As a blogger you are challenged on so many levels. I started blogging just for fun, but more and more it took over my free time and I let that happen. It became quite important to me. I’d say it is a journey with ups and downs, but when things go well, that ‘yay’ or ‘you got this’ feeling is very motivating and superb. Once you got that feeling, you want it to happen again and again. But, like I said, there are definitely downs to this journey. Downs as in not reaching enough people, not getting the response you want, thinking you maybe are not good enough. That latter feeling truly sucks and it always takes me a while to get over it and cheer myself up. However, lately I’m more blogging because I like doing it, the statistics are becoming less important and that makes it even more enjoyable. But I do love engaging with my readers, those interactions are really amazing and it’s fun when people take time to share what they think!

As a blogger I think it is important that you somehow have a role model in the blogging world. Blogs you truly like and that you see as an inspiration. One of my favorite bloggers is Kate aka Stylesmaller. I discovered her blog via The Honest Company, she contributed to their blog in the past (blog.honest.com). What I love about her blog is her honesty. When you read her blogs, it is like you are with her and she is telling you everything in person. Pure honesty, she doesn’t make it more beautiful than it actually is and that is what I really admire. Her blog mainly focuses on her life as a mom. Since I will be a mom one day, it’s great to read Kate’s stories and adventures with her kids and family!

Kate found some time for a short interview about blogging and motherhood, which I’m super happy about!

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Kate (on the left) and her friend Amber

Tell me something about you Kate?
I’m Kate, wife to Brian, mama to three littles: Sophie (7), Maggie (4), and Jack (8months). We live in San Francisco. My values and worldview are faith based– we are Christians and do our best to live with the love of Jesus.

Why and when did you start blogging?
I love taking pictures and I love writing. It was a creative outlet started in 2012, and I love so many aspects of it.

Pictures play a big role in your blogs. What is the most important thing about a blog for you personally?
Beautiful photos and an authentic voice are what keep me reading a blog regularly.

In one of your blogs you wrote: ‘The people online who share their heart are too often criticized’. Have you been criticized and how did you handle it?’
I haven’t received much online criticism, thankfully, but accepting criticism is a part of real life. There is constructive criticism, and there is unnecessary criticism. Differentiating is the first step. When you’re given constructive criticism, evaluate for yourself how you can make improvements. We all can do better, and we have to be able to handle constructive criticism and improve on ourselves regularly.

Accepting criticism is a part of real life.

How do you grow a blog? Do you have any advice for ‘junior bloggers’? How important is social media in your life?
My tip is to decide for yourself what you want from your blog. Are you just writing for your own interests? Are you only seeking huge followings, or are you okay with smaller numbers of people who truly are interested in what you are writing? Are you looking to make this a business?

For me, I have realized that I do not mind small readership and small “numbers,” as long as I am feeling engagement with followers. I enjoy collaborations and perks, but I am not trying to make my blog a huge money-making venture at this point in my life. It would put too much pressure and imbalances on my true priorities in life (raising my kids). When they are all in school and I have more time to invest, perhaps I will change my objective and create more of a business of my blog, but for now what I have is perfectly adequate.

If numbers are what you want, hashtags and giveaways will be your sweet spot. I limit both greatly because again- numbers aren’t my end goal, but both DO create numbers. 

Jack, Sophie and Maggie ~ Credit photo: Kate

You have 3 beautiful kids. How has motherhood changed you?
Thank you. Motherhood forces me to be less selfish. My children’s needs come before my own because I want them to– I love them and want what is best for them. It also has made me so much more savvy in the kitchen, and has made me a healthier eater. I want the kids to be so nutritious, so I need to be the one setting that example– keeping sugar at a low and veggies & fruits at a high. 

What would your advice be to ‘mamas – to – be’? 

  • Don’t be lazy with discipline — correcting poor behavior before it becomes habitual will make everyone’s lives easier in the long run. 
  • Engage with your children at their level every day, but give them space to be creative on their own as well. 
  • Don’t be too hard on yourself — we’re all trying to do what’s best for our children, but they’re each so unique and they don’t come with a manual. Often the challenges are a phase and will pass. 
  • Don’t be too hard on others — other moms may do things differently than you, but it’s important to support one another rather than
  • Schedule dates!! Having time with your spouse sans children is so essential to the well being of your home.
  • Take solo breaks to refuel. So much easier said than done, but the alone time does wonders for my morale, and gives me much-needed boost to enjoy my children more.

 

Take solo breaks to refuel.

 

Would you do things differently in your life?
I’m pretty pleased with where we are now. I could use more breaks, but so can most people. 😉

If you are curious to read more blogs written by Kate, go to stylesmaller.com. I promise you, you won’t regret it. If you don’t know where to start, read this one. You’ll know what I mean with pure honesty. And now that you’re at it, do give her a follow on instagram,  facebook, and twitter ;). Thank you Kate for this inspiring interview. I’m totally looking forward to more blogs!  <3
If you want to know more about Kate, check out this fun interview with Kate, as Tea Ambassador!

All photos belong to Kate!

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