I’ve been asked, how do you do it? Blogging like you don’t have a newborn to take are of? Like you don’t sleep?
Yes, I have a 12 week old baby whom I love so much, the baby I’ve been waiting for, for years. I love sleeping too, especially after the baby arrived (new moms will know why!). The moment I brought Benjamin home from the hospital, some parts of my life was beyond my control, including blogging and as someone who keeps a blogging schedule and write everyday, I was scared.
Will I temporarily shut down my blog for a period of time until my schedule at home settle down? Or do I write sporadic posts? I love blogging too much that I can’t take it off from my routine. I wanted and decided that this blog stay afloat.
Of course I did struggle at first with c-section recovery (I slept lots) and attending to the demands of a newborn baby during the first few days/weeks. Finding the time seems impossible and I was wondering if the day will come that I’d be able to type a blog post, sitting down properly and using two hands.
Here are my tips for blogging/writing with a newborn in the house:
HAVE THE BLOGGING TOOLS
1. iPhone/iPad – These two has been a great blogging tool for me now that I have a baby. If you’ve been reading my blog before, you’ll probably raise your eyebrows and say, “but you hate the iPad!”. I did hate the iPad. “Did” – past tense. I love it now. Like anything in life, it was all about getting used to something! (Don’t tell me, I told you so!)
I understand that not all have these gadgets but for those who do, this is how I manage to continue blogging. Plus, typing in the iPad/iPhone is effortlessly quiet so when the baby is sleeping, he can’t wake up because there’s no keyboard sound even if I’m typing like a mad woman.
2. Wordress app – if you have either of the two gadgets mentioned in #1 and if your blog is hosted at WordPress (if not, then it should!), install the WordPress app. It’s free. Once you have this installed you are ready to blog.
3. Notebook & pen – The good old trusted friends of mine. Just because you don’t have an iPhone or iPad doesn’t mean you’re doomed. I used to write a lot using the conventional pen and paper. I still do now, sometimes.
FINDING THAT ELUSIVE TIME
I always believe that even though people say they don’t have time (like if you ask them why they don’t exercise) they actually do, if they make for it. Basically, IF you love doing something, you will make time for it. Period.
Here’s how I manage my blogging time:
1. Less naps – As much as my mom nags me to sleep when the baby sleeps, I don’t because I CAN’T. I am a morning person so I can’t sleep when the baby sleeps at daytime unless we had a really rough night. I guess I am lucky that he sleeps really well at night. My soon to be 3 month old baby naps at about 2 hours each time so this is when I can steal some writing time (and do household chores).
Of course I napped right after we came home from the hospital so I can recover but the moment I regained my strength, it was hard for me to sleep when it’s daytime.
2. Typing fast – speed is a time saver. If you can type fast, you’ll be thankful for this skill at this time.
One hand typing? Definitely a skill to master!
CREATE A WRITING STRATEGY
This sounds heavy but simply put, create a plan on how you would want blogging to change . Would you take a blogging off time? Or would want to continue?
Here are the strategies I use, because I chose to continue blogging as much as I can:
1. Write in installments – I don’t stress out on writing posts completely. When an idea pops up in my mind AND I have time, I type it and save it as a draft. Later on, when I find another time, I just modify (this takes less time than starting from scratch!) them.
2. Write something everyday – In the first few days, I’ve had sporadic posting but I never stopped writing. It doesn’t have to be long. It doesn’t even have to make sense. I don’t have as much time as I once did to write. As a result of this, I have learned to accept that I can’t always crank out a full blog post in a day. While at times I can, usually, my posts are written little by little on a course of several days.
3. Stock pile posts – Doing #1 will gain you lots of posts you can pull out later when you have something more to say. You can then have a blog post to publish to continue your connection with your readers.
4. Multi-task – I told a fellow Dubai blogger Mrs. Dubai when she asked me via Twitter that I write blog posts when I am breastfeeding. But Twitter’s 140 character limit did not allow me to explain more – I only blog while breastfeeding WHEN the baby is feeding while asleep, maybe not asleep-asleep but whe he’s closing his eyes and can’t get off the boob.
I love breastfeeding as it creates a special bond with me and my baby. I love how he looks at me when I’m holding him. See? How can you take your eyes off that sweet smile? I can’t trade those moments with anything in the world, including blogging.
However, when he is feeding while we are lying down and he’s sleeping, that leaves me with nothing to do but stare at the blank ceiling so that’s when I pull out the mighty iPhone and type away things.
Again, it doesn’t have to be a complete blog post.
5. Don’t sweat about it – I love blogging but I don’t feel pressured to do it. This is my free therapy, my outlet, my breather but it isn’t my whole life. If I can find the time, I blog because I enjoy doing it, not because I am pressured to do it.
I cut myself some slack.
With a newborn, the balance of things will shift and you’ll just have to juggle things differently. There are days when I can’t write anything but I can be on Twitter everyday (3 Reasons Why I love Twitter), especially on the wee hours of the night when I can’t fall back to sleep after diaper duty/feeding to connect to other people. Twitter is microblogging – you only have 140 characters to express your thoughts. It’s quick and easy and gives me (almost) the same good feeling as when I’m blogging. (I am @sandierpastures on Twitter, just in case)
Lastly, life with a newborn is exciting. Every morning is an adventure waiting to unfold. Yes, them babies are a handful but they are not babies forever. Now is the time to enjoy them when you can still hold all of them in your bossom, their sweet smelling little heads under your chin.
I will enjoy this special time with my baby, blogging along as I go and only as much as I possibly can. No pressure!