Behind the Blog: Answering How Do I Do It?

I’m digging in and getting into some nitty gritty here.  I’ve had some interesting blog related experiences as of late so I’ve been feeling pretty introspective as far as my blog goes.  I’ve learned a lot over the 3 years I’ve been blogging and feel that I have a lot to share about it.  Both good and bad.  So I’m going behind the blog scenes for a while.  But I’m going to start here.  With, how do I do it?


I get asked this question all the time:  how do you do it?  How do you blog and have a family and craft and volunteer and make dinner and bake and garden and blah blah blah.  Quick answer:  I don’t.  I don’t have time for a blog.  I don’t have any magic balancing answers either.  I don’t want to build this big illusion that my life is all pretty and roses because it’s not.  It’s a good life, but I’m just a hustlin’ like every one else.  Trust me.  It pains me when I hear people say how perfect my life appears…because it’s not.  I’ve even had ‘friends’ tell me they can’t read my blog anymore because it makes them feel bad about themselves.  Ummmm what?  First of all that’s the exact opposite of what I want to achieve with my blog.  And second of all I’m just a regular gal, with regular stuff.

See the nice thing about a blog is that everything looks all nice and tidy.  On a blog there are no socks on the floor, no dishes in the sink, no dirty carpets, no kids crying or talking your ear off, no stray chin hairs, or bad hair days or cranky days.  It’s just a nice tidy space.  And that’s how I see my blog.  It’s an escape for me…a place for me to be an adult, to share my love of cooking & homemaking.  To be me.  In a nice tidy clean space.  Nobody needs to see my messy house.  😉


The good thing with my blog and my real life is that most of the things I blog about I’m doing and love anyway.  We eat, so I take pictures of a good recipe.  I garden and put out flowers, and decorate for the holidays, so I snap more pictures.  And I share them in the hopes of inspiring someone to look at their life a little differently…to see that you can make a delicious and easy recipe for your family, or maybe get inspired to paint that office that’s been the same colour for 20 years…  But behind the scenes, believe me when I say I’m pretty sure things around here are relatable to your many of your lives.  I struggle with what to make for dinner.  I struggle with how and what to feed my kids.  My bathrooms always need cleaning.  There are always piles of laundry needing to be washed or put away.  There are family issues.  Marriage issues. Health issues.  Kid issues.  There’s that feeling that I can always be doing something better.

And you know life…it just gets in the way, and I can’t do it all so I won’t.  I try, but really it’s all about balance, and I’m still learning how to balance everyday.  But the problem with life and balance is that things are always changing.  Just when you get some routine down pat, or one problem solved there’s another one waiting just around the corner.  So really balance for me, is learning to let go of a lot of things and to go with the flow.  And I won’t feel bad for it.  I don’t strive for perfection…it’s not possible and it’s an unfair goal to work towards.  Honestly I strive for happiness.  I want to be happy, and most importantly I want my little family of 5 to be happy.

Learning to be happy has meant for me, to let go of a lot things.  Simplify…remember my word of the year.  This word runs through my head on a daily basis.  It shapes what I do.  Before I consider anything I ask myself will this be a good thing for my family?  Will a project I’m considering complicate my life?  Or will it open doors and create opportunity?  Are the friends & family around me adding to my life or just creating stress?  This year is a lesson in saying no.  That’s how I do it.

I am learning to do what works for us, for me.  I will not feel guilty that I can’t volunteer at my kids schools as much as I would like.  I just can’t, we don’t have family around to help with my kids on a daily basis.  I will not feel guilty that my house isn’t spotless anymore, this is now a family effort.  I will not feel guilty if we end up eating out a few times more than I would like.  Or that I feed my kids white bread and hot dogs for dinner once in a while.  Everything in moderation I say.

And as far as my blog goes, I will not feel guilty for saying no to 95% of the opportunities that come my way.  I just won’t feel guilty.  Because somewhere in all that I have to be true to me, and at the same time keep my blog authentic.  And this is a lot harder to deal with than one might think.  I’ve had some fantastic opportunities come my way and for that I am so grateful.  But the balancing act for me with blogging is how to keep things authentic while at the same time viewing my blog as a growing business.  Which leads me to the other side of the coin:  I won’t feel guilty if my blog takes a new direction, or I accept a sponsored opportunity or I say yes to an amazing product.  I need to pay the bills just like everyone else.

And while I’m doing all that for my blog, how do I make sure that my family and myself don’t get neglected in the process.  Because blogging, as wonderful as it is, is a tonne of work.  A tonne.  And I love it or obviously I just wouldn’t do it.  Blogging has saved my sanity and made me feel like a person again.  I love being a mom and wife, but in there somewhere I’m my own person too.  And blogging has given me the opportunity to find my passion in life…so because of that I can’t see letting my blog go anywhere anytime soon.  I just work on keeping a balance.  Every day.

So back to the original question…how do I do it?  I just do.  I find the time.  I make it happen because I have to or want to.  Everyone has something that takes up their time and passion.  For some, it’s working full time outside the home, or staying at home with kids.  Others commit time to going to the gym, to scrapbooking, to travelling, to shopping, to volunteering, or to doing all of the above.  We all just do what we can with the time we have.  And like with everything else, not everything is going to get done the way you imagine or want it to.  And for me, this is such a learning process.  I do it all by not doing it all…and by that I mean you pick and choose your battles.  Blog post to write…I carve out the time.  My kid wants to wear a rainbow coloured outfit to the mall…whatever.  School lunches need to be made, my  kids make them, every day.  Too tired to make dinner tonite…let’s order in…whatever.  The house is a pit…get everyone to pitch in…it’s all of our duty as members of our family.  We do it all together.

We don’t need to do it all.  And we certainly don’t need to do it all by ourselves.  You do what you can.  You do what works for you.  Good enough sometimes, is just good enough.  And that’s good enough.


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  • Reply girlfromwva May 7, 2014 at 2:38 PM

    I love this whole post, especially the last paragraph. It takes awhile for us to realize that good enough IS good enough!

    • Reply Jo-Anna@APrettyLife May 10, 2014 at 10:28 AM

      Thank you SO much…it’s a really hard thing to realize isn’t it? 🙂

  • Reply Barb May 7, 2014 at 2:48 PM

    Well said, Jo…

  • Reply Kate P May 7, 2014 at 3:00 PM

    You hit on every point there and said what every working mom is thinking. Awesome read and your blog is awesome.

  • Reply Nicolette @ momnivore's dilemma May 7, 2014 at 3:56 PM

    Right there with you Jo! So many people ask how I am able to blog and take care of everything I have to. I prioritize it with my free time. Some people do all of those things you listed and others of us find refuge in the space.

    Sometimes life takes over and I don’t get to spend as much time as I want with my blogs. Blogging has opened up a lot of doors for me, and even had me launch a business two years ago. I get the flexibility of helping my sons with special needs while still maintaining my sanity through work. I hope many women find refuge and frankly a career in this space. I love this new series!

    • Reply Jo-Anna@APrettyLife May 10, 2014 at 10:29 AM

      Thanks Nic! I know you know exactly how it is trying to balance everything! It’s tough to find a balance, but we just make it work! Thanks for your support my friend!

  • Reply Barb May 7, 2014 at 4:01 PM

    Love it! Thanks for keepin’ it real

    • Reply Jo-Anna@APrettyLife May 10, 2014 at 10:30 AM

      Thank you Barb! And you are welcome…it feels good to keep it real sometimes! 🙂

  • Reply Nadine Ursuliak May 7, 2014 at 4:21 PM

    Thanks for your honesty! I love your blog, wouldn’t change a thing.

    • Reply Jo-Anna@APrettyLife May 10, 2014 at 10:31 AM

      You are so welcome Nadine! And thank you so much for your kind words – it makes me so happy to have you reading along with me!

  • Reply Rekehl Johnson May 7, 2014 at 4:58 PM

    Thank you. I needed the reminder.

  • Reply Brie May 7, 2014 at 6:01 PM

    Beautifully written & encouraging. Thanks for your honesty. 🙂

    • Reply Jo-Anna@APrettyLife May 10, 2014 at 10:32 AM

      You are so welcome Brie! And it makes me very very happy to know that it came across as encouraging! I was a bit worried it wouldn’t!

  • Reply Laura May 7, 2014 at 9:25 PM

    I couldn’t agree more. In fact I wrote something similar about finding your good enough just this week too that I thought you might like to read:

    • Reply Jo-Anna@APrettyLife May 10, 2014 at 10:33 AM

      I just read your post Laura, and I couldn’t agree more…it’s hard to do, but letting go helps to make every day so much easier, doesn’t it? 🙂

  • Reply normaleverydaylife May 8, 2014 at 5:26 AM

    My blog is still very new and I can see that it can take up a lot of time. It’s sooo enjoyable though! I’ve felt guilty for letting some other things slide. Thanks for letting us see how you do it and keeping it real!

    • Reply Jo-Anna@APrettyLife May 10, 2014 at 10:34 AM

      You are so welcome! Blogging is an amazing adventure, and a constant balancing act between blogging and family, but it’s so worth it! Happy blogging to you!

  • Reply Dannyelle @ May 8, 2014 at 7:11 AM

    Totally agree with you, no one does it all, you do what you can, and what you consider most important -and I love that happy is at the top of that list! Love your blog.

  • Reply Shauna May 8, 2014 at 8:06 AM

    Totally agree! I can relate to the part about just getting in a groove and then something changes to mess it up. That’s life, and I’ve had to learn to go with it (big lesson for someone who plans everything)! A blog can be a sanity saver and make you go insane at the same time, right?

    • Reply Jo-Anna@APrettyLife May 10, 2014 at 10:35 AM

      Exactly! I constantly waiver between loving my blog and resenting it…it’s a weird thing. But in the end I’m so thankful to be able to do this…bloggin keeps me feeling alive and you can’t put a price on that! 🙂

  • Reply Elizabeth May 8, 2014 at 8:36 AM

    Great post Jo-Anna; so real, true and uplifting!
    Thank you for sharing. I relate to so much of what you say and I really do enjoy visiting your blog.

    • Reply Jo-Anna@APrettyLife May 10, 2014 at 10:36 AM

      Thank you Elizabeth! I am SO happy that so many can relate to this…it’s exactly what I was hoping for. Thank you again so much for reading along! 🙂

  • Reply Jen @ RamblingRenovators May 8, 2014 at 2:47 PM

    Great post. I just “do” too and though it can be frustrating and exhausting its ultimately one of the things I love most.

  • Reply Jo-Anna@APrettyLife May 10, 2014 at 10:38 AM

    Thank you SO much Jen! It’s so true that we just have to make the time to do the things we love! And I agree with you…I love the thrill of just making things happen – that’s why I think I love blogging so much!

  • Reply Liz May 12, 2014 at 8:23 PM

    Well said! 🙂

  • Reply Marissa May 14, 2014 at 7:57 PM

    I absolutely love this post, and if I could agree more I would but you’ve left me no room to spare. Here is something your well-put article made me think of: One of my very favorite pump-me-up-for-the-day videos 🙂 Love what you’re saying, revealing the truth! XOXO

  • Reply Madaline May 17, 2014 at 5:11 AM

    I’m not sure how I stumbled upon your blog, but I’m so happy I did. I love : “I just do”. That is the best three words about “how” someone does it!

  • Reply Michele @ Alwayzbakin July 3, 2014 at 4:17 AM

    Hi. Love your blog. What a great and insightful post! It’s nice to see that there is someone that is just like you. Nothing is ever perfect, even if it seems like it. I’m learning to live with life not being perfect and still trying to fit in what I love. Thanks for a great post! Will be following along from now on. 😉 Michele

  • Reply Sarah [] July 22, 2014 at 2:01 PM

    Definitely loving this series, keep it up! I have had people in my family tell me that another member of my family likely feels “shamed” by how “together” I have it in my social media life. I make the time to blog, take photos every day, I cook, bake, clean and seemingly have it together….I do not have it perfect, but it works for me. If people think my life is perfect, I think it’s probably because we usually share the things that we want to remember and be happy about! No one (often) purposefully posts pics of their messy houses and crying kids and the bags under their eyes. It’s just how social media works. I share some of the bad, but if I want to share most of the good…I’m not going to be made to feel guilty about it.

    • Reply Jo-Anna@APrettyLife July 22, 2014 at 2:07 PM

      Exactly! This is exactly why I had to write this post. I got so tired of people making me feel guilty for “doing it all”. Trust me, I don’t do it all, lol! And my house is often a disaster, but blogging is a passion and I just make it work. We all have things we like to do, and for us this is a part of our life. I like to share uplifting things because I think people look for the good most of the time. I’m not going to feel guilty about it either! 🙂

  • Reply Dajana July 23, 2014 at 4:03 PM

    Another good’er!

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