Why and How I Make Time to Blog With 3 Kids 3 and Under

Michelle’s quick note: Today, I have a great blog post from Dan on how he finds the time to blog with 3 children 3 and under. Dan Palmer aims to take a wholistic approach to personal finance by blogging about everything from the underlying ‘why’ of personal finance, the every-day nitty-gritty hacks of frugal living,…

Michelle Schroeder-Gardner

Last Updated: March 17, 2022

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Michelle’s quick note: Today, I have a great blog post from Dan on how he finds the time to blog with 3 children 3 and under. Dan Palmer aims to take a wholistic approach to personal finance by blogging about everything from the underlying ‘why’ of personal finance, the every-day nitty-gritty hacks of frugal living, and the ‘how’ of investing and growing your wealth. Find out more at penniesanddollars.com. Below is his blog post.

Anyone who has taken a serious stab at blogging knows that blogging takes a lot of time. Or at least, blogging well takes a lot of time. You regularly have to find time to craft quality posts, maintain your site, promote your posts on social media, network with other bloggers, do research for your posts, respond to comments on your posts, and the list could go on. This is a significant load, especially for the typical blogger that blogs while still working a full time job. On top of that, I have three kids, three years old and under.Anyone who has taken a serious stab at blogging knows that blogging takes a lot of time. Or at least, blogging well takes a lot of time.

You regularly have to find time to craft quality posts, maintain your site, promote your posts on social media, network with other bloggers, do research for your posts, respond to comments on your posts, and the list could go on.

This is a significant load, especially for the typical blogger that blogs while still working a full time job. On top of that, I have three kids, three years old and under.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not looking for sympathy. No one is forcing me to blog. I had a good idea of what I was getting into. And I love the time I spend with my three kids.

But you might still think I’m crazy.

And perhaps I am. Perhaps most bloggers are.

After all, for the first several months, if not years, you can easily put in a thousand hours with little or no financial compensation. You slave away for next to nothing. And yet, every blogger I know will tell you it’s well worth the effort. Otherwise they wouldn’t be doing it.

I’m no different.

If I didn’t think it was worth the time and effort, I would have stopped a long time ago.

Related: 

Why I Find Time to Blog

I keep blogging for a number of reasons. I blog about personal finance because I am convinced that by adding my voice, opinion, and experiences to the conversation, I am adding value to the personal finance conversation. I hope my insight will help inform, motivate, and inspire readers to make improvements or hold the course on their personal finances.

I also blog for personal reasons.

I continue to blog because it forces me to exercise my writing. The public nature of the blog keeps me accountable and consistent. I know that there is a possibility people will notice if I stop writing. This keeps me going. Seeing the development I’ve made in my writing also keeps me going. By no means am I a perfect writer. But looking back on my past writing, I see noticeable improvement. I’m outright horrified when I read my first posts. Seeing this progress is encouraging.

Although I blog for others to read, I find my own personal finance benefiting and being challenged as well. As I research for my posts, I learn things I didn’t know before, or am reminded of things that I had forgotten. And when I encourage people to take action on an area of their finances, I rightly feel obligated to ensure that I am also taking similar action. For example, when I’m tempted to finance a new car, I remember how many times I have cautioned readers not to do so, and am snapped back to reality. Or when I think about spending a raise on a new subscription, I remember the post I wrote about lifestyle inflation.

If those reasons are not enough, I also blog for the potential income. True, blogging is no get-rich-quick scheme. But don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t make a living on blogging. Michelle has more than proved that wrong on this blog, and there are many other bloggers who are making a healthy living off their blogs alone. Can anyone turn a blog into a full time job? I think so. Will everyone succeed? Probably not. But on the days when I don’t feel quite as motivated to keep blogging, and the first two reasons don’t quite cut it, the thought of potentially being able to blog full time down the road keeps me going.

Although I’m sure full-time blogging is not all sunshine and roses, and am well aware that it takes even more work than the part-time blogging I’m currently doing, I hope full-time blogging will give me freedom and flexibility to work the way I want to work. I hope full-time blogging will give me more time with the family. And I hope that growing my blog will help me reach financial independence faster.

Related: The Ultimate Guide To Making Money Blogging – How I Earn Over $50,000 A Month Online

How I Find Time to Blog

So my reasons for blogging may be compelling enough. But I still have 3 young kids and a job outside the home. My wife works works outside the home as well.

We don’t send our kids to daycare, so we juggle the multiple work schedules to make sure someone is always at home with the kids. If you have or have had young kids, you know that writing while they are awake is impossible. Those work-from-home ads showing a mom at the computer, talking on the phone, with a baby on her lap are not real life. Or maybe the baby has been sedated (something I would not endorse).

So how do I find the time to blog with young kids and multiple work schedules?

Writing posts is by far the most time intensive part of blogging. At least for me, it requires blocks of time where I’m undisturbed. I’ve found my most productive time is at 4:00 AM before anyone else is awake. Three days of the week, I have to be at work early, so I’m getting up at 4:00 anyway. Obviously, I don’t get any writing done on these mornings. But on the other four days of the week I still get up early and sit down and write until the kids wake up or until I have to go to work later in the morning. I’m able to get most, if not all of my actual post writing done during these times.

The rest of my blogging, although still time intensive, does not require long intervals of undivided attention, so I can squeeze this into little chunks of free time the rest of the week. Often this is the short time between my kids going to sleep for the night and me going to sleep for the night. Or it might be when my youngest is napping, and the other two are playing together. I might be able to spend two minutes scheduling posts on hootsuite, or five minutes commenting on blogs. And often I have to stop in the middle of what I’m doing because somebody fell off a chair, took a toy from their sister, or something else.

Related: How To Quit Your Job And Become A Full-Time Blogger

Is It Worth It?

So is it easy squeezing out the time to run a blog when I have a young family? Definitely not. There are many times that I’d rather keep sleeping when my 4:00 AM alarm goes off. But I remind myself that I need to get a post done by my self-appointed due dates, and can’t afford to sleep. Even on vacation, I continued to get up at the same time to churn out my posts. Sure, it meant that by the end of the day, I was more than ready for bed, but neither my readers or Google go on vacation with me, so the posts must still be written.

And trying to squeeze all the other blogging into my remaining free time sometimes means that I’m not quite as present with my wife and kids as I should be or want to be. It means that I haven’t read a book or watched a movie for leisure for ages. There’s always something more to be done on the blog, so that’s where I spend any free time I have.

I’m sure many of you are thinking that what I’m doing isn’t worth it. I’m trading my life for this stupid blog. What if it doesn’t end up going anywhere? Wouldn’t that all be a waste? And even if it does take off, is it really worth all the time I’ve put in?

Of course, everyone would answer this differently. It really comes down to your personal priorities. I’ve already talked about a lot of the reasons I blog. And giving up my leisure time doesn’t bother me, because I genuinely enjoy writing. One way or another, I still do find time to spend with my family. I just have to be very intentional sometimes about not picking up my phone and checking my blog email or comments section or reading other blogs. And sometimes I still do.

It definitely helps a lot that my wife is very supportive of this ‘hobby.’ She doesn’t begrudge me for the time I spend on it. In fact, she has carved out her own role in the blog by proofing my posts and helping with social media.

So am I making sacrifices? Yes. Is it hard? Yup. Is it worth it?

Absolutely.

But the bottom line is that whatever you set out to do in life is going to run into conflicts with other things in your life. Different projects and people and activities will always be vying for your time and attention. Whether you’re blogging, starting a business, hustling for a big promotion at work, or taking on any other activity, you’ll find yourself having to make sacrifices and determine your priorities.

You may well decide that whatever activity you set out to do isn’t worth it after all, and that’s fine. It’s your life and your decisions. But whatever you do decide to do, do it well. Make the sacrifices necessary and don’t make excuses.

How do you find time in your busy schedule?

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Michelle Schroeder-Gardner

Author: Michelle Schroeder-Gardner

Hey! I’m Michelle Schroeder-Gardner and I am the founder of Making Sense of Cents. I’m passionate about all things personal finance, side hustles, making extra money, and online businesses. I have been featured in major publications such as Forbes, CNBC, Time, and Business Insider. Learn more here.

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  1. Blogging definitely takes a lot of time. I started my blog about two months ago and have spent so much time on this project.

    I work an 8-5 job and spend about 30 hours on my blog each week. I constantly think about blogging. I recently wrote a post about how blogging has affected my marriage. It’s not all sunshine all the time.

    Keep up the great work!

    1. Props! I’ve never tallied all the time I spend, but it’s definitely up there! And you’re right- not all sunshine, but a choice we make.

  2. My husband and I both work full time and we have a 2 year old son. Blogging is certainly time consuming but I agree that if you plan ahead and be as intentional about time with the blog vs time with family, you can find a balance.

    1. You’re right- time management is so important!

  3. I really appreciates this message this morning Dan! I’ve had so many things come up recently competing for my time and energy that I’ve had to really stop and ask myself whether I should continue to blog. Ultimately, I realized that giving up something I love doing is not the answer, but reprioritizing other things to make more time for the things I do.

    1. You’re right, sometimes our plates just get too full and we need to re-evaluate priorities.

  4. Those pictures with the parents sitting at their laptop while holding their baby is unreal. I have 2 young kids, married, and both my husband and I work outside the home. Blogging gives me an identity outside of being mom and wife. Plus it’s fun πŸ™‚

    1. I’ve thought the same thing Nicole- definitely staged. But yes, blogging has tons of upsides if you can only find the time to do it :).

  5. 4am Dan!?! I didn’t even know there was a 4am! /s

    That’s awesome that you’re able to keep that discipline every day. Can I ask how much you sleep? I’d love to get up at 4am but then I’d be going to bed at 8pm. I’m getting into the habit of 6:30am mornings and getting to work around 7:15am. I’m hoping to move this to 6:15am or 6am in the near future. Baby steps.

    1. I aim to be in bed by 9, but sometimes it morphs into 930. It definitely takes an adjustment to function on 6-7 hours of sleep (or less when one of the kids wakes up in the night), but it’s doable. And yes, arguably 6-7 hours isn’t as healthy as 8- another life choice I suppose!

  6. Dan, I feel like I wrote this post myself. However, I don’t have 3 kids. Just my 19-month-old son for now. I’m part of the 4 am club myself. Up for work every day between 4:00 and 4:30. I usually get about 5 hours of sleep during the week nights! Fun times. On weekends or off days (I am fortunate to have every other Friday off), I’m up early around 5 am to get at it.

    My wife is also very supportive. She’s even redoing a bedroom in our home for me for Father’s Day for me to use as an office. I get a once per month “blog-a-thon” night (started last month) for 3 to 4 hours to catch up on things. And on those Fridays off, I try to work for 4 to 5 hours those mornings.

    Being “present” means I’m simply existing some days and like you I sneak away to look at the phone. Definitely guilty of that. But, I put my son to bed, play with him outside, do family activities, and try my best to stay engaged.

    To everyone like Dan, those who read this, those who comment … don’t be hard on yourselves. You’re doing this for yourself, sure. But, you’re also doing it for a better like for your family. I pray all of us reach FIRE one day!

    Keep grinding!

    1. You’re right, Dave- having a supportive family is crucial!

  7. Sveny

    So I agree with you, but I even think that you told the main reason in this article. We all can have the time to do something that we want. What we need is how to start because each one of us needs another way to start.

    I wake up at 4:45 AM every day and to write on the morning can be sometimes a very good relaxation exercise. For me, it is so.

    1. Right on- writing can definitely be relaxing!

  8. Mrs. BITA

    4 a.m. every day! You are a better, stronger person than I.

    Blogging is hard work though, you are right about that. I’m glad I got started and hooked onto it before I quite realized how much work it was going to be. If someone had laid out the hours before I had written a word or registered my domain name, I might have never started typing. There are days when the words just flow. There are also days when every sentence sounds wrong, and it would be easier to sweat blood than to actually puts coherent words on paper. When you do finally manage to get out that perfect post, and your readers love it and aren’t shy about saying so – it is all worth it. That is such a high, and I am such an addict.

    1. Yup! I think a lot of people would be scared off if they knew the time commitment that blogging took. But it’s worth it!

  9. “Those work-from-home ads showing a mom at the computer, talking on the phone, with a baby on her lap are not real life. Or maybe the baby has been sedated (something I would not endorse).”

    No kidding. I mean that’s only really possible if you have 1 kid and they are a newborn – which is all of 3 months.

    I hear a lot of bloggers say they sacrifice sleep. I have but I struggle with doing that on a regular basis. I’ve always been the sort that needed 8-9 hours per night. I suppose some are OK on 6 or 7 hours but that’s never been me. If anything, I tend to stay up later. I’m not an early morning person at all.

    1. Yup, you definitely have to find what works for you. I’ve written some posts in the evening, but the words definitely don’t flow like they do before the crack of dawn!

  10. You’re right- passion is a powerful engine!

  11. You have a strong will! I’m not good with mornings, but I do stay up later and get my writing done. It definitely is a challenge to work with kids, and I wasn’t even thinking about blogs until my kids started school. Im inspired by you, and wish you success!

  12. Nayeli

    Excellent post Dan!

    I really admire your time management skills, I don’t have kids but I work full time and go to school full time (pursuing my MBA right now πŸ™‚ ) so like many others making time remains a challenge. You are absolutely right, everything we set out to do will require sacrifice, but if it’s something we really want, then it’s well worth it.

    Wishing you the best!

  13. Nicole @ greatestworth.com

    Dan,

    Thanks for your honest account of your commitment to living a different life. I’m new to blogging and I’ve been getting up at 5am, (Not 4am – that just feels TOO early πŸ˜‰ 5 days a week in order to find some space to create that doesn’t cut into my family’s time.

    I’ve learned so much from my journey of creating a blog.
    1. You have to be intentional in order to create. I haven’t watched TV in months and my lunch break of my day job includes spending time working on the blog.
    2. I have had to break through my own doubts and fear in order to hit that publish button!
    3. I’ve also learned that if I want to create a different path for myself (and my family) from that traditional American Dream – I need to make choices that are different than everyone else. I can’t follow the status quo and expect different results. I feel like Michelle demonstrates this vividly on her site.

    Thanks again for sharing the reality of blogging with children. Thanks!
    Nicole

  14. This was very encouraging for me. I am 4 months into blogging and I am wrestling with finding time to blog. I have 2 kids (2 and 1 month old). I am actually typing this comment with the 1 month old taking a nap in my arms, lol! I live in NYC so I try to take advantage of my subway commute. Evernote is awesome for this. I write most of my posts on my phone and then transfer it over to my laptop.

    Again, thanks for this post. Perfect timing for me.

  15. I hear you, Dan! Our kids are older now, but we homeschool so they are still here all day. My most productive time starts at 4 a.m. as well. We had our first, and then the next three within three years. It’s so incredibly busy, especially in those first five years, but don’t worry: once they’re out of diapers it will mellow out a bit. πŸ™‚

  16. Erin

    My daughter told me to read this blog. She knows I need a sense of community. I have just got my website and domain name. I have not even written a blog yet. I have to say I am overwhelmed by all the info out there. I am 60 years old and a play therapist. I feel like I have something to give to help parents and children connect. I also need to make so money. I appreciated everyone giving their advice on how to keep going. I just now need to start moving.

  17. Matias Alexander

    It all comes down to time management. If you can manage your time well you can do anything! Nice post!

  18. Hi Dan,

    I am another early riser. I wake up at 4:00 am, sometimes even 3:00 am. While I don’t work a typical job, I do freelance for clients.

    I make it a point to always work on my own blog before I touch any freelancing work. After all, my goal is to walk away from freelancing and stop trading hours for money.

    Like you, I know that people who know that I blog probably think I am crazy to spend so much time on something that isn’t really bearing any income yet.

    However, I truly believe that it’s worth it. Besides, I plan on growing this to be my retirement plan, so I have plenty of time to get it successful. I just hope it doesn’t take that long to see income from my blog πŸ™‚

    Thanks for sharing your story and I have no doubt that you will see success with your blog.

    Have a great day πŸ™‚

    Susan

  19. What an inspiration! I just started blogging and have 2 kids under 3 and find it hard. The fact that you don’t have anyone else helping with childcare (neither do I) and are blogging successfully gives me hope.

  20. Claire

    This was a great article that I stumbled across whilst I am lying in bed, sick with the flu from over worked exhaustion in my day job. I have been toying with the idea of a blog for a few months now after being inspired by others and some seminars I have attended. Congratulations on following your passion and putting yourself out there. I hope that you succeed in achieving all of your goals and dreams!

  21. This is so me right now! I have a 3-year-old and a 4-month-old and sometimes it seems so chaotic, but I know in the long run it is so worth it to work on my blog! I’m the opposite of Dan and I do my best work at night and in the first few years of my blog I would work from 10:30 to 2:30 every night on it – but now that my hubby helps me with the blog he gets up at 5:00 to work on it! You’ve just got to figure out a system that works for you and stick to it! Great job Dan!

  22. The financial tech

    I wish I could get up at 4h am or do my blog at night …. My 3 years old doesn’t sleep all night and still wake up at random hours and the 4 months old, it’s a 4 months old so finding time is rought bit when I can it’s fun to blog.

  23. Yup! I think a lot of people would be scared off if they knew the time commitment that blogging took. But it’s worth it!