My two oldest girls (almost 6 + almost 4) fight ALL. THE. TIME. I imagine it is only a matter of time before the baby (1 year) is brought into the melee. It’s what I imagine it’s like to have boys (sibling fighting) because there is often a brawl similar to a WWF wrestling match in the living room, on the breezeway or in their room when they are going at each other.
They lose their #$%! + then I lose my $#@% + it just gets ugly from there.
I’m an only child so this is unchartered territory for me that I vowed to get to the bottom of + FAST. Here’s what I found out + have started to put to work.
Why Do Siblings Fight?
In my research to get to the bottom of this sibling fighting, I first set out to find out why siblings fight to begin with. I mean, there’s probably some obvious reasons but I discovered there a LOT of underlying reasons that spark siblings to fight.
1. Sibling Fighting is Normal
It is perfectly normal behavior for siblings to fight with each other.
You can heave a little sigh of relief. I know I did.
In fact, child behavior experts say that sibling fighting can help prep your kids for the real world. It gives them the skills they need to negotiate + for conflict resolution.
Now, rolling around on the board room floor pulling hair, punching + yelling at one of their co-workers is PROBABLY not how you want them to resolve conflict + negotiate so the HOW to resolve conflict + negotiate are skills you have to work on with them.
We’ll get into that a bit later on.
2. Sibling Fighting Garners Attention + Gives Them Control
When the kids fight, you react so another reason that siblings fight is to get Mom or Dad’s attention. It’s on an unconscious level for the kids, but they soon come to realize that if they fight with each other or pick on their sister that Mom or Dad (or both) give them attention.
Second, it gives the kids control over you as the parent. Again, it’s more subconscious than on purpose, but kids are really smart. They quickly put two + two together to figure out that they can control Mom or Dad’s behavior + reactions (if you let them) by fighting with their sister.
It is no coincidence that as soon as you take a phone call from your old college roommate or you’re trying to schedule a doctor appointment that this is when your girls turn into Ronda Rousey + Stephanie McMahon.
3. Sibling Fighting Stems from Comparison
One child in the family tends to feel as if they don’t measure up to their sibling so it causes sibling fighting. As a parent, we have to be careful that we are not making statements that compare our children to one another. Often times, this is an inner feeling that the child has (whether parents are contributing to the feeling or not).
Because the child feels as if they don’t measure up to their sibling, they lash out at them + start a fight.
In the book, Siblings Without Rivalry, the authors conduct a group study. The authors ask the group what adults (parents) do to contribute to sibling fighting + sibling rivalry. The response from kids was that parents compare siblings.
Think about it. You know you’ve probably done + so have I. One kid is having a full-on meltdown + you mumble something like, “Why are you acting like this? Look at your sister. She’s not acting like this. She’s doing what she’s supposed to be doing — getting her PJs on for bed.”
The Siblings Without Rivalry book also provides suggestions on how to help your kids live together so that you (as parents) can live (in peace) too.
How to Stop Sibling Fighting
While some or all of these causes of sibling fighting might sound familiar to you, what in the heck can you do about it?
Check out these 10 ways to finally put an end to sibling fighting.
1. Model Behavior
My husband + I attended a family retreat on strengths-based parenting. One of my biggest takeaways from the retreat sessions was we model behavior for our children.
Worth repeating: We model behavior for our children.
We SHOW our children exactly HOW to act.
Our children act + react just like we show them to act + react to situations.
So if you + the hubs are fighting, yelling + screaming at each when there is some kind of a family conflict, guess what?
That’s how your kiddos think they need to act + react in order to resolve a conflict they’re having + in their situation it’s a conflict with their sister.
The same holds true for your reactions when a fellow driver cuts you off on the road or you have an issue returning an item at the customer service desk of the local department store.
If a driver cuts you off, instead of throwing F-bombs + shooting them the finger, say, “Wow, that driver cut me off. That’s dangerous but it’s OK. They must be in a hurry or maybe they didn’t see me.”
In your head, you can throw F-bombs + shoot them the middle finger 🙂
This models calm behavior to your children as a way of reacting to an unpleasant situation.
2. Allow Them to Express Their Feelings
Girls tend to hold in their emotions + not use their words to express their feelings. Instead, they bottle up their feelings until one day it explodes all over their sister.
Hence, the WWF match taking place in the middle of the living room.
So when my daughter yells at her sister saying, “I hate you. You’re the worst sister ever,” that is perfectly OK. She does have the right to feel like her sister is the worst sister ever.
Instead of shouting back at her that she shouldn’t say that, you should validate her feelings + say something along the lines of, “I can hear that you are angry with your sister. Good job using your words to express your feelings.”
3. Stay Out of It
As long as nobody is being hurt, stay out of the middle of sibling fighting. When a fight breaks out, stay calm + quiet. Allow them to work it out between each other + don’t intervene.
If violence or hitting breaks out then you might have to step in saying something along the lines of, “In this house, we use words, not hands to resolve issues.”
Allowing fighting siblings to work out their own differences is where they can acquire their conflict resolution skills.
4. Separate Them
I have found this works the best so far for my two fighting siblings. Send them to separate rooms for some time apart from each other. Not only does it diffuse the situation but it also gives you the opportunity to speak with each child one-on-one.
It gives each child the individual attention they might be seeking from you without their sister interrupting + allows them to give you their side of the story.
In the end, separating them usually allows whatever the fight was over to dissolve + they’re back playing together nicely 15 minutes or so later.
5. Divert Their Attention
For my girls, fighting is generally over an object, like a toy. The preschool teachers where both girls went or currently go, use terms like, “That was in Audrey’s hands so would you like to play with this truck until Audrey is done with the motorcycle?”
Most of the time, the kid takes the alternative toy (or whatever it is) + moves on. Sometimes, they don’t come back for the toy. Other times, they wait close by + when their sibling puts the coveted toy down, they scoop it up for their turn with it.
6. Celebrate Their Individual Strengths
Each of my daughters is soooooo different. Sure, they have some similarities (DNA will do that to ‘ya) but for the most part they are truly individuals — with their own likes, dislikes, personalities + characteristics.
Celebrate these differences with your family as a whole + with your child individually. I mentioned a retreat that my family + I attended on strengths-based parenting.
The premise of strengths-based parenting is determining what your strengths are as an individual + what your child’s strengths are as an individual. Once you know what each of your strengths are, you can help your child focus on their strengths (rather than focusing on their weaknesses + trying to turn them into strengths).
The book Strengths Based Parenting is ah-mazing. It helps you figure out what each of your strengths are + then walks you through how to parent a child with the strengths your children have + how to be a parent with the strengths you have.
The book does not cover the topic of sibling rivalry + sibling fighting BUT it does work with you on how to be the best parent to the child(ren) you have + it focuses on not comparing your children but rather celebrating their strengths + helping them to foster + nurture their strengths.
Indirectly, this all helps to eliminate (or at least drastically reduce) sibling fighting.
I highly recommend the book. (We also own the Strengths Based Marriage book, which I also highly recommend for your relationship with your spouse + building the marriage you want).
7. Give Them an Outlet
Give your kiddos some way to express their feelings that doesn’t involve punching their sister as hard as they can while holding her in a full Nelson. My girls LOVE art. They would paint, color, draw or make crafts All. DAY. LONG. if I let them.
When a fight breaks out, try to divert their attention with a creative activity they enjoy, such as art. This allows them to get their feelings out on paper (or some other medium) rather than out on their sister.
8. Make a Wish
My girls are into fairies + wishes so granting their wish is powerful to them. When one of them is having a conniption fit, simply saying, “I can see that your sister is making you angry + you wish that she would stop [insert whatever it is that she is doing at that moment to tick the other one off].”
Just making this statement, granting her wish, has an amazing way of diffusing the situation, validating the feelings of the upset daughter without really requiring any action on the part of the daughter that is pushing her sister’s buttons.
I’m like a fairy godmother 🙂
9. Don’t Take Sides
It takes two to fight (I know you were expecting make a thing go right + that’s true too). Avoid taking the side of one child. Avoid punishing the children at all or taking away the toy (or whatever) that is causing the problem.
Instead treat the children equally. They are both fighting + they are both in the wrong for doing so.
10. Teach Empathy
Separate the kids + circle back when everyone is calm. You can teach your kids to be empathetic to their siblings by asking, ” How do you think your sister felt when you took the car out of her hand?”
It helps your daughters to understand how other people feel by their actions + helps them to (hopefully) adjust their behavior the next time they are in the same situation so they won’t make their sister mad (sad, etc.).
Do you ever sit down at your computer searching for an answer to one of your latest problems + feel instantly OVERWHELMED with all of the info that pops up in your search engine?
Don’t worry. You’re not alone. Other moms feel the same way as you. (Confession: It happens to me ALL. THE. TIME.)
So how do you make your blog post stand out from the crowd so that it doesn’t overwhelm your audience? How do you cut through all of the noise to write about topics your fellow mamas care about reading?
The First Step in Finding Blog Ideas
Be YOU when you write. By this, I mean being you when you write is one of the BEST + FIRST ways to cut through the noise that all of the other “mom bloggers” are making on a topic + finding blog ideas your audience cares about reading.
Better yet, that answers their question or gives them a solution to the problem they are having.
I cover (at length) how to be you – how to write like you — in the Mommy Business Blogging eBook, but let’s take a few minutes to get an overview of what this looks like.
Bloggers ask my advice on writing all the time. My #1 tip that I love to share is to be you when you write.
It sounds so simple, right?
You are one of a million bloggers milling around in the blogosphere. What makes you so different from all the other bloggers sharing information online?
That’s what makes you different. Your voice, your tone, your personality + your point of view are what makes you different, what makes you stand out from the crowd + what attracts your peeps to you.
Now, If you are a poor speller or your grammar sucks, then you have some adjusting to make before you launch a best seller, but…other than that, when you write, write using your own words, your own voice + voice your own opinion with your words (+ the facts that support what you think).
Take a moment to figure out your style.
- Do you write like you would talk if you were having a conversation with someone sitting in front of you (or on the phone)?
- Are you sarcastic?
- Do you like to make jokes or use puns when you’re writing?
- Are you serious and conservative?
- Are you formal + stiff?
Remember, there are no wrong answers. You can’t BE you in the wrong way, unless you’re acting like someone else + not like you at all!
Remember, too, that you are writing for other people to read + understand, so write like a human being talking to another human being. Write like a mama talking to another mama.
The main point is that you give your content a voice, an opinion, a viewpoint that makes the content unique to you + isn’t just a regurgitation of what all the other mamas are saying — even if it is the same topic.
So that’s that. If you have a topic to write about in the first place, then put it in your own words, use your own opinions + your own experiences to write about it.
Now let’s talk about finding blog ideas when you don’t really know what to write about.
If you’re struggling for topics, here’s some secret sauce on how to come up with topics that moms actually want to know about, read + find the answers to their burning questions.
Buzzsumo for Blog Ideas
I should mention here that there is a free + a paid version. You can decide for yourself which version is best for you. I use the free version + find that it suits my purposes. Again, only you can decide which one works for you.
I think you get about 10 searches per day with the free version. You may find this suits your writing needs just fine. The free version also limits the number of blog ideas you (I think it’s 5 blog ideas). If you want to see the whole kit + kaboodle then you have to go with the paid version.
Anywho, once you are at Buzzsumo, a search box appears at the top.
Type in a topic, keyword, or even a URL (of a site that is yours or covers similar topics to your site).
Buzzsumo then pulls up articles, blog posts + content that matches what you typed into the search box.
Alongside the content, it lists out each social networking site + how many times the content was shared. Buzzsumo covers the primary social media sites, so FB, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.
These numbers are big clues on what moms find interesting enough to share. If they find it interesting enough to share, then they find it interesting enough to read.
Take a look at some of the articles. Read them. Pull out bits of info. Think on it.
Do you have an opinion on the article content?
Do you have a different viewpoint or experience from the author about this particular topic?
Can you expand on, condense down, or embellish the info that is in this article?
If you can do all of these, then you can even come up with more than one blog idea. BAM! A whole bunch of blog ideas from ONE. LITTLE. SEARCH.
OK, so that is Buzzsumo. Let’s move on to a second way to can conjure up some topics.
Google Trends for Blog Ideas
Trends are trends…well, because they are popular + hot at the moment. You saw a little of this just from our search on Buzzsumo. Google Trends lists out the hottest topics of the moment + the day – the trends come from how many times people are Googling the listed topic, talking about it, sharing it, etc.
Lots of parenting topics are evergreen but parenting trends pop up all the time.
So, peruse the topics that show on Google trends + see if there is any way to tie your knowledge + info in with something that is H-O-T. It can be far-fetched, but it can work.
I’ll give you an example. One of the most popular blog posts I wrote was something I tied in with a documentary I watched on Showtime called, My Date with Drew.
I wrote an entire article on what this documentary reminded me about marketing. I tied everything the guy did in the documentary with marketing tactics.
People loved it!
Plus, it was fun to write. I notice when I really love what I’m writing about it shows in my writing + it shows in the enthusiasm people show in reading + commenting on the blog post.
While I am not an SEO expert, I do know this, tying your content to hot topics + applying SEO rules to it can help couples find your articles + find you. (More about this later).
So that is Google Trends. Pretty simple in getting your creative juices flowing. Now, for a third way you can generate blog ideas – a Swipe File.
Ahhhh……the good ole swipe file. A swipe file essentially is a document or list that you put together or that someone else put together that you can just pull up + “swipe” or grab a blog idea from it.
(HINT: There’s a swipe file at the end of this post full of blog ideas + you can download it too!)
By the way, there are two different kinds of swipe files that I use.
- My own: When I come across info that I think I can use at some point, I “swipe” the link + the title into a spreadsheet or folder on my computer. Later when I’m looking for something to write about, I scan my swipe file for ideas or inspiration. This might be blog posts I read, social media updates, emails that land in my inbox, or content from a Google alert that I set up about a particular topic.
- Other people’s swipe file (OPSF): Bloggers, writers, marketers + people (in general) share swipe files all the time. Some are free. Some try to sell them to you. When I receive these, I keep them in a folder on my computer or I keep the link. Generally, these are not SPECIFIC topics, but contain a list, such as, “___ Ways _______ Taught Me How to _________.
Recently, I came across a pin on Pinterest offering 8,209 blog post ideas. This, my friend, is a SWIPE file.
Even if the swipe file is specific. Say it is about personal finance topics, which might seem hard to tie to a mom blog (except if you are talking household budgets + spending or family financing). You can still use these as idea generators.
Obviously, it is much easier if it is a swipe file that covers the industry you blog about.
Swipe files are blog idea generators. In a way, though, you can pretty much copy + paste with some revisions + additions on your part.
Again, you want to give it your own voice, tone, opinion, etc. You want to avoid simply regurgitating what someone else is already saying.
So a swipe file title of 7 Ways to Green Your Home might morph into The Top 7 Ways to Serve Up an Eco-Conscious Family Meals (or something like that).
I think you probably get the idea.
OK. Moving on to Competitive Shopping (OK, Browsing).
Take a tour of your competitors’ websites + blogs. Check out what other mom bloggers + other industry bloggers are talking about.
Once you find the bloggers you want to stalk, I mean, follow, Google their names to see what guest blog posts are published on sites other than their own – although you can also just look at what they publish on their own sites.
Again, go back to the questions that we talked about when using Buzzsumo. Figure out what they are saying + what you have to say about it too. You can even copy + paste their article link into Buzzsumo to see just how popular that article is in the world of social sharing.
You don’t want to say the same exact thing they are. You want to put your own twist on the same old, same old.
Sometimes, reading these articles generates an idea of a totally different topic. You might read a blog post about the 7 alternatives to using pesticides in your garden + decide to write about the 7 natural/organic cleaning products you can use for “safe” + healthy home.
Again, it is simply a jumping off point that might spur up a totally different blog idea in your head. Then, it’s a matter of hitting the publish button.
OK. Another way to find great topics is Inspired Reading.
I read articles + blogs all the time. I’m often inspired while reading. I voice an opinion or put my own take on the same or similar topic.
Am I saying copy someone else’s idea or work? NO WAY!
All I’m saying is that it can get your creative juices flowing by doing some research, looking around + reading what you normally read. Whether you jump on the Wall Street Journal site or People Magazine or Scary Mommy site every morning while you’re sipping your morning cup of Joe, it doesn’t matter.
It might not even be an industry blog that inspires you. Like I said before, a simple documentary about landing a date with Drew Barrymore inspired a very popular post about marketing. At the time, all I was doing was my morning ritual of walking on the treadmill + watching a little TV while I did it.
Reading a financial blog post about financial planning for the future can inspire you to write an article about ways you can save for your child’s college education or creative ways to pay off all your debt.
The possibilities are literally endless.
Just Ask for Blog Ideas
Ask other mamas or mamas that read your blog what kind of info they are looking for. Trust me, they are more than willing to share this info with, to pick your brain + to hear what you have to say.
Also, listen to what they are saying to you during your conversations. Listening more + talking less can really fill the pool with blog ideas. (My 5-year-old reminded me of this saying just yesterday when she told me her teacher told her it’s why we have two ears + one mouth. It made me chuckle.)
Mamas are usually willing to tell you what their problems are, what their issues are + what kind of information they’re seeking answers + solutions about – essentially what they are looking for from you + other bloggers like you.
Yes, these are opps to insert your services (or products) BUT they are also HUGE opportunities to position yourself as the expert that you are by creating content pieces that speak to their burning needs or desires.
Because if these are hot topics for the people you’re talking to that read your blog, then don’t you think other mamas like them probably have the same or similar issues that they’re searching for solutions or answers?
Answer yes to that question.
Talk to other bloggers that blog about similar topics to you. They are often a wealth of info on what readers are asking them. While you can set up a formal face-to-face coffee meeting or a virtual Skype meeting, you can also just listen to what they are saying when you do happen upon each other and have a convo.
Better yet, what they’re talking about on social media, in FB groups + on Twitter + Instagram.
When I was a wedding planner, I took courses, learned from hands-on work, but I learned THE most from talking to fellow wedding planners. When I first started out blogging, I learned the most from other bloggers. I still learn a crap ton of things (Yes, that is a technical term) from other mamas just like me who are bloggers in their own world of the blogosphere.
Trust me, it’s a fabulous way get the in on topics that are hot so you can bank on it.
SEO (The Easy Way) to Blog Ideas
I recently took on email course on SEO by Mike Pearson. While I have some general + basic knowledge (+ maybe even a little more advanced than general + basic), Mike truly simplified the process of keyword research.
Most SEO experts tell you to brainstorm the keywords you think your audience is searching for + then find out how competitive these keywords are. Blah, blah, blah.
Mike comes at it from a different (+ mind-blowing) angle. BTW: This is a free email course that Mike offers so what I am about to say is not leaking any of his course information (except that the email course does include some of what he covers in his paid course — Stupid Simple SEO).
Anyway, I digress.
Mike suggests you use a tool like SEMRush or Buzzsumo to research your top competitors to see which keywords they are ranking for + then…wait for it…create EPIC content so you can rank for the keywords that your competitors are.
One of the caveats is that you have to look for other bloggers, not huge publications like the New York Times, Parenting, or Good Housekeeping, for example.
Instead of plugging in a blog idea or a keyword, plug in the domain of the competitor + see which keywords they’re ranking for. Check out the content they wrote that is ranking + then find your own way to write a blog post that is EPIC + soooooooo much better than theirs so that you rank higher than them (theoretically).
Finally, Think of Your FAQs for Blog Ideas.
Think about the questions that readers ask you or that you hear being asked all the time. They are asking these questions because they want the answers. You can easily turn one question/answer topic into a piece of content.
It is easy peasy.
If they are always asking you about how to create a household budget, write a piece that details out exactly (step-by-step) how to create a household budget.
Go line item by line item if you wish.
Add a household budget worksheet download or printable as a BONUS!
Again, this is but one of an infinity of examples…
OK, so now you have all of these blog ideas. Now what. Well, you actually have to write the blog post.
Once you find a topic, it’s time to write it with your own twist. Don’t write about the same old crap, in the same old way that everyone else is!
Be you when you write it! It really and truly is what cuts through the noise – setting you apart from all of those other bloggers in your area – all of your competitors.
Your readers relate to you in a way that they might not relate to another blogger. When your words, your story, your background, your credentials, resonate with them they want to read what you have to say because of your tone, personality, or character, or viewpoint on a common blog topic.
Whatever it is, it is something that connects your words to their hearts + BAM! They realize you are the pro they have been searching for all this time.
I cannot count how many times my client convos start with, “I’ve been following you for a while…” + this is all about sharing content that my people care about.
The same applies to you + your blog or mommy business.
So here is my challenge for you…
Come up with five fab pieces/topics/headlines of content you want to create for your blog.
Bang out the headline or topic (make it yummy, please) for each blog idea.
Then, of course, you have to write the content.
It’s OK. It happens to all of us.
Blog Ideas for Moms
Pregnancy Post Ideas
- Pregnancy announcement ideas
- Creating a birth plan
- How to deal with the birth not going as planned
- C-section recovery
- Birth recovery
- What to pack in a hospital bag (for mom + for baby)
- Foods to eat
- Foods to avoid
- Exercising while pregnant
- Best parenting/baby books to read
- Dealing with morning (or all day) sickness
- Maternity clothes
- Postpartum body
- Postpartum expectations
- Dealing with postpartum blues/depression
- What to expect each trimester
- Reviews of best car seats
- Reviews of best strollers
- Reviews of best [insert baby product here]
- Financial prep for baby
- Surviving a miscarriage
- Gender reveal ideas
- Baby shower ideas
- Babymoon ideas
- Meal prep for after coming home from the hospital
- Home birth
Baby Blog Ideas
- Nursery decor
- Must-have baby products
- Surviving the first few weeks with baby
- Sleeping (baby)
- Learning how to function on no/little sleep (adult)
- How to choose a diaper bag
- Top items to keep in a diaper bag
- Diapers (options/brands/which ones to use)
- How to care for a newborn
- Food for baby
- Sign language for babies
- Best books for babies
- Baby registry
- How to care for a newborn
- Formula feeding
- Baby’s first foods
- Baby food recipes
- Baby clothes
- Baby wearing
- Baby names/naming a baby
- Girl names
- Boy names
- Favorite apps for tracking feeding, diaper changes, etc.
- Traveling with a newborn
- Introducing baby to siblings
Parenting Post Ideas
- Anger management (how not to lose your $#@! as a mom)
- Sibling rivalry
- Teaching kids to learn
- Teaching kids to read
- Discipline for toddler
- Discipline for adolescent/teen
- Single parenting
- Top mommy bloggers to follow
- Top parenting books
- Best parents books for caring for babies
- Best parenting books for caring for toddlers
- Best parenting books for caring for teenagers
- How to be a calmer mom
- Vacationing with kids
- Parenting multiples (twins/triplets)
- Marriage after kids
- Mommy self-care
- Home schooling
- Raising girls
- Raising boys
- Chores for kids
- Positive (instead of negative) parenting
- Discipline differences between parents
Toddler Post Ideas
- Rainy day activities for young kids
- Craft projects for kids
- Sleeping (toddlers)
- Girls’ hair
- Learning activities for kids
- Sensory activities for kids
- Books for kids
- Books for girls
- Books for boys
- Food for toddlers
- Food for picky eaters
- Toddler clothes
- Yoga for toddlers
- Raising low-screen/screen-free kids
- Potty training
- Temper tantrums
- Transitioning from crib to toddler bed
- Toy rotation/toy libraries
- Indoor activities
- Outdoor activities
Teen Post Ideas
- Dealing with defiant behavior
- Peer pressure
- Teen clothes
- Best books for teenagers
- Prepping teens for high school
- Prepping teens for junior high
- Prepping teens for college
- College application process
- Choosing a college
- Yoga for kids
- Exercise for teens
- Self-esteem/self-confidence in teens
- Dealing with bullying
- Digital age
Money + Finance
- Starting a blog
- Working from home
- Side hustles for moms
- Budget-friendly family activities
- Paying down/paying off debt
- Teaching kids about money
- Allowances for kids
- Working mom
- Frugal living
- Organic on a budget
Life as a single or married adult without children is busy enough, but when you add children to the mix, life can go from hectic to absolute chaos in about 2.7 seconds.
Working from home so that you can take care of your children seems like the ideal solution for many moms. There are definitely some benefits, but it also requires some time management, an ability to adapt + a constant assessment of your priorities to create a sense of balance.
I was freelance writing from home for 8 years before I had my first daughter. The biggest lesson I learned is that all of the work still got done BUT in a much different way than it did before I had kids.
Working from home + raising children is doable. You just have go at it with a very strategic approach.
#1 Set Up a Home Office
Ahhhhh…the luxury of an office — with a door — right? Sometimes this is hard to come by when you have a small house or multiple kids. I had an office until that office became a nursery 🙂
Seriously, though, working from the kitchen table just isn’t feasible when you’re trying to run a business from home. If you have a room you can dedicate to your office then do it.
At the very least, find a space that’s all your own — even if it’s just a little nook in your dining room or a closet. It’s an essential step to staying productive. Otherwise, it’s very easy to get distracted (oh look, shiny object) or for your business paperwork, notes, or items to get mixed up with everything else that is in your house.
When you’re in your office, hang a sign to let your partner know that it’s their turn to answer your child’s cries. Having a separate space can also help you stay organized because it will be more difficult for children to find your papers to crumple + create their next work of art.
#2 Schedule Time to Work
I know this can be tough. I have three ages 5 + under so I get it. Schedule time on your paper calendar or in your phone calendar (however you keep track of appointments) + make an appointment with yourself to get your work done.
It is highly possible that you have to become a “naptime warrior.” It means working in the morning before your kiddos get up, working during naptime, when your older kids are at school + after they go to bed at night.
Even though you “schedule” time to work you also have to be flexible. The one day you have the biggest project to tackle is the one day that your baby is not going to nap or that one of your kids stays home from school sick. You’re going to have to roll with the punches, Mama!
#3 Automate + Put Systems in Place
When you have a limited amount of time to work, you need to ensure that each moment that you have counts to the fullest. Put systems in place + automate as much as you possibly can.
Set up automation or autoresponder series for those that join your email list. Use apps like Tailwind to automate your Pinterest pinning. Get Recurpost set up to automatically post + automatically recycle your content on social media (including Instagram).
While you do have to dedicate some time to getting these systems in place, it’s going to save you time, money + so much hassle in the long run to have these systems + automations up + running.
#4 Schedule Time with Family + to Have Fun
You’re trying to build a business, but don’t forget about one of the reasons that you wanted to be a work-from-home mother in the first place. More than likely, you wanted the ability to raise your children rather than letting someone else do it for you.
So just like you schedule time to work, schedule time to have fun too! I believe downtime from your business actually makes you a better blogger, writer, baby blanket maker or whatever it is that you do.
Schedule time for some Mama self-care, too. I try to schedule a mani/pedi for at least once a quarter (It’s so sad that I used to do this every two weeks when I was single). I joined a mom book club (because I love to read). I joined a women’s bunco group. I attend events for the very active mom group in my neighborhood (We recently had a DIY sign party).
The point is that I notice that I come home refreshed + ready to deal with my family, my life + my business when I have some downtime that is all my own! I think you’re going to find that you need something similar for yourself.
#5 Talk to Your Partner
When the lines between work + home life get blurry, if you have a partner, communicate with them so they know how to support you. If you don’t have a partner, get a business buddy! Find a like-minded Mama that has her own business so you can be accountable + use each other as sounding boards.
Just like you schedule everything else, set up a schedule or make a plan to divvy up responsibilities with your partner. It helps to alleviate some of the stress on your relationship + allows you to focus better when you are working.
If you’re a work-from-home mom, you’re likely looking for ways to make your business more successful while enjoying as much time with your family as possible. Take some extra time every week to schedule out blocks of time to work on your business + to spend time with your family.
If you’re looking to start your own blog, check out How to Start a Blog. It walks you step-by-step through starting + setting up a blog.
Whether you’ve been blogging for awhile or you’re just starting out, the end goal for blogging is to grow your mom blog big enough to attract the right people to it — + then turn those reading your blog into buyers of your product or service, clickers of your affiliate links or whatever your end goal is for making money with your mom blog.
1. Create Quality Content
Moms are information hounds. They are on the hunt for ALL. THE. INFORMATION. they can find about babies, getting their toddler to sleep, raising kiddos that don’t turn into little $H*^s (you know, the norm) + the list just goes on + on.
Moms are actively searching for YOUR content — your information — so make sure you’re giving it to them in the form of high-quality content.
Whatever your mom blogging area of expertise, moms are seeking your expertise, experience + personal twist on how you deliver information to them. One of the best things you can do for your mom blog in 2019 is to offer free value-packed content.
2. Update Old Content
Nobody says you have to reinvent the wheel when it comes to content, either. If you have old blog posts, go back through them. Add valuable content to beef up the information that you’re sharing.
Update the information you’re sharing so that it is current. Make it 2019 instead of 2009, for example.
3. Write Content Moms Want
Billions of searches are happening online each day. That’s a TON of searches. Out of those 3.5 billion searches happening each day, how many are looking for information on the topic you’re blogging about?
4. SEO the Heck Out of Your Posts
If you write it they will come is not the strategy you want to have for your blog. Instead, take a proactive approach to making sure that the people you’re after find the information you’re trying to share with them.
I recommend Mike Pearson’s free SEO email course + his paid course Stupid Simple SEO. I took both courses + it is a wealth of information to FINALLY get your SEO on track.
5. Invest In Your Blogging Education
This blog post gives you a lot of great ideas on how to create fab content, attract more readers with your fab content + get the chance to turn them into cash.
As great as all that info is, it’s also important to invest in in-depth blogging education + in tools that can take your blog (+ business) to the next level. Level it up!
If you need a start to finish blueprint on how to blog, what to blog about + how to promote your blog posts to attract more readers, check out Blog By Number by Suzi Whitford.
Even though I had been blogging for many years when I started my mom blog, I knew that I needed the knowledge + experience of someone who did it before me. I took Suzi’s course Blog By Number + I highly recommend it.
It is literally a step-by-step guide that walks you through every aspect of starting your blog, maintaining your blog + promoting your blog.
BONUS: If you register for Suzi’s course using my link, I’ll throw in my Mommy Business Blogging eBook FREE ($27 value). Just send me an email (email@example.com) with the name + email you use to purchase Suzi’s course + I’ll send my eBook bonus right over to you.
BONUS #2: Whether you decide to register for Suzi’s course or not, grab this FREE blog planner. It is everything you need to start planning out your blog content for an entire year. I downloaded + printed off + use one blog planner for each of my three blogs!
Do you have any plans or strategies to grow your blog in 2019? Drop your strategies or ask a question in the comments below.
We received our copy of When I Grow Up by Jon Hales. The book is about a young girl who is trying to complete a writing assignment for her favorite teacher on what she wants to be when she grows up.
It’s an imaginative tale that takes you on a journey of exploration of the mind of a young girl in trying to figure out life (to some extent).
I read it with my oldest, who is 5.5. Here’s what she + I thought of the book.
What We Loved
First + foremost, we loved, loved, loved that it rhymed. I was only a few sentences into reading the book to her when she piped up with, “It rhymes!”
She is learning to read so she can read books herself but this particular book is a little above her reading level to read on her own. A quick divert as to why I was reading it to her 🙂
Another thing I loved about the book is that the narrator + main character of the book is a girl. I think it’s important to have strong female characters in books for girls to emulate.
I think it is important for boys to see strong female characters in books, too, so that they understand that girls are strong. Girls are humans. Girls have goals, wants + needs, just like them.
The third thing we loved is the creativity. The book takes you on an imagination journey. The girl in the book has to use her imagination to figure out what she wants to be when she grows up so she can complete a writing assignment for her class.
And quite the imagination she has! She comes up with some fantastic job options like Alien Hunter!
Another great thing about the book is the illustrations. At some point, my almost 4-year-old wandered over to read the book with us. Both girls were fascinated by the illustrations of the story.
My oldest enjoyed the book so much that when we reached the end she asked me to read it again (which we did two more times in a row). On the third ending, she asked if there was another book!
Finally, I also enjoyed that the main character of the book is completing an assignment for her favorite teacher. She talks about how great her teacher is + the reasons why she thinks he is a great teacher.
I think this important for a couple of different reasons. It shows kids that teachers are people, too, + that teaching style has a lot to do with how kids learn + relate to the material.
The girl speaks highly of her teacher even though his teaching style + interaction with the students is “different” from other teachers. The girl deems it important to take the assignment seriously because she wants, in a sense, to “please” her teacher by providing him with the answer to what it is she wants to be when she grows up.
She learns from the teacher that it is OK to not have everything in life figured out yet. That he too doesn’t always have all the answers. This is a great lesson for people of ALL ages.
What We Didn’t Love
I don’t see any bad or negative things to say about the book. If I had anything to say about it, I would say that I wish my daughter could read it on her own but that has nothing to do with the author or the book.
She’s getting there. She’s just not there yet.
Like I said before, my girls really enjoyed the book from the story itself to the illustrations + wanted to read it over + over again.
Maybe, there will be a sequel 🙂
We definitely give When I Grow Up by Jon Hales an A+. It allows the kids to explore with their imaginations + creativity. It really takes you on a journey through the mind of a young girl who is trying to figure out what she wants to be when she grows up. And it takes you on this journey with a creative storyline + amazing illustrations.
Don’t get me wrong. I love the little trinkets my girls make at preschool + school. I love that my husband takes all 3 girls to the store to pick out flowers, plants or trees to add to our yard BUT (+ it’s a pretty big BUT here)…
What I really, really want for Mother’s Day is…
1. A Nap
Yup. I want to sleep. I want a good old-fashioned nap without any screaming, yelling or running in the background. Without anyone coming in one hundred million times to ask me a question.
I cannot remember the last time I had a nap–a real nap. That whole sleep when the baby sleeps crap never worked for me so I don’t think I’ve had a good nap in approximately 5.5 years.
2. A New Pair of Rothy’s
I L-O-V-E my Rothy’s. (BTW: You save $20 + so do I if you use my link). Since they are a little pricey, I won’t necessarily buy them for myself but I will totally let my family buy them for me as a gift! They’re comfy, adorable + washable. I mean, I’m not sure I could ask for anything more in a stylish flat.
My husband often takes me out with the kids for dinner on Mother’s Day, which is GREAT. For all of those dinners that I have to cook on all the other days, though, I love subscriptions like Hello Fresh.
All I have to do is pick my menu. Hello Fresh delivers all of the ingredients I need, along with the recipe, for whipping up delicious meals that make me look like a culinary genius.
Seriously, there is no thought process here.
4. A Weekend Away (Alone)
I love to travel with my family. I love to travel with my husband but what I really want is to lock myself in a hotel room or an Airbnb (BTW: save up to $40 off you first stay) condo (preferably on the beach) + well, do whatever the hell I want!
5. To Read
I LOVE to read + it’s a hobby that I lost shortly after my first daughter was born. I made myself get it back about 3 years ago (or so). I joined a book club for moms + we read a book a month + meet over dinner to “discuss” it.
(We discuss it for approximately 1 minute. It’s really all about eating + drinking.)
I read for anywhere from 10-60 minutes before I fall asleep at night but what I really want for Mother’s Day is to read in silence without 501 interruptions + at least one child popping into my bedroom every minute and a half.
My girls asked me the other day what my favorite thing to listen to is. I said silence. My 5-year-old did not know what to do with that information but I was dead serious.
Sometimes, when I drive in the car + I am by myself, I don’t even turn on the radio. I like to listen to the big fat NOTHING while I am going wherever I am going (usually Bunco or book club or some MoMs event if I am alone).
Can you believe I used to get my nails + feet done about once every two weeks? That’s twice a month. I know, that’s just crazy talk.
Seriously, though, a good couple of hours soaking my feet in a spa tub, getting the scary rough skin off my feet, flipping through a magazine…ahhhhhhh…it sounds like heaven to me.
With over 100 million blogs online, your blog has to offer readers something they can’t get elsewhere OR you have to offer info in a way that totally engages them.
It may be the ease of starting a blog that makes it such a phenomenon. It might just be that more + more mommy bloggers want to stay at home with their kiddos + replace the income they’re leaving behind when they leave their jobs.
Maintaining a blog, on the other hand, requires a lot more work than starting a blog. Maintaining a blog requires design, traffic, social media strategy, monetization + more.
The Mom Blog Plan
Putting a blog plan in place for your mom blog is one of the easiest ways to ensure its success. Use this three-step approach to turn your blog from ho-hum to holy cow.
- Become Your Audience
You have to think + act like the readers you’re trying to engage with your blog. Put yourself in their shoes + use this mindset to always make sure you’re providing information on your blog that is relevant to the blog topic + to the types of readers you want to attract.
Questions to Ponder About Your Readers
- What are their cares?
- What are their interests?
- What are their likes and dislikes?
- What do they desire?
- What do they fear?
Then, assess what experience or knowledge you possess that answers the call of the information they seek. As is the case with any marketing medium (and a blog is a marketing medium), you have to know your audience.
- Stay Engaged
Consistency is the key component of a successful blog. Consistency equates to posting to your blog on a regular schedule. If you can post EPIC content at least two to three times per week, then schedule to commit to it.
If you can’t commit, consider getting guest bloggers to share posts to fill in the blanks. OR commit to writing at last one EPIC blog post per week. Really give it your all in the content + promoting the post throughout your social media networks, email list, etc.
Also, share + talk about information that you know. Turn to the experts on topics + areas you want to cover when you aren’t an expert by using guest bloggers or interviews or roundup posts.
- Integrate Technology
A blog without integration is an island of its own. Make sure that your readers can leave comments on your blog, but also be sure that you’re utilizing other communication tools. Social media networks such as Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook + Instagram should be included on your blog. Your blog address should also be included on your Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter + Instagram profiles + posts. As technology changes, your blog needs to change with it.
With over 100 million blogs in the blogosphere, make your mom blog stand out from the crowd. You’re not into blogging to create “just another blog.” You’re into blogging to create an amazing mom blog.
Our copy of Clever Count Photo Book from Clever Publishing landed in our mailbox yesterday. I opened it this morning to share with my girls before my oldest went off to school.
There is so much to love about this book that I am not even sure where to begin! I will admit, though, that my first impression was that the pages are way too busy with pictures, but…wait for it…
Teaches Numbers + Colors
While the main focus of the book is to teach numbers + counting, secondary, it teaches colors. Each page is dedicated to counting + to a color.
So, Page 1 is red. They count from 1-10. Both pages are full with items that are red.
The count from 1-10 also associates with the objects on the page so it’s like a scavenger hunt for counting.
Find the 1 red drum.
Find the 2 red planes.
Find the 3 red roses.
And the counting goes up from there to 10.
If your kids receive Highlights Magazine (my kids do + they LOVE it) then it is a little like those pages where they have to find 14 balloons (or whatever) in the picture.
My girls spent all morning going through the pages of the book.
The size of the book is perfect for smaller kids, ages 0-3. It’s larger than a standard book but is not as small as a lot of toddler books. The size helps them hold onto it in their laps while they work through the pages.
Plus, the large pages make it possible to see the objects, numbers + the color words that are on the pages.
While it is a board book on the outside, it has a bit of a cushy cover. This is a nice feature in a toddler book because, well, let’s face it, they throw it, use it to hit their sister + when they swing it around + hit themselves with it, it doesn’t hurt.
Even I thought, oh, it feels so nice + soft on the outside.
Overall, I give the Clever Count book an A. My girls absolutely love it. The 1 + 3-year-olds wanted me to read it to them. Then, the 3-year-old went through it several times on her own (She doesn’t read yet, but she can identify colors, objects + some of her numbers + letters.).
It’s a nice big, bright, colorful book that is a great tool for teaching colors, numbers, counting + objects to your toddlers.
It’s probably a question you’ve asked yourself: Do I want to stay at home + be the primary caregiver, or do I want to continue in my career?
Long gone are the days where moms have to choose between their children + their career. It is much more common now to be a work-at-home mom. Some work-at-home moms work for a company (maybe even the one they worked for prior to have kids) while others opt to work in direct sales with a direct marketing company, or start their own business, blog or website.
Modern Careers for Modern Moms
The Internet has been incredibly helpful for those who want to work from home, effectively making it more possible than ever. While not every job can be performed from home, many office positions can be.
Work Flexibility states that with roughly 4 million Americans working from home + 24 million working mothers, there’s bound to be some overlap between those two groups. Being a mother doesn’t mean someone’s passion for work disappears.
If you’re able to prove to your company that you’re willing to continue your work, it’s possible your boss is more than happy to allow you to work from home.
How Can You Be Work-From-Home Mom?
When a work-from-home mom reveals herself, people can be impressed and/or skeptical. Many will ask, “How can you do it all?” or “How do you find time in the day?” Some might even ask, “Can you teach me how to do that?”
Others might think that there’s no way anyone can pull that off without giving some things up. Let’s consider one woman who had to make a decision of whether or not she’d become a work-at-home mom. This woman used her gut instinct when choosing to work with doTERRA over other essential oil companies, when there were both pros + cons.
She saw the benefits of the network + support, which helped her make her choice. Your support network can have a significant impact on your decision to become a work-at-home mom. Anyone who discourages you outright from choosing this path might not have your best interests in mind.
Moms Know the Meaning of Responsibility
Not everyone is able to pull off being a work-from-home mom. It can be a lot of work + it often means you have to work more effectively + efficiently than ever before.
Sometimes that means your partner needs to have a more equal role in child care (which should be a given, but you know how it can be). Or making connections with other mothers, your family or other people to take care of children in crunch times or other difficult times.
Those who struggle can end up finding themselves quickly overwhelmed by the balancing of both responsibilities. If you’re able to tend to your baby + send emails without missing a beat, then the work-at-home mom life is for you. Reaching this point of confidence takes time.
This writer from Her Money discusses how being a work-from-home mom is like being part of a secret club. It takes a lot of work, but there are almost always others who are going through similar experiences + it’s nice to hear their stories. Try to solicit advice from work-at-home moms with plenty of experience.
A work-at-home mom should not be viewed with judgment from those who are primarily stay-at-home moms or those who commute to work. All of this also doesn’t mean that husbands or other partners can’t help out in the childcare process!
Parenting should be a shared responsibility, but we understand that sometimes not all partners are able to help out as much as primary caregivers would like. That doesn’t mean there’s nothing they can do! Try to actively support your partner help with the child care process.
Now, some don’t have a partner or someone to help. Being able to juggle both of these incredible responsibilities is worthy of applause. As a work-at-home mom, you’re showing that you’re capable of handling two jobs at once, including one that’s monetarily unpaid (but is paid with plenty of snuggles, hugs + kisses). This can be your path to becoming an even stronger woman.
The #1 lesson I learned running my business from home after having kids is that it all still gets done BUT in a much different way than it did before I had kids.
For help in getting your blogging business off the ground, check out my Mommy Business Blogging Ebook. It’s packed full with step-by-step information on exactly how to get your blog up + running, how to write blog posts that attract business + how to promote your posts to attract the business you want.
In late 2015, I had been freelance writing full time for just over 7 years. It was the fourth quarter of the year and I knew I wanted + needed to make a change in my business.
I hired + worked with a business coach + I decided at that time to niche my writing business waaaaaaaay down to only focus on writing for the wedding industry–specifically wedding planners.
I didn’t launch my new site (this site) until February/March of 2016.
Since FB was (+ still is) one of the top social media networks, I went out on a hunt for groups that were specifically for wedding planners. I found almost none that were for just wedding planners. Yes, there were some that catered to wedding professionals in general but not wedding planners alone.
What’s that saying? If you can’t find what you’re looking for then create it yourself?
Well, that’s just what I did.
Wedding Planners Society was born.
I announced recently that the group is now over 4,000 members and one of the members asked if I would share how I did it and how long it took.
Hence, this post 🙂
I would imagine that wedding planners would create some kind of a group for potential clients rather than other wedding pros, but the sky is the limit –depends on your goal for your group.
There are tons of resources out there to tell you how to pick a group topic, niche, members, etc. I’m just covering how I grew it to where it is today.
Create It + They Will Come
At first, it seemed a little Field of Dreams, “If you build it, they will come.”
Surely, this is the case. Well, yes + no.
I spent some time perfecting the group page–making sure the description + rules were up + that all of the information was filled in + complete. That the banner was appealing. That there was a way for the wedding planners to get to my website, contact me, or download a freebie.
Then, I waited.
Member requests to join started to trickle in here + there. Then, about 6-8 months into it, my group was listed in the “suggested groups” people see along the right side of their FB page.
BOOM! Member requests really starting flooding in right about that time. I don’t use that term loosely, either. Some days, there were 100s of requests to join. Other days, dozens. Today, I still get at least a handful of requests per day.
Since I manually review the answers to the questions I ask, not everyone is allowed into the group. AND, I have a hard + fast rule that if you spam the group with any kind of self-promotion (except for the posts that call for it), you’re out.
I’m not into second chances.
So how did that BOOM in membership happen? It took some hard work. I don’t profess to know the algorithm that gets your FB group in the list of suggested groups but I would assume it has something to do with playing by the FB rules + that your group relates somehow to the person it’s suggesting the group to + the content you’re sharing within the group.
And then there is all of this…
Show Them The Benefits
I think the #1 way I was able to grow my group from 0 to over 4,000 members in two years is I offer benefits to members that I don’t offer elsewhere–exclusive benefits.
Sometimes, I give them freebies (checklists, eBooks, workbooks, courses, etc.) that I don’t give away anywhere else.
Sometimes, I give my time + expertise for free, such as Pay It Forward Fridays, where I would offer the first 3 people to respond a website copy review. I would offer 3-5 tips on how they could change their copy + content to help them book more weddings.
Sometimes, it’s one of my high-price courses or items at a deep, deep discount.
I also think that wedding planners adored that they had a place that was all for them + wasn’t necessarily full of other types of wedding pros (although other wedding pros are members).
They can get really specific on getting answers to their questions, finding software + programs, etc. that directly relate to being a wedding planner + not a wedding photographer or florist or other wedding pro.
How I Grew My Facebook Group with Total Engagement
Not only was I posting all these freebies but I also remained totally engaged with my audience. I was responding to their comments + posts. I was answering their questions. I was giving my opinions + sharing my experiences + expertise in the wedding industry.
It’s not all about giving but it is all about engagement. It’s imperative that when you start + run a FB group that you are fully engaged. It’s almost like having another baby or another business!
When I disengaged because I had a human baby or I get busy with my writing business, I see a noticeable difference in the amount of people joining the group + engagement in the group also goes down.
I dedicated certain days of the week to focus on specific promotions or posts in the group. Marketing Monday, Workin’ It Wednesday + Pay It Forward Friday are but a few examples.
Group members seemed happy to post their comment or question, offer advice + interact with other group members on these dedicated days.
I never invited people from FB to join my FB group (although that is probably another good way of ramping up the number of group members you have). I did invite my email list.
I had a couple thousand on my email list before the niche down so I had very few subscribers that were just wedding planners. Once I cleaned up my list to be just planners + then started working on growing my list, I would send out an invitation to join the group from time to time.
I also posted an invitation to join on my other social media profiles, such as Twitter, Instagram + even Pinterest. As I started to grow a following on all of my social media profiles, more people saw the invitation to join + requested membership.
Offers a Sense of Belonging
I touched on it earlier but wedding planners seem to love that the group caters to wedding planners. It gives them a sense of belonging. They know that everyone in the group can relate to the rant session or has the specific answer to their specific question because they are wedding planners just like them.
We all just want to feel like we belong + wedding planners have the same feelings.
Now, you may be scratching your head wondering how you can create a FB group, who you can create a FB for + how it can change your wedding business.
You have to dive deep. Your first stop is determining exactly who your dream clients/group members are + then buil a community that speaks directly to their hearts, wants + needs.
You can download my Dream Client Worksheet to start building your dream wedding couples today. Then, go from there in building your own FB group, website, or business.