This Crystal Paine interview is broken up into several articles, due to the amount of wonderful information we gathered. Make sure to subscribe for free so you don’t miss the next articles in this series: Balancing Computer Time and Family Life.
One of Home Ever After’s core values as a company is to help people have it all through balancing their lives. We started the Mommy Tech department to focus on how technology can help make moms’ lives easier. In this series we’re exploring how to keep work life/computer life and personal life/family life in check.
Last November, I read an article from superstar blogger Crystal Paine of Money Saving Mom and Biblical Womanhood. It was one of those articles that sits in the back of your mind and rolls around, comes up in your dreams and pops back into your thoughts when you least expect it. The article was called Keeping Computer Time in Balance.
The very idea of setting limits with the computer was one that intrigued me, and as I read the blog post and re-read it, I realized that I had to interview Crystal Paine to find out more. It was absolutely necessary to pass this novel system on to other parents and bloggers immediately, as we all struggle to find balance between our work life and family life at times.
Crystal is a young wife and mom, but carries in her words the authority and experience of someone at least twice her age. Women of all ages and stations in life relate to her advice and encouragement, which is why her knowledge was something we just had to get. When I read Keeping Computer Time in Balance, I was very interested in the schedule Crystal had setup for times during which she uses the computer. Since this system can benefit a lot of other bloggers (especially moms), we asked her 4 questions and got answers far more detailed than we dreamed!
Why Did You Start Limiting Your Computer Time?
Home Ever After asked: In the article, you mention limiting your online times to when your children are sleeping and during afternoon quiet time, so that you can put caring for your kids during the day and spending time with your husband in the evenings as your main priorities. How has this worked for you so far?
Crystal Paine said: “A few years ago, I was doing at-home contract work for another company, in addition to blogging and running a business from home. I was often spending 60 hours a week working from home. My husband was in law school at the time, we were living in an unfamiliar town, we only had one car, and we only had one little one, so I had a lot more time to devote to online work. However, I still carried around a lot of guilt. When I wasn’t doing online work and was doing something for our family, I’d feel guilty because I knew I was letting business responsibilities pile up. When I was working on the computer, I would feel guilty that I wasn’t doing enough for our home and family.
“After months of carrying around this guilt, I finally realized this wasn’t worth it. And so, I quit working as an independent contractor for the company I was working for and concentrated my online time solely on my own business and blogging. This contract position paid well and was hard to give up but it was one of the best things I’ve ever done.
“Since then, I’ve slowly cut back more and more on my online responsibilities and sought to streamline things as best as possible–focusing on the areas I am most passionate about and what is the greatest return on my investment of time and effort. In the process, I’ve learned the true freedom that comes from saying “no” and setting some pretty rigid boundaries when it comes to online time and blogging commitments.
“It’s so easy for us mommy-bloggers or work-at-home moms to get so involved, over-committed, and caught up in business and blogging commitments that we lose sight of our more-important priorities as a wife and mom. By setting boundaries for my online time, it guarantees that almost 100% of the time, the majority of my day is spent being a wife and mom–not in front of the computer screen. And instead of feeling guilty and constantly pulled in many different directions, I can rest easy knowing that even if all the online things don’t get done, my day was not at all wasted since most of it was spent with my family.
The computer work can always wait until tomorrow (or next week, or maybe even next year!) but my children are only little once.”
In the next article, we’ll explore Crystal Paine’s tips for setting up a computer time schedule. Thank you to Crystal for granting us this amazing interview. For more Works for Me Wednesday, visit We are That Family. Laptop photo by Mulan5. Busy schedule photo by flik.