Juggling a Personal Blog and Career – Suicide or Smart?

LWM RiveraAbout 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?

 kerryrivera headshot

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.


  • Jenn says:

    I can totally relate to this. I am in HR and for a long time I was super secretive about my blog to my co-workers. After some reflection I decided “what do I have to hide” and stopped trying to keep them away. I think it’s made me a better blogger and a better employee. I do not advertise it with them but it’s not a secret either.

  • Kat says:

    My personal blogging never even came up in the work place until I was blogging as part of the TWIN program for Toyota and they invited me down to Toyota HQ to learn more about their company. It meant taking time off of work for it. It meant telling my boss(es) I had a blog, etc. Their main reaction, “what’s a blog!?” Their secondary reaction was “Don’t let Toyota steal you away to work for them.” So, they know I have a blog, but in reality, I’m a pretty open book on and off line, so anything I’m willing to share on the blog, I’m willing to share with them in real life.
    Kat recently posted..Currently V.3My Profile
    Twitter: lilmissrysmama

  • Jo says:

    This post so speaks to me. My time is certainly limited, but I also value the time I get to write on my blog. In some ways it is something that is all mine and it’s nice to have that. It’s not for work and it’s not something I do with the family (even if it is mostly about the family). It’s my time. Plus, I feel like it saves me time too. I have a large family and cannot keep up with them individually all the time – this way they can check out my blog to keep up.

    Some of my co-workers know about my blog. I was hesitant to share at first, but I just make sure to be mindful about what I write about when it comes to my professional life. I don’t think the blog ever jeopardizes my work – it helps feed that creative side of be which I only think can benefit all parts of my life.
    Jo recently posted..I slept with Justin Bieber aka Yoga Retreat aka Girls WeekendMy Profile
    Twitter: JolizieD

  • Brandy says:

    HIGH FIVES! You sound like me. I am a software developer and i have been blogging since 2008. I run my own server. Do my own design. All that. I was recently noted for it and now I am running our social media efforts and starting a blog for us! I am so happy this has opened more doors for me. Now if I can get them to just pay for a blogging conference….
    Brandy recently posted..Good Finds for Good FridayMy Profile
    Twitter: mannlymama

  • Kerry says:

    So glad to know I’m not alone out there. And Brandy, that is so awesome that it opened up new opportunities for you. It just goes to show following your passions can lead to good things. And Jo, I agree. Feeding that creative side only makes me function better in the other areas of my life.
    Kerry recently posted..Can Blogging Hurt my Corporate Career? I Sure Hope Not!My Profile
    Twitter: breadwinningmom

  • I blog under a pseudonym, but that’s largely for Baguette’s privacy. And most of my co-workers don’t know I blog, but that’s largely because I don’t want them to have a window into my life–not because I say anything that I would be actively unwilling for people to know about if they found out.
    Tragic Sandwich recently posted..Mawwiage is What Bwings Us Together TodayMy Profile
    Twitter: tragicsandwich

  • I’m not exactly in the corporate world, but I still struggle with this. I’m still a new blogger, but I find myself gaining confidence as I go along. Like you, I’ve learned so many skills, from computer skills to social media to the ability to write concisely. There’s always a balance between disclosing personal information and writing an authentic writing voice and there are probably no right answers for everyone.
    Jessica Smock recently posted..Will You Marry Me (At Work)? Why We All Need a A Work SpouseMy Profile

  • Laura June says:

    Blogging outside of work has given me an outlet that I don’t find in my corporate job. It allows me to express myself in different ways, which I think makes me a better employee. I can exercise more creativity in the blogging realm which helps me to be a more focused and content employee at work.

    That being said, I don’t advertise my blog at work and I don’t often blog specifically about my job. I could have a whole series of “What My Boss Said” but wouldn’t want to cause any HR incidents for him, since he is hilarious and fun to work for. I’m glad to be able to share this other part of me on my own time.
    Laura June recently posted..Beneath These FireworksMy Profile
    Twitter: juneofthemoon

  • Jes says:

    What a fantastic post! Yes, I can relate and love the points you make about how it actually makes you a better employee. It can be hard to make time for “one more thing”, but like you say, when they are all things you love, it’s important to do it. Can’t wait to read more!
    Jes recently posted..Happy Easter, From Our Bunny to YoursMy Profile
    Twitter: jessicapeterson

  • Adrienne says:

    Great post that really hits home! After close to a year of writing for someone else’s blog writing about family travel I too took the plunge and started my own blog largely about travel but with more about balancing career and family as well. I’ve been open about the blog at work but never write about specifics of my job. My career doesn’t provide the creative outlet I need and blogging has filled that void. We are superwomen for bring able to manage all of this!
    Adrienne recently posted..Taking the Kids on a Day Trip to Old Sturbridge VillageMy Profile
    Twitter: WandWorkMom

  • Alexa says:

    you make really good points about learning SEO and social media and all of those tools that actually make you better in the workplace. Additionally, it seems that a lot of companies are starting to have blogs themselves. My personal blog actually came up at my hubs’ last job interview. Thankfully it was not scandalous at all, but it weirded him out. So that’s why I blog anonymously now!
    Alexa recently posted..Progress on My Three WordsMy Profile

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