Finding the “Mommying”/Writing/Blogging Balance

When people ask what I do my immediate response is, “I stay home with my kids.” But, besides wearing all the hats that being a stay-at-home mom requires, I also have more on my plate…blogging and writing. As a freelance writer, I take on as many decent writing assignments that I can find and am constantly look for the next interesting opportunity. Anyone out there who is a freelance writer knows how time consuming this is on its own. Try adding two kids to the mix and it can be downright impossible some days. There are days when I think working like a “normal person” would be easier for everyone involved. Then I remember all the things my kids and I can do because I stay home. This usually keeps me grounded. That, and my writing.

So, getting back to the writing. How do you become a successful blogger/writer while staying home with the kids? Well, if I had the perfect recipe, I would definitely share it with you! I don’t. What I do have are some answers that can make it work and make it rewarding while making you some cash in the process. After more than three years at this thing, I’ve come up with strategies and ways of getting it done. Check them out:

1. The older the kids, the better. I can tell you it helps immensely that my kids are older now…ages 3 and 5. No more bottles or diapers. No more picking things off the floor and eating them. No more trying to climb every piece of furniture in the house. No more midnight feedings, which means more sleep. Yes, they still need your attention, but you don’t need to have eyes in back of your head. So, if you can get them to play independently for thirty minutes or so, you can get some work done. I tell my girls that I need a little bit of time to write and that means quiet time. This means no screaming or fighting. If they’re good, then we play a game or do an activity together when I’m done.  Eight times out of ten this works! While I may not finish something I’m working on, the time I do get is better than nothing.

2. Write while they sleep. Although it’s great that my kids are older, it also means no more naptime. Naptimes were great to get things done, but not anymore. That means I wait until the kids are in bed. While I would love to veg out in front of the TV and get my Adam Levine fix on The Voice, there are many nights that that can’t happen if I want or need to get things done. Once the kids are sleeping, the second part of my day begins…blogging, writing, answering e-mails, etc. This is usually done till around 10:30. That’s when I get cozy in front of the TV and catch up on all my shows on DVR…that is until I fall asleep.

3. Set a schedule. I used to just write whenever I had some free time. If I had an assignment I would stay awake so I could get it done. That didn’t work. I was tired, cranky, and not a very nice mommy. So, I decided to buy a planner and map out what writing I wanted and needed to get done for the week. Seeing it on paper and designated to a day makes it easier and makes me feel more accomplished.

4. Ask for help. While it’s nice to be able to spend so much time with your kids, sometimes you need to ask for help…even when you don’t have a typical job. If you’re lucky enough to have a family member or a trusted babysitter, designate one afternoon or day a week when they will watch your child so you can get your work done uninterrupted. I did this more than a year ago and it has helped immensely. My kids know every Wednesday is Grandma day and Mommy’s writing day.

5. Put away the phone. This goes for “mommying” and writing. It’s one I still struggle with every day. For some reason, my phone has some weird hold over me…like if I don’t check me email, Facebook, or Twitter every hour or less I will miss something earth shattering. This obsession can be a major distraction while you’re writing. It’s also a big no-no when you are trying to spend time with your kids. I try to check it only a few times a day, but it’s so hard! I kinda wish I never got a smartphone. I never went online as much when it was just my laptop!

The main obstacle to writing and staying home with the kids is feeling like you are ignoring your kids while you’re trying to get your work done. You don’t want to plop them in front of a screen while you’re in front of yours. You need to find a balance that keeps the kids feeling like a priority and you feeling like you are getting your stuff done too. It’s definitely a work in progress!

If you work from home doing something else or are a blogger/writer, what do you do to strike a balance?






Into the Woods Giveaway

As Disney’s Into The Woods is now available for purchase on DVD and Blu-Ray, we are lucky enough to give away a copy to a lucky reader! The Mommy Rundown is helping to get the word out!  Be sure to check out Sweet Cheeks Adventures’ Review and find out why you need to enter this giveaway!  Good Luck!

The Giveaway:

How to Enter: Please use the Giveaway Tool below!
Prize: 1 Blu-Ray copy of Into The Woods
Dates: Starts March 24, 2015 12am EST.  Winner will be chosen March 30. 2015 11:59 pm EST.

Disclosure: Sweet Cheeks Adventures teamed up with Click-Communications for this giveaway. Other participating bloggers are not responsible for choosing the winner or shipment of product. They have not receive any compensation for this post. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest. The winner will be chose at random by the Giveaway Tool and emailed. The winner must claim the prize within 48 hours or they risk forfeiting the prize.

When is Teddy’s Time Up?

I only have two children, but sometimes it feels like I have three. Wherever my girls go, so does one little special teddy bear.


No, he’s not my teddy bear. His name is “Mine”. That’s the name my 3-year-old daughter gave to him awhile ago. He’s a little tan teddy that she takes everywhere. And I mean everywhere.

He rides in the car on the way to school.

He goes shopping.

He goes out to eat, especially at Texas Roadhouse.

He goes to church. He hasn’t been baptized, but he considers himself a Catholic, in case you were wondering.

He goes on the slide and the swing. He’s not very good at the see-saw.

He goes to the beach, but doesn’t wear sunscreen.

He goes to bed (that’s a given).

He even goes on vacation. He’s already seen quite a few road trips and has already been on his first flight.

He’s been left at Wal-Mart on one of those ride-on toys, only to be discovered missing once we got in the car and my daughter freaked out. You would have thought she lost me. Thankfully we didn’t have to call the police. No one snatched him. Truly, I don’t think anyone would want him, except for my daughter.

He’s been around. One look at him, and you can tell instantly.


My daughter’s favorite teddy, A.K.A. “Mine”


He’s a little tainted in color. He’s not as soft and stuffed as he was in his younger years.  The little teddy bear attached to him has been gnawed almost to the point of no return. Grandma has performed “surgery” on him more times than I can count. She says he’s now beyond repair. But, my daughter doesn’t mind.

“Mine” is like the little brother my daughters don’t have. Most days I don’t mind, except for when we forget him at home and I have to turn around to pick him up if I want any peace and quiet.

When will it end?

Funny you should ask because my daughter has actually been asking me the same thing.

“Mommy, when I’m five do I have to give up “Mine”?”

“No”, I said.

“How about when I’m ten?”


“Not if you don’t want to, ” I answered.

“What about when I’m 18?” “18 people don’t have a teddy.”

18 people? I laughed then answered, “Well, you don’t have to get rid of him, but you may not want to carry him around everywhere. That may be a bit weird.”


After that answer she walked away and hasn’t asked me since. So, I don’t know if she was satisfied with what I said or if she just had enough of the conversation.

I’ll be curious to see how long “Mine” hangs around or quite frankly, how long he can survive without disintegrating.



Dear Daylight Saving Time, You’re Wreaking Havoc on My Home

Dear Daylight Saving Time,

I know everyone was so happy to see you this week. Truth be told, so was I. I loved the extra hour of sunlight you were bringing at the end of each day. I even bragged in a Tweet that my kids weren’t affected and we were all as happy as peas and carrots.

Fast forward three days and I’m beginning to wish you never came.

You are wreaking havoc on my kids’ sleep schedule!

Every night, my girls can not go to sleep. At all. Did you hear me DST? I said at ALL!

Why? Oh…I don’t know maybe because they see the sun later in the day and they say it’s not “night night” time yet. Maybe it’s because it’s still dark when they were normally getting up and they say it’s not morning yet.  Maybe it’s because I am peeling them out of their beds in the morning (or mine) and they are falling back to sleep on the couch before school.

I know we’re all supposed to be doing cartwheels and sipping lemonade because we are gaining more daylight, but in my house. It has been torture. My kids are so overtired that they’re off the walls because their sleep schedule is so messed up!

If you think I’m the only one cursing your name, think again. I’ve talked to plenty of other mothers whose children have turned into the walking dead because of you. The kids have also developed little attitudes because they’re tired. It’s like puberty came early.  Why don’t you come and play mommy one night in one of our houses? Then you’ll see what we’re talking about.

Once summer rolls around I’m sure I’ll want you to be my BFF again because we can play outside after dinner and enjoy the warm breeze.  At least then we can be more loose with our bedtimes and the kids can sleep until whenever they want without walking around like toddler zombies after school. We won’t be whiney and sound like Caillou’s long lost sibling, because that makes me want to poke my eyes out with a spork. That’s a spoon/fork combo for those of you who don’t know.

Here’s an idea, can you come during a school vacation week next time? At least then we can have one week to get used to you and your crazy sun-filled evenings. I know the chances of that happening are slim to none, but a momma can try.

I know you and your clock forwarding ways are not going to change.

Annoyed & Exhausted,





My House Needs a Colon Cleanse

Did you ever just look around your house and say ugh?

Maybe it’s because I’ve been spending so much time in it thanks to Mother Nature, but I’m noticing some things around the house that are really making me twitch.

A brothel of half-naked Barbies sprawled over the floor.

Dozens of “Petite Picassos” as I like to call them, all over the table. They’re all beautiful, trust me. There’s just a lot of them.

Stuffed animals up the ying-yang.

Valentines from my girls’ classmates that they have to keep. Mind you, some of them are from pre-k kids who can’t even write their names. Yet, they are keepsakes.

Crayons. Lots of crayons. Broken, whole, you name ’em, we got ’em.

Dittos from school. More like “ditto diarrhea”. Yet, I feel bad even throwing one away because I know my daughter poured her heart into each and every one of them.

Toys. Tiny, big…it doesn’t matter

Dust bunnies.

Appliances that need a facial. Floors that need a wax. Cubbies that need the big “O” (organization).


My husband says I’m exaggerating. He says we have two kids, what do you expect?

I expect not to feel like my house needs a colon cleanse.

That’s right, a colon cleanse. A deep cleaning from the inside out to purge out all the nastiness and junk.

Truth be told, if you walked into my house you wouldn’t think it’s that bad. I’ve seen worse. But, it still gets under my skin.

I want to give my Swiffer and Magic Eraser a big cuddle and then send them to work overtime.

I want to take a garbage bag and just toss all the things that are making me break out in hives. The kids will never notice. Right?

Sometimes, they actually don’t. Then there are the times I put things in a box to put in the basement and they somehow find them. They pull them out of the box and resurrect them. There’s no fighting it. It’s exhausting.

Total defeat.

If you feel like your house is that bad, then why don’t you just give it a colon cleanse? You may ask.

Because I have kids. Simply put. We all know things don’t stay clean and organized for more than one minute before crumbs and dolls invade once again.


Excuse me while I go bury my OCD in the mound of toys in the playroom.


Monday’s Mommas: Nicole from Mommy Talk

We all know how hard it can be to keep things interesting when it comes to learning at home. Besides flash cards and worksheets, it’s always good to spice things up a bit.

This week, Nicole from Mommy Talk, shares a great idea to teach your kids addition.

Check out her Addition Bingo, in this week’s Monday’s Mommas segment!


Addition Bingo

My boys have been getting bored with their addition flash cards, so I asked a teacher friend if she had any ideas on how to make it more interesting and she suggested addition bingo!!

I tried it, and it was a hit!! So I thought I would share for any other parents out there looking for fun ideas to do with your kids to teach them addition (and really any kind of math for that matter.. this would work for subtraction, multiplication, division). But for today’s purposes we will talk about addition.

So what I did was make a Bingo sheet (not the fanciest or nicest bingo board out there but I wanted something quick and easy and this does the trick) 😉 On the board I put all the answers of the flash cards I already had made. When I held up the flash card, I read the problem out loud to them (so they are visually seeing it and also hearing it, which I like so that they are able to solve the problem either way in the future by looking at it or just by hearing it), they figure out the answer in their heads and then find that number on their board (which is good for quick number recognition as well).

Once they find the answer they can put a marker on that number. My boys wanted to use chocolate chips as their markers haha, so we made this an “after dinner” activity and they got to eat the chocolate chips as dessert when we were done 🙂 So basically who ever got the numbers in one row or column first won!! And you can play as many times as you want which makes it fun for the “competitive” type kids 🙂


nicole dellAbout the author: Nicole is a stay at home mommy of three sweet babies who loves to bargain shop, loves all things dessert, loves to write, loves to be with her kids and loves Christ. She and her husband Mike have been together for 15 years and married for almost 10 years. A lot has happened in her life the last few years, and through it she started writing again. Mostly on paper… sometimes just in her head or in the notes section of her phone… eventually she knew she wanted to take it a step farther so she started her blog as an outlet of sorts. A way to feel more in-tuned with herself, while also reaching others. Be sure to check out her blog!