd like any more. I try to go to bed early a few nights a week to read, but it's so hard to turn off the laptop sometimes!

    Expat Mum, that's a great idea, to share your comments out. I'll start doing that.

    Working Mum, LOL! I'm not sure I'm ready to mark all as read. I don't want to miss anything! I was the same with Twitter when I started, I had to read every tweet, but now I just did in and out and I'm not really missing anything. It's quite liberating!!

    Mrs OMG, you're welcome for the heads up (I love using that phrase, makes me feel like I'm in 24)! I spend more time at BMB now, there are plenty of good discussions there.

    Sian, that must have been tough! Your post was real food for thought for me. I enjoyed the BMB live thingy. Will have to get over to yours to read the rest of your BlogHer posts :-)

    Mwa, I like the fact that we're in this together :-) Sometimes my husband comes to get me at midnight and I say, I'll just finish reading this blog and make a quick comment! He knows I'll be another few minutes!

    Karin, it's great when they understand. You're welcome for the plug. It would be great if Cafebebe had a feed that Google Reader could pick up. Have you looked into this - or have I missed it? We definitely need Blogging Basics lessons!

    Kat, yes, that's where I'm at right now. Family first, blogging second. I'm happier now I know people won't be offended if I don't leave a comment on every blog I read!

  16. It is tough to get a balance, but sounds as if you are finding it. I turn the computer off during the day when the boys get back from nursery and always try to make sure that Dave and I do something together in the evening.

    I also don't do twitter or facebook which would be fatal for me I feel...

  17. Woman at Work, so true, blogging keeps me up at night too!

    Ella, hi there and thanks. I'm glad to hear blogging helped you. It has given me such a lift too.

    Brit, I try to keep off the laptop when the boys are with me. I'm on Twitter, but only 'tweet' when I have an spare hour in the evening as it's so easy to get caught up in conversations. Although I mainly chat to fellow Bloggers on there. I'm on Facebook too, but haven't really got into that so much.

    Thank you everyone for your brilliant comments. I've got my Google Reader up to date, mainly by skim reading a lot of posts. I feel much happier now. I still love blogging, but won't let it take over at the expense of my family life. :-)

  18. It really can be hard sometimes , you need to remember its fun and to not get bogged down by it. Commenting on everything is not needed, i just try and comment every few weeks on each blog i read to let them know im reading.

    It was easy back when i only had 2 and the girls still napped, they would take a 2 sometimes 3 hour long nap together and i would blog and do all my reading/commenting then. I would try and comment on every blog post i read but just cannot keep that up these days

  19. Laura, that's great advice. I have less time to read, and more blogs I want to read, so I'll be commenting by rotation from now on!

  20. I have a lot of blogs that I follow too. I am always telling myself to just delete the ones that don't follow me back or comment back, but I just can't. I don't know how to find time to read them all. I have so many unread in my google reader, it's ridiculous. Just not enough time.

  21. Amy, thanks for taking the time and trouble to read and comment on my posts. Whenever I get my Google Reader down to a manageable level, people write a whole load more fab posts and it fills up again! I have cut down my commenting and this has helped, but I don't think I could delete any without reading!!


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