I will be the first to admit that I severely underestimated the amount of time my baby was going to take up in my life. I also was very much unprepared for how to get back “into the groove” of things. My schedule was all figured out before I had a baby, and when my husband went away to do his own thing, that left me with more time to film and blog. Now if he goes out, I focus on my baby and therefore have less/zero time to make videos. Sometimes I can create a blog post, when it’s late at night and baby is asleep or when I’m free at work, but it’s rare that I can film any more. Here are some challenges I have faced as a new mom trying to create bookish content, and solutions I’ve discovered to those challenges.
Time management. I used to have a set schedule of reading, posting, watching booktube, filming, and editing. I would film on the weekends in bulk, and then edit on weeknights wen I came home, usually posting a video immediately after I finished editing it. I would stay up into the wee hours of the night reading or would read while I ate, etc. And I would post and reblog ALL THE TIME. Now when I have a free 20-30 minutes I’m cleaning, pumping, or sleeping. My weekends are filled with small projects and errands or seeing people I have neglected as I transition into being a new mom and going back to work. My weeknights are spent with my baby because I miss her so damn much while I’m at work. I have seriously had to change how and when I do everything in my life. And that’s not a bad thing! I totally signed up for this and I wouldn’t change a thing. But I have changed my schedule so that I read and watch booktube when I’m home from work on weekday nights, since those are things I can do and still pay attention to baby! Then one weekend day I will film at least 3 videos in a row while my husband is free to watch her, and then I’ll watch her while he goes hiking or does his own projects. I then edit while I pump throughout the week at random times in those half an hour sessions. It’s seemed to work so far! I’ll probably eventually film while I have her in a carrier on me or something, then everyone can see her cute face! I still write my blog posts when I have some down time at work (it’s what I’m doing as I write this!).
Not feeling guilty. Mostly I mean feeling guilty about doing something for myself every once in a while. I need to keep telling myself that I not a bad mom for making videos, letting alone for simply wanting to film. But it’s not just my baby I feel bad for, but also I feel guilty that it means my husband has to look after her while I do it, which consequently means time away from stuff he wants to do. I’m still a person… with interests… of course it makes sense I would want to do things for myself every once in a while, And it will likely make me a better mom because doing something for myself is good for my mental health. I won’t drive myself crazy doing things only with/for baby.
Asking for help. I am lucky in that I have a good and extensive support group to help me with my daughter and even my selfish self. So if I really need it, I can turn to grandparents, great-grandparents, and my closest friends for support. Sometimes I ask them to watch Tilly just so I can sweep & mop my floors, and they totally understand that. Other times I just need some “me time,” and again they are happy to help. Also, I of course have my husband too, who wants me to be happy and thriving as much as our daughter is. My advice is to find help and ask for it when you can. There’s no shame in doing it, it’s not selfish, and you aren’t doing anything wrong by not being able to do everything by yourself. If you need to to something for yourself and can’t get someone to watch your baby, I would suggest going outside and going for a walk, because then at least you’re active while with baby, or going to your gym; many gyms now have daycare centers in house, so you can drop them off while you exercise or take a pilates class or whatever you need!
Opt outside. Most little onbes love being outside! Stick them in an exersaucer or walker, and read while outdoors! Or go for a walk and listen to an audiobook while you’re out!
Find fellow bookworm mamas. I seriously cannot stress this enough. In the first months of Tilly’s life, it seemed like nobody else was trying to juggle having a baby and creating bookish content. It took me a while to find and connect with other moms like me trying to maintain some semblance of a book-filled life. But they are out there! There are booktubers, bookstagrammers, and people on Twitter who have newborns, babies, and toddlers and are making it work! It’s a whole new world & mindset to try and create content when you have a child. And, in my opinion, only others doing the same thing will truly understand your frustrations and what you’re going through!