On the business of blogging

Moshe and me
With sweet Moshe (5 mo.) last week

This week marks 4 years since Joshua and I started "Tammy's Recipes" -- my own little site for blogging and an archive of our favorite recipes.

I love writing and sharing recipes, but who am I kidding? It is often very difficult these days to find make time to turn on the computer!

Honestly, I have 4 sweet children who are active and needy, and a super great husband whom I need. The house, well, occasionally it needs, you know, cleaned. And sleep? Some of that would be nice, too. ;)

I love baby kisses!

I certainly don't "do it all" but I regularly try to do too much, blogging included. ...Wading through all the possibilities to ask the hard questions like: If I don't need to blog to pay our bills, should I really keep at it? Do I really want to be a work-at-home mom -- sacrificing sleep or time with my family for a few dollars to add to the savings account each month?

Walking with Eliyahu
On a walk with Eliyahu (4)

But the great thing about blogging is that I can make time when possible... and let go when not. And I can't thank you all enough for being understanding and then coming back to read or leave recipe reviews... even when I take long breaks (like I did basically all last year!). You gals (and guys) are the BEST!! :)

So... happy birthday to my blog! I won't be hosting giveaways all week or any other fireworks, but here's to the year ahead -- and continuing to give my best to God and my family first! :)

How do you balance work (or hobbies) and family? I'd love to hear some tips or encouragement in this area! :)

Comments

Happy Anniversary, Tammy! Mostly, I do my hobbies with family and work when Willow is asleep or in a good mood. Of course, my work is sewing, so it's not too much time. My main hobby is hiking, so I just take her with me. :-)

I was convinced you were about to say goodbye - and am glad that you are not. I find it very hard to have time to blog, even though my blog is nothing like as big, popular or information filled as your lovely site is. I have found hobbies like knitting or crochet, for example, are a much better fit for me at this stage of my life and our home being small - with my daughter never napping after she turned 1, and neither child able to take a rest time, and no space to leave a project out in a state of incompleteness, I can only sew if Oscar will be in charge of childcare and I can burrow in a complete a project in one go. Love to you from Lucy in England.

well I read and use many of your ideas however this is not going to be very encouraging. I dont balance it. I help care for my parents and grandmother who all still live on their own,,,,,,, but still need help and help my daughter with her two children who live on our land. The only thing i can say is I live on 2 to 4 hours sleep a night and pushing 50 its getting old!!! I guess I could give one encouragement....... is that GOD gets me thru. AND HE WILL TOO> Just HANG IN THERE! Shalom

Thank you for keeping up with it this long. I admire you for all that you do.

I love your blog. I will miss this blog if you decided to give it up. :(

My vote is to back off for a while.There is no rule that you have to post every day or even every week! I think your readers will stick with you. ;-)

Maybe you'll feel differently when the little one is a older and doesn't require so much constant attention. :)

I was afraid when I started reading this post that it was a goodbye. That would've made me sad! In the three years since I found your blog, I've made many of your recipes, watched your children grow, went from being a married stay-at-home mom to a single working mom, and just generally enjoyed this peek into your family. When I went back to work, and my computer time was cut into fractions, yours is one of three blogs I still read. The other is Bethany's and the last is one my cousin does. I wish you and your family happiness in the year ahead, and look forward to you sharing another year with us.

Carla :)

Happy Anniversary to you and your blog!!

My computer time is right after the littles go down for their naps or very early in the morning.

I get what I need done, check a few blogs that I love to read and then its on to whatever task needs doing that day.

I'm a mom of 3, 8yr old boy, 6 yr old boy and 6mo old girl, so like you I have littles drawing my attention and I most ceratainly can't do it all around here, but I find a little "me" computer time is like a relaxer for me.

Good luck and again Happy Anniversary!!!
Dana

As a Christian stay at home mom, living in an apartment, trying to take care of my family the best I can, you're blog is my absolute favorite. I didn't grow up with a stay at home mom so cooking healthy with fresh ingredients, homeschooling, budgeting, etc. was new to me. SO glad you decided to start a blog because I love reading it.

As for the balancing of hobbies and family? I haven't figured it out yet, so when you do, please let me know.

-Jessica

I think you have your priorities straight. Of course your family comes before blogging! I so enjoy reading of your young family's adventures as you remind me of my own situation...only 20 years ago.

I have always worked outside the home. Fortunately, my profession is very flexible around a family. I am a nurse. I have not always worked fulltime, but always worked when my husband could stay with the kids. My income was needed, and I needed to keep my hands in an ever-changing profession. You see, I know that my profession is what God called me and gifted me to do. I know it is my "missions" work. But my family ALWAYS came first.

I get upset when I read of other bloggers feeling so much pressure to post something everyday. Maybe they are getting feedback from some of their readers that this is expected of them? I just enjoy and appreciate a new post or recipe when you have the time to do it. If there is nothing new, then I know you are busy with your real life...and that is so much more important.

Thanks for sharing all that you do.

I have no advice... but I do enjoy it when you have time to share and completely understand when you don't. Family comes first and is of course the most important!! :) (((hugs)))

We want our children to remember us doing things with them and not saying wait, I have to sit here at the computer first! :)

Happy blog anniversary!!! :)

~Tanya - mama to 6 treasures. :)

I loved this post, Tammy!! I think we can all understand the way life goes... I'm just so thankful for all the great recipes and tips you've brought to us over the years. God bless you and your family!

It is tough!!! But I realized when attending a class about making time for the important things in your life and figuring out what those were, to me I made a list of what was important to me.
I do not do "high level blogging" with tons of pictures, but little bits here and there a couple times a week. It is important to me to keep that up. I love reading and reviewing books, it keeps my brain active and makes me think and sometimes as a mom, I can let that part of me go, which it needs exercise just like the rest of me. It is important for me to make meals and sit down to eat dinner together every day, it is important for us all to get exercise everyday, so I combine hobbies like cooking and reading, with walking to the library so we get exercise and get to haul all the books home.......it is a 2 mile walk round trip. Keeping the main floor of the house clean is also important. I have other hobbies, that I just do not make time for. But one thing this lady said that stuck with me.....is I always thought, "Well, someday I will have time for that." but she said, "What we are doing and living now is what our children will remember. Not someday. What do you want your children to remember?" So keeping track of our days on line on a blog, is what I substititute for scrapbooking now....I do not cook breakfast at all and that gives us more time for other things. My husband is in charge of folding and putting away laundry.....anyhow.....maybe that makes no sense....but I am happy with it.

I enjoy your blog. I have to tell you that after I read this latest in my Google Reader I went and looked at your posting dates. I hadn't even realized that you don't post every day/week!!!! I subscribe to several blogs so I just check in and read what has come in on that particular day. I love reading about your faith, family, recipes. Your site is always a worthwhile read. So continue to do things when the inspiration or time hits you and I will still get excited to read something from you whenever. Blessings to you and your beautiful family, all of whom are marvelous examples of family-- something greatly needed in today's society. Whatever you do don't let "guilt" sneak in.

I totally know how you feel, Tammy. My husband decided to return to school and left his union job- and then we found out I was pregnant with our first daughter. It was incredibly hard and scary and both times after I had our daughters, I had to return to work very early. I teach in the inner city in NYC and we moved to a small, quiet suburb outside it so I spend more time than I'd like commuting and working. I feel like a ghost mom to my kids sometimes. I just do what I can and try to put on my own oxygen mask first so that I can then put on theirs. Mostly, I give as much as I can to my two beloved girls and to my husband and try not to worry about other people's expectations and needs because in the end, I cannot get these early years back. I know you feel strongly about homeschooling, but is there anyone in your church who can perhaps babysit an hour or two a week? Friends you can trade off babysitting with? I guess just do what you can do and let the rest take care of itself.

Hi Tammy, I appreciate your efforts here, very much. And I know you have to wrestle with what a site like this means to you and your family, but I want to also encourage you to take a broader look at it, too. Perhaps if you categorize your work here as "hobby" or "work-at-home", it may not meet your priority guidelines. But, please, also consider the ministry you do here, the encouragement you give to young homemakers who are striving to live by the values you exemplify so naturally. It sounds like your husband is headed towards a life of service in ministry as well, and your role as his wife will no doubt be an extension of the very community you've created here. There are many women who need guidance and encouragement, and you provide it, in what I think is a very sensitive, sweet, yet ultimately unyielding way. Please don't discount how important your work here is! Oh! And, cute cute cute baby. :)

Tammy,
I have really enjoyed reading your blog for the past 2 years (since I found your blog) and am glad that you will continue to blog as time allows.
I love to see the pictures of your sweet children and just looking at the pictures of the yummy food always makes me hungry~but life is meant to be lived and there are only so many hours in a day. Children are little for such a short time and I know you don't want to miss any of that.
Enjoy!

I thought you were saying goodbye too! I like that you can take breaks from blogging, and then come back- just like you said. I also really love the community that I have found in blogging. I went through a hard stretch of getting married, moving and many changes. One of the helps I had was my blog friends who were there even as I was transferring to the opposite side of the country. . .

Thanks for continuing to blog. I think as long as you are keeping your relationships with God first, then your husband and family (and that they think so, too), that is the most important thing. If you have time to blog, you can. If not, you can wait until you do. The flexibility in blogging is great!

I have found your blog soooooo valuable over the last few years. I use your recipes all the time! And it's fun following your family too, as a mom of littles I love blogs other moms right because I feel like I can relate to them!

I can't believe how big Moshe is getting!

Just wanted to say that I find your blog so helpful. I use your recipes, and have slowly lost most of my baby weight with your idea to make salads for the entire week on Sunday. I'm inspired by your committment to put family first, and look forward to future blog posts, even if they aren't as frequent.

I am like many others,I love and appreciate the work you do on your blog. I love reading about your family and trying your recipes...Thank-you! You are a blessing to all your readers.

happy anniversary Tammy! I do enjoy your blog.. though I may not get here often enough. You are a wonderful mother.. wife.. person.. friend on the internet.. continue when you can, no worries. Family comes before anything else! bless you and your family <3

Hi Tammy,

Boy do I understand where you are coming from on the time issue! It is so difficult to squeeze little bits of time to post for a busy mama. I really appreciate you are putting your family first and reading a post from you now and then as you are able is totally okay.

Blessings,

Trixie

Hi Tammy!
The best way to balance it all is to have patience AND to give yourself permission to cut back when needed. This is a busy season for you right now and your babies and husband need you more than we need posts. Not that we don't love your posts! ;o)
I started reading you about 3 years ago and I only recently started commenting...I guess I am a little slow. But, I want you to feel encouraged and appreciated. I love your recipes and seeing your darling children. I remember when Ruth was born thinking what a gorgeous baby and now Moshe! He is a gorgeous baby too!
Two of my favorite things to read about are food and babies and you have both so I will keep reading...and working really hard to come up with another great recipe for you like the baked apple pie oatmeal! I have a sticky garlic marinade recipe that Ii just used for chicken that I think you will love too for all of that salmon Joshua keeps getting for a good deal!
Love on your babies, get some sleep and write for us when you can.
Love Kristin

....and would rather see infrequent posts than none at all! as a mom, i totally relate to the continual need to balance the demands with the time/energy available. there is only so much of mama to go around!

as for how to find balance, i have to say that my best solution for that has been to have the children grow older. really wise, huh? when mine were younger i nodded politely when the moms of older ones said things like "it really IS hard when they are little" "there WILL come a day when you hardly remember this stage" and "enjoy them when they're little, the time goes so fast" and thought "but i wonder if i'll even survive another week without sleep and a floor i can actually walk across!" now that mine are older, i can tell you that it is so much easier to have some time to myself for prayer, reading, a chat with a friend, or computer time. you are doing exactly what you should be doing now so give yourself grace....and if you have a moment of quiet, soak it up and don't feel one bit guilty about doing so!

Like many others I thought you were going to end this blog. We love your recipes and seeing picture of your adorable children. Although I hardly ever leave comments any more (going back to work full-time after the birth of my little girl leaves little spare time), I check your blog often and have tried a number of your recipes. I admire you that you are able to blog at all with four little ones.
Happy blog anniversary.
Aline

I know you've been working hard to try and lose weight, and I just wanted to tell you that I think you look great, and keep up the work!

You being you is what makes this blog charming. Don't change a thing, including the breaks.

Marsha

I love coming to your blog and finding new things a recipe,a tip,some new pictures of how the kids are doing or something your family has done with family.I find you inspiring.You juggle things so well.I on the other hand not so good at it but am learning to balance my time out to make it all fit.

I have learned so much from you and your inspire me.Sometime I will come on here and have no ambition to do anything and see something and off I go doing it and keep on doing other things.

Thanks for taking the time to blog and let us into your life and make new friends from here too.Your very much appreciated from our family :) .And I have tried many recipes on here and always they are keepers and so good.Thank You.

Mrs. Paradis

I sure hope you aren't considering dropping your blog. I LOVE your recipes. I also LOVE the family updates. Even though I don't know you personally, I have really come to think of you as a dear friend and getting to peek in on all of your goings on as been a privilege. :) I've become the same way with my family blog. Just too busy to keep up. But it is easier to keep up with it (at least every couple weeks) than to keep up with the kids' scrapbooks. And it is definitely a wonderful way to keep records of the kids as they grow. I hope you will see it as an investment in memories and keep plugging along at it, at least every now and then. :) Thank you for your time!

Kim
in Kansas

two letters help a lot--N and O and used together and to my children when it involves lots of trips to friends.......lol [I have teens]

Happy blogaversary!

~Quirky Jessi

I love your hair in this picture!! You look so beautiful...I love mama and baby pictures!

I've been meaning to write an email to you - for months -maybe years...Guess I, too have the problem of not enough time on the computer - or maybe better said - too many people around me to love and care for! And, like you, I wouldn't trade my busy life for all the computer time in the world!

Anyway...I've been reading your blog since almost the very beginning. I remember Crystal sharing that her friend had this new cooking blog - and I've been reading ever since. So many of your recipes have become our family favorites. I refer friends to your site all the time. Many times I eat something at my mom's house and compliment a food and hear "It's from Tammy!" You are a household word at our house!

But far more then good recipes, I've been so encouraged as a wife and mother. My children are about the ages of yours (6,4,3,1) To "visit" with another homeschool mom with young children who loves serving your family by cooking great food - is a highlight of my computer time.

I rarely comment (that is one way I balance my computer time) but I check your blog often and have learned so much for your recipes and hints. But one of the times I was most encouraged was when you moved across country. You never complained about leaving your little house, your family, garden and area to move with young children so far away. I know it must have been difficult but all you spoke of was the blessing of a job for your husband. I can't tell you how many times I've thought of your example when I've been tempted to complain about life circumstances.

Anyway...I hope you can continue to blog for a long time. I don't care if it is only weekly, just visit with us occasionally!

Thanks for blessing your readers, especially me. I feel like you are a personal friend.
Gina

Thank you all for your sweet, wise, and kind words to me! I got all teary (rare for me -- Joshua teases me that I "didn't even cry watching Old Yeller"!) and feel so wonderfully encouraged and wow... I really had no idea!

THANK YOU for taking a few minutes to comment... I honestly was not thinking of ending this blog or "fishing" for comments but ALL of them were a blessed surprise that brought happy smiles!! :)

I wish I could give you all hugs... or at least reply personally to your comments... but we're busy getting ready for my family who are flying out to Seattle tomorrow to visit us and attend my brother's wedding this weekend! :)

Happy 4th!! (Wow, four years already!)
I love your website and have found so many good recipes from here; priceless ones even ;)
Moshe is so cute and look at that head of hair! He looks a lot like Ruth, I think.
*hugs* for you!
~Samantha

I just wanted to point out that not only is your blog about recipes,which are great I might add, but to me, you are actually a witness. You are so committed and it keeps me going on this journey!. Thanks for all you do and giving us some of your time. You are very much appreciated, needed and loved. :-)

Tammy,
I have never responded to anything on your site, although I have been coming here for your recipes and family spirit for over a year. I am a mom of 5, the last 2 I had at home, so your story intrigues me. Cooking is my favorite thing, I used your wheat bread recipe to teach a bread making class to some ladies in my church; some of them still tell me how much they love that bread ( it has been over a year since the class).
My best advice for family "adventures" is to keep smiling, and remember that God is letting you shape these great spirits into wonderful people.
Keep up the good work, and keep cooking!
Annie

I am so glad you are not stopping sharing recipes too. I have gotten so many great recipes that my family loves from your site. Whenever you do post, it's great and I really enjoy reading it. It is nice to see that you do choose to put your family above blogging-it encourages me to see that everyone can't do all they want all the time. :) Thank you for your blog and sharing your love of cooking and God with us.

Alicia B

For me, it's a constant, fluctuating balancing act. I've discovered that walking for 30 minutes most days keeps me sane, gives me more energy and makes me a happier mama. So I try to make that a priority (although at the moment, I'm not doing so well with that!). The other interests/hobbies/must-get-dones take their turn at not getting done so I can spend a bit of time on whatever seems the most urgent right now.

Love your blog - make granola all the time now. Thanks. :-)

KimP

At this point in my life, I simply don't balance it all.

I'm adjusting to a new pregnancy and the challenges of fatigue and morning sickness, balanced with caring for my sweet toddler. So the house is messier and the meals are less elaborate. I've only had a tiny bit of time to sew baby gifts that needed to be done for a baby shower last weekend. In short, I'm only taking care of what must be done. But my child is happy and still gets read to all the time, since that's a quiet activity that my volatile stomach can handle. My husband helps much more than he should, for someone who works hard all day long. And I give grace to myself, knowing that this is just a short season. It's hard, because I do believe in homemaking with excellence, but I must rest and care for my unborn child as well.

Trust that you're making a wise choice in not pressuring yourself to blog frequently. You're doing what's more important. And if your house is a bit messy sometimes but you have a happy husband and happy kids, then you're valuing people over things, and that's wonderful.

Tammy, I love your blog!!!! You give me such inspiration in so many areas of life, God bless you and your lovely family!

I found this blog while looking for bread-baking tips, and I have been here for two hours now. I have found so much inspiration. I know I have only skimmed the surface of the many recipes that are so in line with how I cook and how I desire to cook, so I will certainly be back for more. Now I must be sensible and get a few more hours of sleep before my little ones wake. Thank you, Tammy and Joshua, for all the work and dedication you have put into this blog!! :)

I work PT as well...with two little boys who are 4 and 3 years old. Some have said, "You have the best of both worlds." No - that doesn't exist - I have some of both worlds, and I try to make it the "some" that works best for our family. It is hard - but you are doing great!

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