Why do I blog?
After four and a half years of blogging, I have learned that it is important to understand my motivations and passions. Without them, goal setting, professional growth, and true personal fulfillment are impossible.
In case you too are looking to manage your time and simplify your activities to align with your goals, I will show you my process and conclusions.
Why Blog While Raising a Family? Why Not “Just” Be a SAHM or Get a “Real Job”?
I receive versions of this question ALL. THE.TIME. The questions I receive from others are often accompanied by judgements such as my time online is time better spent on the kids/house/family, or snarky negativity that I am in this business for the attention and “free stuff.”
But these two questions are ones I also healthfully, regularly ask myself in order to ensure that my motivations and goals match my heart.
Right now, my heart and my professional aspirations are in agreement. Together, they form my WHY:
I blog because providing others with original, useful information and entertainment gives me great joy.
My life’s passion is my family, my favorite activity is writing, and blogging allows me to combine my loves in an innovative way.
I aim to provide content on A Parent in America that moves the reader to laugh or try something new and find greater joy in their own family.
Blogging for Money? No. Blogging for Professional Development? YES.
I don’t blog to make money. If profit was my primary goal, there are a ton of jobs on Mediabistro and Monster and Craigslist which, if snagged, would bring home more bacon.
However, the ability to make some profit doing an activity that I love is a bonus of blogging, and a factor in the time I decide to devote to blogging.
Blogging is also a good flexible part-time, freelance career and way to keep my professional skills current. It allows me to serve as the primary caregiver of my young children and requires minimal childcare costs. Fifteen years ago this career was not possible, and I would have had a blank expanse of years on my résumé while being home while the children are young.
Blogging for Attention? No. Blogging for Community? YES.
I don’t blog to get attention or feel special. Thankfully, I have buckets of adoration and affirmation of awesomeness from my four biggest fans, as well as love and support from more friends than I deserve.
However, I do blog in order to connect with others and increase community. I derive great excitement bringing people together, exchanging information and helping others connect through activities and friendships. Before beginning my blogs, I spent a great deal of my personal, non-parenting time on volunteer activities involving my mothers’ groups, church, and local non-profits. The activities I was drawn to are ones I now perform daily, in ways that I devise.
It became clear to me that no matter how busy I became as a parent, whatever free time I had I would be spending on community building in some form. So I chose to take control of how I decided to build community, rather than being left deciding between the sign ups others provided.
Work and Fun Are One and the Same for Me
While Amy Jo Martin provided me with the starting point on developing my formal WHY, and Simon Sinek helped me to truly articulate it, Peter Shankman, another speaker at #DisneySMMoms gave me the litmus test to determine whether my WHY works:
As long as I put my family first and manage my time correctly, every time I sit down in front of my computer to write a new blog post I am happy and peaceful and energized. Each new opportunity and e-mail and contact I meet in this world is exciting. Every month that passes I am more enthused and I am constantly learning.
Work is fun. And I am blessed to have TWO incredible jobs that I love and combine: parenting and blogging.