About a year ago, I launched my own blog, breadinningmama.com. With a full-time career, three kids, a long commute and a household to run, the idea of managing just “one more thing” seemed crazy. But, I love to write, tell stories, and connect with others on the topic of all things motherhood.
I had actually wanted to start a blog years ago, but my inner worrywart kept me silent. I feared the repercussions of being vulnerable, sharing my opinions and being judged in the work world.
Could a personal blog result in career suicide?
I had read a number of blogs, but many were run by stay-at-home moms or professional bloggers or entrepreneurs. I didn’t see very many full-time working moms in the space, and of course I wondered why.
Would hosting a blog make it appear as if I had too much time on my hands?
If I had time to write on the side, would people think I lacked focus on my corporate gig?
Could my online brand that shares so much about my life as a mom be held against me as I try to climb the ladder?
Suffice it to say, I took the plunge.
I’ve never advertised my blog to my work peers. If they discover it, no harm. But I try to keep that part of my life separate from my breadwinning gig.
Still, after a lot of reflection, I can honestly say my blog has made me a better employee.
As a marketing manager, I do get to dabble in writing and creating and designing campaigns, but as the social world as exploded, being in this space has kept me on my toes.
- I’ve learning about new social networks, SEO, design and site analytics. Reading about it is one thing, but doing it is the real deal.
- It’s made me more mindful about how consumers are engaging with brands in this space.
- And finally, it gets me writing again. As a manager, my responsibilities have turned to strategy development, budgeting and people management. Writing is such an important business skill, so I’m glad this outlet is keeping me in practice.
Since fully immersing myself in this world, I’ve also discovered I’m not alone. There are thousands of full-time working moms blogging it up. And beyond blogging, they are sometimes revealing even more talents in crafting, cooking and consulting. Somehow, they’ve discovered how to juggle one more passion on their already very full plates.
Of course I am bias, but I see these pursuits as wonderful things. Women, and men, are showcasing they are multi-dimensional. And if they respect the boundaries between their day jobs and outside activities, no harm, no foul.
As I enter my second year of blogging, I’m excited about new goals and challenges. I’m planning to invest more energy into design, and also attend a conference or two on the side. I’m a little braver, but still careful. I like my corporate gig, and I respect that it supports my family. But blogging lights me up, so as long as I can, I hope I can find time for this outside pursuit as well.
Do you manage other passions outside of work? Do you believe these external activities ever jeopardize your career, or do they make you a better employee?
Kerry juggles a full-time Marketing job, husband, three young kids, an overly-energetic puppy, and a LONG commute on Southern California’s finest freeways. Squeezing in exercise is a must, and she loves to curl up with a good book. As she says, “Life is chaotic, but sweet.” You can find her blogging over at Breadwinning Mama and tweeting as @breadwinningmom.