05 September 2014

A Fabulous Friday Feature: Natashia McLean

{Photography by Heather Bliss}

Natashia McLean from The Mumsy Blog:  Today, I am so excited to have this vivacious woman guest post here on XO, Ashton Tilton.  As I've talked about before, this blog is a place for women of all stages of life with all personalities to come and find common ground.  A place to share the joys and struggles of being a modern day woman and mother.  Natashia is a co-owner and co-writer for The Mumsy Blog.  Being a momma and being creative are her passions, and she rocks the socks off of both!  Her blog's middle name is creativity, and you'll never be in shortage of inspiration when visiting.  But how does she balance her family, blog, work (she is a fitness instructor), and all the responsibilities that come with each?  I asked her to share her thoughts on how to lead a balanced life as a blogger, how she manages her time, and why it's important to keep your eyes on what matters most.  Life can be a crazy roller-coaster of schedules and to-do lists, but sit back and enjoy this mumsy's perspective on how to juggle it all and still do what you love.  And don't forget to hop on over to her blog, The Mumsy Blog, for plenty of inspiration and fun ideas for you and your family!

Hey there!  My name is Natashia, and I am a crazy person.  I am a stay-at-home mommy of four kids.  I am also a blogger for The Mumsy Blog, a fitness instructor five days a week, and I am working on an art and design portfolio.  How do I do it and have time for it all?  Yup, I already told you the answer, I am a crazy person.

It is awesome to be posting here today.  One aspect of the creative community that I love is meeting and working with happy, beautiful people like Ashton.  And I was thrilled when she asked me to talk about balancing life as a blogger and mother because this is the topic that I feel really passionate about.  I know that time goes by fast and my kids will never be as little as they are today, but I also believe in personal improvement and accomplishing goals.  So I have to admit that as a mom and blogger, learning balance and maintaining sanity has truthfully been really hard.  And I am still figuring out how to juggle life, even today as I write this.  But thankfully I have had experiences in my life that have helped me get to where I am.

Let's start with my mom, yes, I blame my craziness on my mother.  She worked full time, went to college to receive her master's degree, cooked, cleaned, and ran our household while being very involved.  My mom, even though she had little sleep and no time, somehow managed to attend every recital, concert, and activity while I was young.  Impressive right?  She taught me to work hard and follow my dreams.  So I guess you could say that I come from a long line of crazy people.

Fast forward to when I had my first child.  I quit working to be the stay-at-home momma.  And I remember holding my first little baby in my arms and marveling at his perfection and magnificence.  My days were peaceful and simple.  Motherhood was different and sometimes challenging, but the days were sweet.  For the next five years I spent lots of time reading books, doing puzzles, going to play dates, and eating hot dogs.  Life was still busy and motherhood was definitely hard, but I look back and those moments are some of the best in my life.  Most days were simple and the joy I received from teaching and watching my children grow helped me love motherhood.

Life is well, crazy for me now.  I started teaching fitness a couple years ago, and in the last year helped launch The Mumsy Blog.  It has been a beautiful adventure to help run and manage a blog.  I have learned so much, and it has really been awesome to grow personally.  I also felt like this year I should focus on my talents, which includes illustration and design.  As I have gotten more involved with the creative world it has been exciting to see all the opportunities ahead of me.  It has also felt really fulfilling to focus on me more, and I feel like personal development is important for everyone.

I decided that when we started The Mumsy Blog, I would never want to miss a moment with my children.  When I look into their big, bright eyes, see their goofy smiles, and hug their little bodies it is pretty much the best feeling in the world.  But, I have found it is really easy to get lost in work.  There is always someone on Instagram to follow, some blog post to write, some company to email.  So the only answer I would have for anyone wondering how I do it, besides being crazy, is I make time for my kids and then prioritize the rest.  It's all about the big picture.  My grandparents have a sign hanging in their home that says, "A hundred years from now, it will not matter what your bank account balance was, the sort of house you lived in, or the kind of car you drove, but the world may be different because you were important in the life of a child."  This is my mantra.

So how do I love my kids and progress my talents?  Some days when I am up late writing or up early writing, I really feel like a crazy person.  In those moments I focus, I take a step back.  I think of my mother and all she did, and it brings me strength.  I write out what needs to get done and plan.  Organization is key for me to survive every day.  I also have to pick and choose my tasks.  Even though I am crazy, I still can't do everything.  And like I mentioned, I am still very much learning how to balance my life.  Life's always changing, so I've accepted that I probably won't ever know how to do everything perfect anyway.  I really don't know all the answers to keeping a balance between motherhood and blogger life.  But, I try my best, I work hard.  And I do the important things, which is keeping my children first.

❤, Natashia McLean


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