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Being a wife, mom, and blogger can be a balancing act. There are times when blogging starts to take over my life. I love blogging and can become obsessed! I actually love having this all consuming hobby. But sometimes, maybe just sometimes, it can begin to creep up and start hogging family time.
From taking and editing photos, keyword research, SEO, social media, and just general web design I could spend all day every day on my blog and never get bored. And sometimes I do!
Being a little compulsively obsessed, other things suffer and a few months ago I noticed my family life balance begin to slip. I found myself constantly on my phone. Social media is such a huge part of growing a blog audience. I felt the need to answer every comment immediately, and spend tons of time engaging with my audience and other bloggers. With people commenting ALL DAY LONG, I was on my phone ALL DAY LONG. With all this going on the kids were starting to get a little feisty and needing attention.
So with great difficulty I made the abrupt decision to go on a blog and social media break. No blogging, no social media, and even no checking my blog email!
Beginning My Social Media Detox
The first couple weeks of my social media break were hard! I actually had my husband change the password on my phone so I couldn’t access anything. That really reduced temptation but all the time I still felt like I needed to be working on the blog. Writing, pictures, networking. The list of things to do is never ending! And the thing is I want to do them all!
Quieting that voice, that compulsion, that says, “I have to” was the most difficult part.
What I Did During My Screen Free Time
Going into my blog detox I joked that my house was going to be a lot cleaner! The truth is that I was so lost with what to do those first couple of weeks that the house remained at status quo.
I had to do something to fill my time so that I wouldn’t go crazy! Two things I did begin to do almost immediately were:
- Spending more time playing and reading to the kids
- More time reading for myself
I had been feeling guilty about spending too much time on the computer and not enough time with Octavia and Jean-Luc. So having more free time was wonderful. Lots more time for reading to the kids and just general “mom isn’t cranky because she has so much to do” playtime.
One love of mine has always been reading but over the past few years the only books I have read have either been Dr. Seuss or self improvement. It was really nice to be able to finally dig into the fiction books that Dave got me for Christmas!
Creating a New Screen Free Routine
After the first couple of weeks I did start to notice things about the house that I’d also been neglecting.
So I made a list of all the things that were bothering me with a goal of getting to at least 3 of them a week.
I cleaned the nastiness above my kitchen cabinets, wiped marker off walls, cleaned and organized closets and made cleaning the basement a more regular thing.
My house was actually becoming cleaner!
Really getting more into cleaning I think gave me something to do and grounded me to a set schedule.
I also began planning more structured activities for the kids. This was one of my New Year’s Resolutions and one that I was failing at. I am not the type inclined towards crafts and such so it takes a conscious effort for me.
My mini goal during my detox was to have a few activities picked out each week. We made slime and bath bombs, played with shaving foam and painted plaster animals. I’m still not the best at this but what we did do the kids enjoyed.
What My Social Media Break Did Not Do
My little break was in so many ways rewarding but there were a couple of things I was surprised did not happen:
- I did not spend more time outside the home for play dates
- I did not lose any of my enthusiasm for blogging
We hear all the time that with social media being so prevalent we are spending less and less time knowing how to spend with actual people. I thought that I would be filling up my time more with friends and family. That just didn’t happen. Maybe because I’m neurotic and need something to be consumed by? I just got consumed with a spotless house and not being social. Maybe because I am an introvert? In a weird way I think blogging gives me confidence to go out into the world and be with people.
There was also a little tiny part of me that was wondering if I was going to even want to blog anymore. No worries, I never stopped wanting to blog!
What I’ve Learned From Taking a Social Media Break
The main takeaway for me is Balance.
I never want to permanently stop blogging but I don’t want to be a slave to my phone either.
I’ve come to some new blogging goals surrounding social media (the biggest time suck!)
- Limit my time 1/2 hr a day
- Only reply to comments once a day
I am not entirely sure yet how I am going to allocate that 1/2 hr between my various platforms but I do know that I can’t be spending all day on the phone. I think having a set time to post and interact with people will really help.
One downside that I am not really sure yet how to solve is interacting with all the accounts that I love. I am following over 800 people right now on Instagram and I genuinely love interacting with them all. This is such a huge part of social media growth but I don’t think I can keep up it. So if you are one of my Insta Besties I just want to let you know that even if I’m not commenting as much I still love you!
Do you ever feel like social media is taking over your life? Have you ever taken a social media break? I’d love to hear about your experiences and don’t forget to subscribe!