After my once, twice, and even three or four times a day blogging before the holidays not blogging daily seems weird. Missing ten days of blogging. Wow. I haven’t missed that many days in months.
Last year my focus was not on my blog. At least the first part of the year, my focus was on growing other people’s blogs and social media following. I must admit that there is a certain rush to helping someone else grow their blog. I liked worked for a couple of people. Certainly getting paid on a regular basis was fun. Even getting the 1099 was a bit of a thrill. But the blog posts, tweets, Facebook status updates I did for my clients took a toll. Sadly, my blog suffered. I didn’t have it in me to write that blog post or promote that giveaway as thoroughly as I wanted to. I even stopped doing giveaways for a bit.
And then the summer hit. The end of the school year was draining for all of us. My kids’ schedules are a full-time job…I’m only half joking when I say this. I had a few moments in the first half of last year where I started feeling very stressed about just about everything. I had too much work to do. Too few hours. My kids still had school and sports commitments. None of them drive so I was the designated driver. On more than one occasion I had to tell a kid that I couldn’t take them to an activity unless my husband was home. I hated to let my kids down, but work had to be completed.
Those days where I was caught in the cross hairs of work and family were SO tough. How could I put my children second…and yet I did time and again. Not a good feeling at all. I decided to work from home before my oldest was born and first and foremost I am a stay-at-home mom. My kids are my priority. I may complain about all the schlepping about that I do but I wouldn’t trade them for the world.
By March I was done. As my husband would say I was “stick a fork in me done.” I worked for my clients for a few more months and then exited from each job. Sure, I missed the steady paychecks. Summer was leaner than I would have liked. But I was burned out and needed to make changes.
My priority has always been family. Without the distractions of working for other people, I was able to plug back in to my family. We had too many thrown together at the last minute meals, too many meals eaten on the go, and too many times when we ran out of clean clothes. And the house, my goodness the house was a mess. With more time in front of me, I was able to focus on my kids, the house, and of course our eating habits that had taken a hit with all my long hours of work.
Once I got my family back on track, I tackled my work. Without clients, what would I do? I swiftly started reading all those email pitches that I had either neglected or deleted during my rushed work times. Little by little, I applied for opps. I reached out to brands. I got back to what I love doing…writing on this blog.
Back in the earlier part of the year I would start a post and not have the energy to finish writing the post. I had an unbelievable 30-plus posts in draft. Over the course of the summer, in the fall, and finally the winter, I have re-purposed those drafts in to a series of blog posts. I posted giveaways. I’m informing or have informed the winners. Prizes will be shifted or have been shipped.
I didn’t post only giveaways, in fact, I posted a group of blog posts that I am very proud of .
- There was this one about decorating for Christmas.
- Then there was this one about teaching your kids, preteens, and teens about phone safety.
- And this one about the challenges of working from home.
- I had to write about Turkey Day traditions on both sides of the Atlantic.
- With two teens, I posted about my tips for teaching teens about spending.
- We have more than one collection of toys in this house. How about you?
- And finally there was my holiday gift guide…even though the giveaways have ended I’m proud of this round up of gift ideas for mom, dad, grandparents, friends, and of course the kids!
As we head in to 2013, I want to post more giveaways of course, because who does not love winning something! But, I want to focus on what you want to read here. I have an idea for a couple of series of posts…some a continuation of topics I first wrote about last year. I covered…family online safety, daily round up of deals, weekly round up of posts here and on the other sites I write for, my Wordless Wednesday photos, ways to seize family time, family dinner prep, and memories of fun family times.
Here’s where you come in…what do you want me to write about in 2013? What interests you? What do you want to read about?