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Finding a New Rhythm as a Daddy Blogger

It’s been one month today since ProBlogger Junior came out of Beta and to say that life will never be the same again is something of an understatement.

One of the common questions I’m asked by friends, family and readers is ‘how has the work/family life balance been going?’ Another is ‘have you got any work done at all?’

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It’s a difficult question to ask and perhaps I need another month before I can fully answer it but here’s five observations a month into my first month of balancing being a Dad and being a full time Blogger.

1. Paternity Leave was a great idea – the idea of taking two weeks off from blogging is something I’d highly recommend. A lot of my friends took a couple of weeks off to stay at home with their wives and children when they had babies and I thought it was a nice idea. I know V appreciated it and I valued the time too in many ways.

2. New Rhythms – I guess much of the last month has been about adjusting to new rhythms and routines. This has ranged from new sleeping patterns to new working ones. Whereas I previously worked until 1am in the morning and got up at 8-9am I’m not finding that I’m working from 7am and going to bed at 11pm. We’re going to experiment with a few different ways of structuring our day but my old routine is definitely out the window.

3. Short Sharp Bursts of Blogging – I’ve noticed that instead of blogging for hours on end without a break that I’ve moved to a much more segmented blogging pattern and am working in shorter blocks. Perhaps this is partly due to a little sleep depravation (and a shorter attention span) or perhaps it’s because I like to be there when little X-man is awake. I suspect this will change a little as I get used to my new life.

4. Getting Out of the House – Once or twice I’ve packed up my laptop and taken off for a morning to my local cafe to write. It’s not that I want to leave V and X but it’s because I need to. Both V and I have found it invaluable to get out for a few hours alone every day or two – just to get some fresh air, have some coffee and to be by ourselves. I can see that this will become invaluable time both on a personal level but also for my blogging as it is in these times that I write my pillar articles for the week which I then advance post over the next few days.

5. New Priorities – A friend who recently became a Dad told me that the thing he noticed the most was how his priorities and goals as a person changed once he met his child. He found it difficult to go back to his number crunching job after a couple of weeks paternity leave because he felt that what he was doing at home was so much more valuable than what he was doing at work. His words were something like ‘At home I’m helping to shape a human’s life’. His previous career aspirations and workaholic tendencies took on a new shape through the filter of being a Dad. I’m still passionate about blogging but can relate to my friend as I’m noticing a shift in some of my thinking about my blogging. I don’t foresee any major changes as a result but wouldn’t be surprised if there were a few more adjustments ahead as I ponder what it’s all about.

I’m certain that there are more changes and adjustments ahead. The first month has been a wonderful ride so far and I’m amazed by the rate of change that I’m seeing in his little body and personality. I guess my attitude has been to attempt to take things as they come.

While I’m on the topic I’d like to thank readers for their patience over the last month. While I’ve kept up a reasonably high posting rate since coming back to blogging I’m aware things have been a little different to normal as a result of the above. Your understanding and support has been much appreciated – as have your emails, cards and even presents that have been arriving in the mail. I really value you as a community and look forward to continuing to share the journey with you in the months and years ahead.

About Darren Rowse

Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.

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Comments

  1. Gleb Reys says:

    Darren,

    It’s good too see how your child changes your focus and goals and your whole life! My daughter is almost 6 months old, and I’ve gone through exactly the kind of re-evaluation you and your friend are talking about. It did (and still does) feel like I’m much more needed at home than at work, but things do settle down after a short while.

    I’ve definitely changed my views and goals, but all in all it’s only for the better.

    All the best to you and your family!

  2. Kate Hudson says:

    Hi Darren, your baby is gorgeous!

    I’m a mother of three just starting out with my own blog. It is definitely difficult balancing a full time job, a family and a new project.

    I wish you and your family all the best. The sleepless nights don’t last too long, and it’s totally worth it. You sound like you’re enjoying it anyway.

    I look forward to posts about balancing blogging and family life :)

    Kate xx

  3. Kvetch says:

    I think it’s lovely that you stayed home with your family, and that you strive to strike a balance…but allow me to offer a bit of advice. A baby’s schedule changes like his or diapers! A one-month old is nothing like a two-month old and so on and so on and so on. My word to the wise is – be flexible and adaptable – because just when you think you’ve hit the nail on the head, you will undoubtedly smash your thumb. Good luck!

  4. dcypl says:

    Hey Darren,

    Xavier is cute! I’m writing this as my two girls (and wife) take their afternoon nap. I’d love to stay at home more, (I work a 40 hour week at the office), but that something to look forward to as a goal I guess.

    Thanks for setting up the series on things you’d do differently as well as the reader submission group project, it was a great community project!

    I’ve got a question for you, seeing you’re in Australia, like me, is there an optimum time to post (or schedule) your articles for, do you work on the fact that some news readers put the latest items first? Obviously North America is the biggest portion of your readership, do you consciously tailor things to the hours they keep?

  5. Darren Rowse says:

    dcypl – I don’t think heaps about timing of posts but do like to have one set to go off just after midnight my time for some reason. I guess it means the blog looks a little fresher (the new day’s date) and it also is a time when the US is getting up and Europe is already up. Not sure if it really has much impact but I do it most days (usually by advance posting).

  6. Isaak Kwok says:

    Hi Darren,

    Congrats on Xavier’s first month! It’s a big day for the baby in the Chinese culture and a big feast is prepared for family and friends. What do Aussies do for a baby’s first month celebration?

    I welcomed the arrival of my son about 11 months back. He has brought much joy in our lives. His arrival has resulted in a change of my life’s focus and goals as well. Things tend to revolve around him. But like you said, it’s important to have couple time as well as time on your own.

    And I’m working on becoming a problogger myself. But guess for the time being, I’m just happy to be working a full-time job and spending time with my son.

    All the best! And God bless.

  7. Duncan says:

    Kvetch
    it actually gets easier…at least sleep wise, mine slept through at 7 weeks and has ever since :-)

  8. Rebecca says:

    Congratulations. I have 2 daughters aged 2 & 4 and I’ve been a stay at home mother, doing my craftwork early mornings and late evenings. Since their birth my priorties changed to family first, which is still the case. I just launched a blog, as I know I’ll be gaining 2 half mornings a week from Sept as one starts school and the other starts playschool. I hope to be doing more craftwork again in that time, the progress of which I will cover on the blog … or not … I just posted about it a couple of days ago ‘Stay at home Mom = No craftwork in Progress’! The way for me to accept the balance is not to wish away the time until they both go to school and I work full time again, rather to cherish the short few years I have with them at home.

    I hope yours brings as much joy to your life, and you to your childs, as mine have, and I hope I have.

  9. Scott Howard says:

    congragulations!!!! I have just recently had to reevaluate the balancing of my time as well since I just got married. It is a good thing to do since as we go through life different things seem to become more important to us at different times.

  10. Mike says:

    I have a friend from Melbourne who works in his own business (not blogging) and he takes his daughter off to Chadstone with another home dad. I thought it would be a great sight to see 2 dads pushing babies around a shopping center, checking out the sports shops.

  11. pcunix says:

    Our children are all grown and into their thirties.

    I was working and traveling a lot as our first daughter grew up. I only began working at home when our youngest was nine and the oldest was sixteen – I missed a lot, and I regret it.

    I did get to spend more time with the youngest though, so at least we had that.

    I know the excuses: I really am working for the kids. I have to work this much. I have no choice.

    You always have choices. We lived in one of the most expensive communities in our state – “for the kids”, better schooling, “safe”, all that. We could have down graded that considerably, worked less, and had more time with them.

    The other choice we made was that my wife would not work while they were young and work part time as they got older. That was a good thing in that it gave her more time with them, but because of our other choices, it meant I had to be away even more.

    Anyway – just wanted to say this in hopes that someone will think about what they lose if they “work hard for the kids”.

  12. prlinkbiz says:

    Kids change everything! I think for the better. It’s like being awakened! (Except for when you are wishing you could just go back to sleep!)

    It’s just like learning to walk again- it really sounds like you are aware not only of yours and X’s needs, but V’s too! It’s going to be most difficult for her, just keep in mind- he whole life has just changed in way I think it is difficult for men to fully grasp!

    The internet has made a fabulous way for families to live the lives we want and not have to sacrifice as much in the way of time away. I literally built and sold an online business when my little guys were 9 mons and 2 years old! (Sorry for the mommy-rant! LOL)

  13. Linda Walsh says:

    Hello and Congradulations,
    You are one of us now! I am the mother of three sweeties – 4 years and under. We are beginner bloggers and started our family travel gear online store at http://FamilyTravelGear.com over a year ago. We discovered that if we simply put our kids first, everything else will fall into place. Our business is centered around our little guys and our pursuit to create happy lifetime memories with them. We love to travel with them, even short drives through town in our car. So we came up with a product line of educational games and activity kits to make the journey with our kids fun. We plan to homeschool so we try to make the most out of every minute in the day. That boring trip across town is now transformed into quality time. I am finding that I don’t suffer from guilt when I put my kids first…of course, my hubby has to come first too. I am still working on that one. Oh, and by the way, if you haven’t heard about the Fly Lady website at http://flylady.com, you need to check it out. It’s a website that helped me to manage my household chores during those rough first few months of raising my babies. Good luck, you will do great, follow your instincts and may the force be with you.

  14. Sylvanarrow says:

    Darren, maybe you could start a few web sites with evergreen content. I have sites I haven’t spent more than 5 hours a year working on after the initial time spent writing content for them and, years later, they still bring in 4 figures a month. Whereas with blogs, you feel you have to post every day, and that can get to be quite a chore when you’re running multiple blogs.

    I do run a couple of blogs, and they’re the only reason I actually work a bit every day. Otherwise I’d just spend a couple hours a month building links for my existing sites. I certainly don’t make as much as you, but there’s something to be said for a job where you only put in hour a day, especially when you’d like to spend more time with a family.

  15. pcunix says:

    Sylvanarrow makes a good point. Although I almost always add new content to my site daily, I could probably leave it alone for weeks or months and have it pay me just as well as it does now – only a few hundred people are “regular” visitors, and they are unimportant with regard to income (yes, I track it all).

    However, I enjoy the hour or so I spend on it, so I will keep doing it..

  16. It’s nice to see this exemplified rather than just talked about. It can be easy to get glued to just getting things done, but loved ones also play a vital role in helping with rejuvenation of our creative selves as well.

  17. Chris says:

    My daughter is 3.5 months. I started blogging just before she was born. I started out farily strong, then my post frequency went way down. My rhythm is just starting to get where I want it. Congrats.

  18. Kvetch says:

    Not to beat a dead horse here – but my kids are 14 and 11. The word easier doesn’t exactly cinch it.

  19. ~~Melissa says:

    I was just about to ask if you were going to show another photo of your little boy. He’s lovely. I hope you’ll give us monthly updates. :-)

  20. Doug says:

    So who wants to start a pool on the arrival of Darren’s first family or baby-oriented blog? :-)

  21. Children change everything…but are so worth the change. I have 3 little boys myself and I found I have to work around them and not vice versa.

    Congrats to you and V!
    ~Shannon

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  1. [...] Darren Rowse has joined the ranks of daddy bloggers. Expect in the near future for his informed posts about blogging to be replaced with monotonous slurring of the words "poop" and "sleep".  [...]

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