Thursday 1 March 2012

How Do You Do It Series- Part 2

Welcome back to my series called, 'How Do You Do It', where I interview women who blog and are mothers on how they manage it all. Last week, the lovely Carol, from Design Pages shared her day and some tips with us. You can read that post here.

And today, I have another fabulous blogger the wonderful Barbara from, Hodge Podge

Barbara is an incredibly talented lady, who has been working hard at making her house a home. She has been painting, sewing and giving old furniture pieces a new life. She has been featured on many different sites, such as Apartment Therapy, Style at Home, Babble, House of Fifty, Ikea Hackers to name a few. Barbara lives in British Columbia with her husband, three children and their gorgeous brown lab. 

-What does an average day look like for you?

My days are far from average! Each day differs, depends on if I work that day or not. With three teenagers, life is busy! I am usually up at 6:30, make lunches and breakfast. Once they head off to school I take our dog for a walk or run. Then I catch up on blogs and try to draft a post. The rest of the day consists of domestic duties; running errands, work on projects, etc. I also try to get a head start on dinner, as afterschool is what I call my “arsenic hours” because I am the family taxi driver!

-How do you manage/find the time to work and blog?

I work as a teacher-on-call so my work is flexible and I work when it suits our family’s schedule or if I want to buy a little something for the house, then I don’t feel so guilty because I earned it I fit blogging in on the edges, in the mornings when I don’t work or at night when the house is somewhat tidy and everyone is settling down for the night. Blogging is an enjoyable hobby but it comes second to everything else. I try not to put pressure on myself or compare myself to uber bloggers. I write when I have something to say or when I have time. If this blog ever starts to bring in an income or that is a road I feel like taking, then I might devote more time. For now it is for fun! 

-When do you find time to 'hang out' with your kids? 

I “hang out” with my kids in the morning at breakfast, and then after school. We try to coordinate schedules so we can all sit down for dinner as a family. That is a priority, with everyone’s lives going in different directions, I feel it is important to have family meal to reconnect and to talk!

-When do you do projects and write up the posts?

I work on projects and write up posts during the day when they are at school or in the late evening when everything for the day is done and I can sit on the sofa to relax.

-How do you and your husband reconnect? And when?

Funny, if you could just see us on the sofa at night!! We sit beside each other, he on his iPad reading Twitter feeds, blogs and online newspapers and I on my laptop reading blogs, catching up on emails, blogging, etc. But on weekend mornings if we don’t have anything going on in the morning, we like to walk to Starbucks with the dog and talk along the way. Another bonus to having teenagers is we can go out for the evening and not have to find a babysitter, so we enjoy the occasional evening out when we aren’t exhausted!

-Do you have special 'me' time and do you find it important?

Yes, I find it incredibly important because an unhappy Mom just doesn’t do the family any good. My “me” time is when the kids are at school, and I am not at work, I just do what I love to do – create, sew, DIY, write blog posts, go for a run with the dog, meet up with a friend. Even going to school and teaching in various classrooms is “me” time. It is something I feel I am a natural at, something I enjoy, being a teacher. It is an identity that I have, when I am in a classroom, I am not “so and so’s mom” but I am me.

After all those years of sleepless nights, changing diapers, running after toddlers, taking kids to school, etc., I am loving the stage we are in, more time for “me”. I love getting reacquainted with who I really am and what I really love, which I am thrilled that blogging has created that outlet for me.

-If you could change anything about your present set up, what would it be?

I wish I could be a bit more organized. I try but I am really scatterbrained {just ask my family}. If I don’t write it down, I will forget it. That goes with blogging as well, I need to write my ideas, emails, posts I need to write or I will forget about it! 

-What are your best time saving tips?

Be more organized with your time { I am a fine one to talk!}  Write things down, schedule, and keep a daybook and a family calendar. I have one of those “Mom” calendars on the fridge where I write everything down, each child has a different colour so I can tell at a glance what is going on with every day with each child.

One thing I find really helps for time saving is to pre-plan meals ahead of time, that way I am not scrambling to make dinner last minute, it really is important on those days I work or when my afternoon is filled with various activities.

What I really hope to make for the kitchen is a chalkboard where I can write down the week at a glance and the meal for the day, that way everyone knows what is going on. 

-What advice do you have for other mothers out there, who are raising children, working, blogging and looking for that balance that is hard to achieve.

Schedule your time. Use a daybook to write out blocks of time that you need for the different parts of you day. Keep a daybook for your blog as well; it helps organize your thoughts and ideas. Sometimes that balance is hard to achieve so be flexible as well.

Don’t sweat it. Go with the flow. The more you fight it, the harder it is. Those sleepless nights will not last – trust me – teenagers SLEEP! Enjoy your time with your little ones, because time really flies. Our oldest graduates this year and my husband and my minds are spinning from the realization that they are slowly leaving. 

Treat motherhood like a job, not a burden. I look back on all those years {I make it seem like I am really old, but we started our family in our early, early 20’s} and all the sacrifices I made are so worth it. Now I have children that are soaring to fabulous heights, all because I put their well being first. But that being said, I also made sure that I found time for me, because you can’t be a good parent or spouse if you aren’t happy with you. The wonderful thing about my husband is we both have found our own interests and have encouraged each other along the way, so that we don’t get lost in parenthood and marriage but have strong sense of whom we are.

Thank you so much Barbara for participating in my series! You have some great advice and it seems that you have found what works for you. You are an inspiration to us! 



  1. Great that girl...woman!

  2. Thanks Colleen :) And thanks Beatrice for having me! I will link up tomorrow :)

    1. Thank you for accepting to the interview! Love your tips and advice!

  3. I love this! Barb is so honest and so insanely sweet. Her and I met through blogging and she has become a great friend. All great advice from a woman who really does have it all together. Great interview Beatrice!

  4. Yay! Great interview Beatrice! Nice to see Barb on the other end of the questions! ;)

    1. Thanks Meesh, you are always such a great friend :)

  5. What a fabulous interview Beatrice and thank you Barbara for being so open and honest, great advice too!

  6. I like what Barbara said about all the sacrifices being worth it. Time definitely does fly. Great interview Beatrice, and I love your answers Barb! :)

  7. Love this interview, Beatrice. And Barbara, you've got it all in the right order. Love your outlook!

  8. Great interview! I found your blog through the blog hop.

  9. I've been reading Barbara's blog for a while now, and she always amazes me with her awesome DIY projects. It's great that she's able to fit both family time and project time into her busy life. I wish I was so organized!

  10. Awesome interview! I just love Barb :)

  11. She is incredible. So glad she had the time to participate.


Thank you so much for your comments! You've made my day!


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