I can’t believe I’ve done it, but here I am – Lubzsays has finally completed 1 year of existence. This usually calls for a blog post talking about what I’ve learned in the past year. It is coming up in the post, but first I thought I’d write about how I do juggle it all – full time work, raising a child, home duties, blogging – you know, the works!
One of things I was totally into – besides art, drawing, and really wanting to be a cartoonist for Disney / Pixar – was makeup. I wanted to be a makeup artist. But that dream of being a makeup artist died along with the dream to be a cartoonist (no, I’m not bitter, it’s just the way of life *shrug*). I did take a sewing course, but after my little boy was born, I couldn’t fathom having to juggle him, and the sharp tools that come with sewing – the needles, the scissors; the possibilities of accidents occurring was endless – especially in a sleep deprived state. I have temporarily retired sewing for now; at least until he’s a little bit older and not trying to grab at everything.
So, let’s blog about it then…
I started Lubzsays as a way to document my way around the world of beauty. One of my main gripes was being able to find an affordable foundation to match my skintone. I hoped to work with beauty brands and try to get more products suitable for people with deeper skin tones here in Australia. The high end brands work well in shade matching, but let’s get real; not everyone can afford a $80 foundation and expensive makeup.
I did my research – the pros and cons of blogging, the time and expenditure involved. I knew the basics of Photoshop, so editing images was relatively simple; and what I didn’t know, I learned through the magic of YouTube. I engaged the help of my nerdy sister, who is in the IT field. She and her husband helped me navigate the world of hosting and domains – all the fun techy stuff of setting up a website.
Before you think blogging is easy, let me tell you it takes commitment. Depending on what you want to achieve with your blog, it involves (and is not limited to):
- Identifying what you want to blog about
- Researching topics
- Writing content
- Navigating the sales and first releases and buying products (not a budget friendly hobby I agree)
- Taking and Editing Photos
- Social Media – building and expanding your base
- Networking – not just with brands, but other bloggers and your audience
- Proof reading and publishing your posts
Work! Home! Health! Blogging!
As you can imagine, it is takes a lot of effort to juggle everything – I work a full time job at a senior level, home life includes being there for all the moments and all the firsts (and seconds and thirds) achievements that my son has made Even though Mr Lubz is there, he’s the partner and I can’t treat him like a house mate that I see on occasion when I walk in the door. Let’s not forget the exciting (never ending) tasks of laundry, cooking, dishes, cleaning, blah blah blah. Add blogging to the mix, and you’ve got yourself a partay! And health is important – so trying to get some form of exercise in between all this.
What does a typical week look like?
Five days a week (Monday-Friday), I have a set routine that I don’t really change much. It involves waking up early and hitting up the gym before heading to work. After work, my real job starts and that is taking care of all the needs of my little boy – dinner, bath time, play time, negotiating bed time, finally getting him to bed and then getting dinner ready. I sprinkle in some social media time during the day – peppered in between when I want to take a breather from the pressures of the day. Before I hit bed, I pay attention to my blog – jot down some notes on posts I want to feature or complete draft posts or edit photos.
On Saturday, I spend the time trying to take more photos during daylight hours while trying to stave off little fingers from ruining the set up. I reserve some time on Saturday for time with the family – be it a movie, trip outside, whatever it could be.
Sunday is the day I jam all the chores I can. I cook for the week, do laundry, dishes and try to set myself up for the week. Mr Lubz does his share of chores; while I’m cooking, he’s dusting and cleaning. He puts away the clothes while I power fold the clean laundry.
Now, before you think that my house looks like a picture from a Pinterest board, banish that thought immediately. It looks like any typical house with kids – toys everywhere, books everywhere, dishes in the sink, unfolded laundry on the sofa. What I do well is multitask (like reading from my son’s book while doing the dishes – well, actually, he’s had me read the book so many times, I’ve memorized all the words. So in reality, I’m reciting words while pretending to read from the book heh). I try to power through tasks – I set some time aside for what needs to be my focus and get as much done as I can. Be it photography or writing or dishes or cooking. But you know what, stuff still slips.
I sound cliche, but my life isn’t perfect. There are tears, there are arguments, there’s compromise. There have been times where I’ve been so tired from lack of sleep that I snooze in the car instead of hitting the gym; or I’ve gotten take out because I didn’t prepare dinner that night. Or when (for whatever reason), I can’t style my photos perfect enough or frame the caption or the post in an articulate manner.
There’s learning to let go of the small things and focus your efforts on what you find important at that time. That said, if you have neglected something for a long time, give it your due attention (even if it is in short bursts). There have definitely been times where I’ve had to put the blog aside because my little boy needed more attention – because he’s been sick or just needed a looooong cuddle from mom and no one else’s cuddle would do. I’ve even taken a couple of weeks off from publishing posts; but I still was drafting posts in the background.
What have I learned over the year?
- Focus on your priorities
- Schedule is key – have a plan
- Quality over quantity. I learned this the hard way.
- Have someone to bounce your ideas off, be your support system or even someone to vent to (this is where my friend Su from theinsectdiary came in super strong)
- Social Media algorithms can change overnight and that can affect your popularity and reach; being true to yourself works more so than not.
- Stop worrying about the numbers too much – follower count on social media is the number one reason a lot of people get frustrated (I find that I still need to remind myself of this on occasion)
- Your journey is different to another bloggers’ journey. Comparing yourself to other bloggers is a surefire way to get frustrated and dejected
- It’s easy to get swayed by all the freebies that other bloggers get. Believe me when I say I’ve been there. Everytime I open up Instagram, I’m bombarded with photo after photo of other bloggers featuring all the shiny new products that brands release. And I’ve felt more than a twinge of jealousy (maybe a little frustration) at not being included.
- Learn the nerdy tech stuff; it will help you in the long run
- Find your niche; figure out what makes you unique and develop that
Thank you everyone for sticking with me and here’s looking forward to this and coming years.