A big issue for women is finding time for themselves. A big issue for mothers is finding time for their families and themselves. A big issue for blogging mums is finding time for their families, themselves and their blogs. And according to research earlier this year they have less time than ever to do that. Mum Flora grapples with the issue of blog-life balance. Here’s what she has to say:
This may surprise you – or it may not: mothers have just 26 minutes to ourselves each day. The Changing Face of Motherhood report published this number from a study earlier this year.
It didn’t surprise me that women have so little time to themselves. But it did make me think how much mothers, and particularly bloggers, are managing to do in that precious time.
A survey carried out by the Social Issues Research Centre (SIRC) asked 1,000 women what they spent their time doing each day. It found that over two thirds of mothers use online social networks to keep in touch with fellow parents. I’m a new blogger and am amazed by the number of people joining British Mummy Bloggers each week. I’m still finding my feet in the blogosphere and feel inspired by the writing other women are producing in their ‘spare’ 26 minutes.
I write a blog all about family holidays; holidays I remember from my childhood and holidays I’d like to take my children on. I’m also building an online directory of places for families to stay; places I want to share with my readers – with other mums just like me.
I won’t deny there are some weeks when I just can’t find the time, energy or quiet space to be able to write and blog. Oh, for a room of one’s own. But throughout the chaotic day, my mind keeps whirring with ideas and plans about what I want to write about next. I daydream about where my blog might take me, imagining what career it may (or may not?!) lead to. It’s kept me sane through the cold hours hanging out at the windswept playground this past winter with my two young children.
What to do in your free time as a mum?
Each week BritMums posts members’ answers to the question, “Why do you blog?” Some blog as therapy, some are seeking support, some just like to chat with their readers, some use their blog to work on business ideas, some are hoping for a new career, some want to make a record of their children’s development. For me, it’s all those things. Blogging gives me a huge sense of achievement.
So what have I done with my 26 minutes today? I unblocked the sink (plug hole was stuffed with playdough by a very helpful 2 year old earlier), chatted with my mum on the phone, texted a friend who’s just gone into labour, ordered the week’s shopping online, bought a retro necklace on eBay, put a wash on, read one and a half articles in the newspaper, checked my emails, found the floor under a pile of toys, Tweeted, looked at myself in the mirror for the first time today and brushed my hair (also for the first time today). Oh, and written a blog post.
My time is up…25 minutes, 49 seconds…
— Flora Jenkins
Flora Jenkins has two daughters.