I am a stay at home mom with a successful, money-making blog
And my goodness, I am grateful to God everyday that I can work from home and be with my babies. And I love to share how other stay at home moms can start a blog (or take up proofreading, or try selling on Amazon) to earn an income from home – so they can remain stay at home moms.
Working from home as a mom is the DEFINITION of my ideal stay at home mom life, and I believe anyone who wants to work from home so they can be with their kids should be allowed to do that.
This is a message that’s VERY important to me. I knew, from the moment we started talking about having a baby, that I didn’t want to leave the baby and go to work. But I also knew that I’d have to contribute somehow if we wanted to… you know, pay bills and stuff.
(Real life, right?)
And for me, blogging was the answer. (Stay at home mom blogs were already popular, so I could SEE other moms having success with it.) I dove head first into blogging, and I started making $3000/month blogging within 8 months of launching!
I was really lucky in that I got started about 10 months before my baby was born, so I did lots of the hard learning when I had hours on end to myself. BUT, I still continue to learn, to post, to answer emails and to make images… with my babies here. (I have a busy, mommy-loving toddler and a busy just-about-to-walk baby.)
Running my blog – continuing to grow it – while being at home and raising kids has been an adventure. There’ve been many days when I feel like it might actually be EASIER to work away from home (I’ve even said to my husband – “Nobody poops on YOU when you’re trying to work!”)… but easier isn’t what I want.
Related: 15 work at home ideas for moms
What I want is to stay here, and make this blogging as a stay at home mom thing work.
So here are the secrets I’ve learned that make working from home with kids possible.
(THIS POST PROBABLY CONTAINS AFFILIATE LINKS. OUR FULL DISCLOSURE POLICY IS REALLY BORING, BUT YOU CAN FIND IT HERE.)
Accept that it doesn’t look like the stock photo of the happy mom with a smiling baby on her lap
Those pictures should make us question everything we’ve ever seen online about working from home.
They are lies!
Ok…I know I’m guilty of using them in my work from home mom pins (like this one), but a picture of what it ACTUALLY looks like would make people give their children up for adoption – not think about staying home with them. (And I want people to click on the pins. So…right.)
Working from home, as a stay at home mom isn’t glamorous or easy. But that’s ok because, as a mom, it’s not about being able to drop everything and jump on a plane to Tahiti. It’s about being able to drop everything because your kid is sick, and you’re the mom and you want to be there for him. No boss is ever gonna tell me I need to be at some meeting when what I need to be is cuddling my fever-y baby.
If you accept – right from the start – that stay-at-home / work-from-home mom life will probably look more like messy hair, dirty floors and compromises than days spent shopping and drinking coffee with other moms while your kids play… (and remember WHY you’re choosing this life), it will be a heck of a lot easier.
Understand that there will always be compromises while growing stay at home mom blogs (or any stay at home mom career)
In a perfect world my baby wouldn’t watch any TV, I’d cook him lunch from scratch (thus saving money AND making sure it’s super healthy), and I’d sit down on the couch with my husband for a few hours every evening. I wouldn’t often have to re-schedule a meeting or work Sunday afternoon. And I would never, ever, drag myself out of bed at 2 am to edit an email because it had to go out the next day. I would go out for a girls night now and then… or maybe join a mommy n’me sort of group?
I guess you could say my world is far from perfect!
But, I’d still choose this world over the 1/2 hour commute and 8 hours separated from my kid every day.
I DO (often) spend blurry hours working between midnight and 2. I am tired. But I would be tired if I worked out of home too – because my babe thinks midnight is bedtime, but morning is 9:30. Since I’m at home I can usually stay in bed till 9:30. Yay! Sleep is probably the thing I have to compromise on the most… there just aren’t that many places to carve out quiet hours. Sleep while the baby sleeps? I do not.
I don’t go out and chat with girlfriends, and my babies DO watch TV once in a while. My work is almost the only thing I spend my “spare” time on. (Because really, after mom-ing and house keeping and sleeping, there is no “spare” time. There is just work time.)
Let go of mommy guilt
I suppose this is part of accepting compromises – but guilt gets it’s own special point.
I often feel overwhelmed with mommy guilt when I have to pull out my phone and work on the couch wile my kiddos watch TV. I know they’d rather that I was playing with them… (and that’s what I’d rather be doing sometimes too)!
But here’s the thing. I don’t have a SINGLE game on my phone. I am almost NEVER signed into personal Facebook on my phone. I don’t have insagram or snapchat or anything else like that. My friends will tell you that I am THE WORST at texting back.
I am not “hanging out” on my phone and ignoring my kids for social media. (I don’t think you should let go of the mommy guilt if that’s what you’re doing, tbh.)
I am working.
I can either be here, with them, working… or there, away from them working.
It helps me to put it into perspective by realizing that if I was working away I wouldn’t get to cuddle and watch cartoons every morning, or to sit on the floor and play for half an hour.
Just because I am at home does not mean that I don’t HAVE to work.
Be diligent about time wasters – you don’t have time to waste
When you’re working for yourself, on extremely limited hours, you can not afford to waste time. It’s tempting to scroll Facebook for just ten minutes – NO!
NO! NO! NO!
You don’t have ten minutes to scroll Facebook. You don’t even have ten minutes to make coffee and pee – you can totally pee while the baby is awake, why aren’t you planning ahead?! (I’m sort of joking, but just FYI, I pee before I put the baby down for his nap. That way I can go straight to work the second I get him to sleep.)
This goes for anything that isn’t directly adding to your bottom line. As a blogger, what’s adding to your bottom line? Content creation + product, images for promotion on social media, working on your email list, maybe taking a course when you need to learn to do something better.
What’s not adding to your bottom line? Reading other blogs, chatting in blogging groups or on Facebook, worrying about perfection.
(What?! Perfection isn’t important?!)
Let go of perfection
With limited time, you MUST understand that action is always going to take you farther than perfection. In fact, if I strive for perfection, nothing EVER gets done.
Pinterest image good enough? Pin it. It’d be nice to A/B test 6 pins? Sure it would… but it’s not gonna happen, so accept that. One or two pin images out there is ALWAYS better than 6 imaginary or wishful images. Write the posts, post the posts, and let your friends text you about your mistakes.
Just… DO make sure you edit eventually. If no one texts me or emails me with my ridiculous mistakes, I am sure to read my posts over from my phone when I have the chance – in the dr’s waiting room, in the drive through line up, in bed before I fall asleep. I can’t edit there, but I screenshot mistakes for myself and edit the next time I get to the computer.
Don’t try to do everything
The list of should dos or could dos for me as a blogger is CRUSHING.
If I had 6-8 hours to work every day, I’d really like to
- Start a Facebook group for purchasers of my Pinterest ebook
- and one for my new affiliate marketing course
- Learn Facebook ads
- Email my mom readers
- Post 2x more often than I do
- Offer paid blog reviews as another income stream
- Create a course on blogging profitably
- And 117 other things
But these things just aren’t in the cards right now. I SHOULD do some of these things because it COULD really grow my income exponentially. (Especially emailing the mom readers.) But, I actually tried to email the mom readers this month.
I dragged myself out of bed at 2 am, wrote until 3 am and then sent the email off. I was sad about the extra hour of sacrificed sleep, but figured an hour per week to write an email was something I could do!
The next day, when my inbox filled with emails, my heart sank as I realized that to have an engaged list I would have to … answer these emails.
Because I am not insane, I deleted the emails – and then I deleted the 3600 mom reader email subscribers. It’s just not possible for me – right now – to add to my work load, and I am being realistic about that.
Focus heavily on the things that prove to have high ROI
Exactly what provides high ROI will be different for every blogger, but once you see what’s working for you, do more of that thing.
If your highest traffic + top amazon affiliate posts are on bullet journals, but you really just want to write about fly fishing so you choose to focus on that instead… well, it’s your blog’s funeral. If something is earning you a good income, do more of that thing.
Even if you really WANT to email the fly fisherman (but you only have traffic to the bullet journal posts remember) – do you stubbornly spend your time working on opt ins for the fly fisherman and growing your list by 50 people year?
What if you just decided to email the bullet journal-ers? Make opt-ins for whatever posts GET TRAFFIC, and email THOSE people because that’s the list you can grow quickly.
Your book sells GREAT? Yay – you need another book. Or a COURSE, based on the book perhaps?
You’ve been beating yourself up trying to get your Instagram to take off… you’re not seeing results there… but Pinterest is going ok? Let Instagram go, and double down on what’s working.
Figure out where the best return is for the time you’re putting in, and put in MORE time there.
Getting work done as a stay at home mom is hard – but who said hard was bad?
I installed my Pinterest tracking code the other day with one hand while my other hand tried to hold the squirming, crying baby on my lap. It just had to get done, and that was the only way to get it done.
It took all of 10 minutes, but it truly was a miserable 10 minutes.
I was on zoom with another mom blogger the other day, so we could chat about collaborating in the new year… and my son threw up on me – TWICE. Twice, I had to leave the meeting, change my shirt and wipe up the floor. (The second time I didn’t bother putting pants back on, because all my other pants were upstairs and I just wanted to get back to the chat… video was waist up anyway.)
If you’re looking for tips to make blogging from home with your babies running around EASY, I can’t really give you any. (Actually, if you find some, send them over?)
The thing that I CAN tell you is that it’s possible and it’s worth it.