La Tela di Carlotta
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How to be a working mum and run a blog

Dec 31, 2015

Spoiler: This post, like many other, was written partly during Oliver’s day naps, partly at night, partly in the evening while Alex was playing with Oliver. It took three or four days to publish.

The other day, at one of the many mums’ reunions I go to, I overheard a girl, first-time mum like me, saying she’d really want to start a blog, but I just don’t have the time. It made me smile: not having the time to do something you really want to do is something I don’t believe in. I believe in making the time for what’s important to you.

When I started this blog, I was working 9am-8pm Monday to Friday. I didn’t have the time. Now I’m a part-time working mum, who doesn’t have family around and doesn’t send her little one to nursery yet. I don’t have the time.

I make the time. I prioritise.

When at the end of the day I tell Alex I didn’t have time to blog, it’s most likely a lie: maybe I went out with my friends, maybe I cleaned the house, maybe I didn’t feel like it, maybe I just preferred watching the last episode of Grey’s Anatomy (yep!), maybe I was just too lazy to make time.

You see, time escapes from those who are too lazy to make it. Even more so if what you want to do is not really a priority.

Blogging is one of my priorities.

I converted it into an unpaid job. So it’s not only about wanting to blog, it’s about having to: I made a commitment to myself and to my readers, and I created a routine which I try to stick to as much as possible. Often I have to sacrifice other things. I remember countless times when I didn’t leave the house, see friends, have lunch out, sleep an hour longer in the morning… because I had to blog.

Blogging as a mum is a different story

I’ll give you this though: blogging as a mum is just a new level of difficult. And I see how one would use the “not having time” card/excuse. I can’t remember the last time I could write, translate and publish a full blog post in one day, let alone in one go.

But these past nine months of blogging as a mum have taught me a few things that made my (and my son’s) life better, and allowed me to actually being productive and publish on a regular basis.

  • Choose your time carefully. It's useless to try and squeeze a few sentences in the time that your baby takes to crawl from the carpet to your chair, sit him back on the carpet and repeat (scroll up to see a picture of this ;-). It'll just frustrate you. If you know that you can't sit uninterruptedly for at least 20 minutes, pick another time.
  • Done is better than perfect. Since I have little time for myself and share the rest with a demanding baby, I threw my perfectionism out of the window and went for the "good enough". It's amazing how much more I get done. PS. Good enough doesn't mean sloppy.
  • Have a plan. My sister always laughs at me having plans, because plans just work when you have kids. But in this case, sitting at the computer with a very, very clear idea of what you have/want to do and in what order, is a winning strategy and makes you so much more productive.
  • Use the husband. Husbands are amazing tools that can give you the gift of time. Use them. Right now, Alex is playing with Oliver right here next to me.
  • Prioritise. This is universally true for any life project. Alex just told me, "Take half an hour for yourself". I could have done my nails, rested, read my Facebook, watched TV, slept (which we're not doing at night), replied to whatsapps, called somebody. Instead, I'm blogging. It's all about priorities.
  • Use social media wisely. Social media are super important to grow a blog, but they can also be unhealthily distractive: lately, I've been making a conscious effort to use them mostly for blogging, without letting them drag me into their addictive spiral of useless information.
  • Turn off all notifications. When I sit at my computer to blog, I won't take your calls or reply to your messages. Don't get offended. You'll hear from me when I get out of my bubble.
  • It's ok to give priority to real priorities. Sometimes I don't meet my own deadlines: I say I'll publish something on Monday and I'll publish it on Wednesday. Most of those times, it's not laziness or lack of time: it's because I spent that time with my people. They always come first and it's just how it has to be.

Blogger mums out there, what helped you? What are your secrets? Sharing is caring!

Tell me what you think

Did you like it? Do you agree or disagree? I'd love to hear from you.

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The blog

I write mainly about Montessori, parenthood, and multilingualism. Here are some recent posts.

Mums, dads & kids
We don't know how to be parents, we learn it everyday as we go. This is my way of motherhood, the small victories and the bitter defeats, my inconvenient truths and the endless life lessons. And also all the baby products and toys we love the most.
How to leave the playground without power struggles
This is life
Audiobooks of real-life stories for kids
Let's not project our insecurities onto our kids
Question authorities
Parents need to be constructively selfish
One more step towards self-acceptance
When you think your marriage is over after kids.
Alex
We forgot our 10-year wedding anniversary!
Montessori
One day a few years ago my husband came home and said, "Why don't we put a mattress on the floor in the baby room? It'd be much more natural". "Never" was my reply. That's how our Montessori journey started. Since then we've been living, breathing and applying the philosophy at home day in and day out, starting from ourselves. Because educating children starts from the parents.
Montessori express: change the sentences into positive
Montessori express: everything is NOT fine
My baby cries desperately in the car (15 months)
Take care of the mother behind the woman
Montessori express: ask instead of correcting
Montessori express: describe instead of criticising
An example of how I practice empathy with my kids
How I show empathy to my children
Happy 4th birthday, Emily
Montessori New Year's tradition
Living sustainably
Living sustainably for me doesn’t only mean to have a more eco-friendly lifestyle. It means to make decisions that are sustainable for our planet, the people on it, but also for our life, our lifestyle, and our happiness. It means to take any daily chance to evolve and be happier, healthier, kinder, more responsible and more caring human beings—the only sustainable way for a meaningful future.
Face yoga is an act of self love
Why you should wear the same outfit twice on Instagram
The power of creating habits (and why you should do it, even if you then break them!)
Responsible eating is the diet of the future (Would you like to teach it to your kids?)
The power of NOT complaining: can you do it for a whole month?
Clean up your planet, please!
Infographic: 8 steps to switch to cloth nappies (a guide for reluctant parents)
A personal note on happiness
A personal note on social media
A change of life always widens your horizons
New to La Tela?
I’ve prepared collections on various topics that I’ve written over the years. Perhaps you’ll find one that interests you.

Travel

We sold everything to travel the world for two years. We're currently in New Zealand.

Books

In 2020 I wrote 4 books for the Italian collection “Gioca and Impara con il metodo Montessori” curated by Grazia Honegger Fresco. The collection is a project by Il Corriere della Sera and La Gazzetta dello Sport.

We also implemented the workshops of the last 15 volumes of the collection with Oliver and Emily.

Instagram

I update Instagram almost every day to be "close" to my family far away.

Why La Tela di Carlotta?
I dreamed of the name La Tela di Carlotta. One morning I woke up and in my dreams I had created a blog named just like the American novel (Charlotte's Web). Many years and endless ups and downs later, this web of thoughts and stories is my work. It took me a long time to understand what kind of online presence I wanted and today I know: I'm transparent, I show real life, I don't advertise, I only recommend sustainable brands (and not only because they pay me) and I believe in the value of my blog and my courses—because if we don't believe in the value of our work, no one will believe in it for us.
Carlotta
Carlotta dreaming of La Tela
I know! I don't want it to be over yet either.