Emily Anderson is the woman behind the blog The Anderson Crew, where she blogs honestly about her life raising six children, reviews various products and shows off her photography skills. She agreed to share a bit about herself with Miss Millennia and gave some great advice (we all know moms give the best advice)!
M3: Could you tell us a little about yourself, hobbies, etc?
Emily Anderson: Well hi, I'm Emily! Wife, mother and anything else that I'm trying to be at the time. My husband and I have six kids under the age of ten. Life is loud and messy. Literally, I can't keep anything quiet or clean with six kids around. In my free time (ha!) I run a successful home-based business, try to homeschool my rowdy children, read anything and everything I can get my hands on, and spend time thinking about how I can NOT cook dinner that night. Seriously though, life is hard and busy and loud and stressful . . . but it's also fun. And we love Jesus so I feel like we have one good thing going for us.
How do you manage your time between running a blog and taking care of six kids?
I've had a blog for about seven years and I've gone back and forth with how much time I spend on it. Some weeks I post regularly, sometimes there's weeks in between my posts. I have always written for myself and my family—since the beginning. That has helped me stay grounded and know that if I don't get to a post, it's okay. I don't blog to impress people with my skills, I blog to encourage friends/family and to keep them up to date with what's going on in our lives. When I sit down to write, I literally think “what would my Grandparents want to read?” That's probably lame advice, but it's helped me to remember why I write and for whom. Now, finding time to write is another story. Since my oldest was a baby I've had a rest/nap time in the afternoon for a good hour or two. This time is non-negotiable with my family. They have to rest quietly or sleep and mama gets to work on whatever she needs to work on. I've always reserved this time for things that I WANT to do. Not things that I think need to be done (laundry, dishes, etc.) Now, don't get the impression that this time is a magical time from the good lord. I am constantly being interrupted, and it never looks quite like how I want it to look. But I try. I run a home-based business which requires a lot of my time, so most of my rest time is working on that. This is also when I squeeze time in to write my blog.
What’s your best advice for new moms?
Make time for yourself. Seriously. Make genuine and fulfilling time for yourself. Go on a date with your husband. Take that much needed nap. What good are you if you are tired, stressed or grumpy? It's okay to spend time doing things you love. Don't forget about who you were, prior to being a mother. Were you an avid reader before you had little ones? Then make time to read! I read a chapter every night before I fall asleep. Reading is one of my biggest loves in life. So, I make time for it. Figure out what's important to you, and what will keep you sane and make time for it. You'll soon realize that doing these things is good for everyone in your family.
What has been your biggest struggle as a mother? How are you overcoming it?
This probably varies depending on the day. Some days it's patience. Other days it's finding enough time in my day. Some days it's wanting to quit homeschooling right then and there. Some days it's the laundry and how angry it makes me that my kids need clean underwear. I literally have to take each day as they come. With six children, we have LOTS of feelings and personalities in this house. So, what could be bothering me one day, could be totally out the window the next. Maybe that's my struggle? Figuring out what my struggle will be for that day! Rest assured that I do not have it all together and there are a lot of days I want to run away. I am thankful for grace and how the Lord loves me even when I am not lovable—it's been a gentle reminder to me as a parent, to love our kids even when it feels hard.
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What/who inspires you in life?
I am inspired by other mothers who are real and aren't afraid to be honest that life is hard. The mothers that show up to play dates with sweat pants and yesterday’s hair. The ones who are riding high on two hours of sleep because of babies and toddlers. The ones who encourage me when I'm having a hard day, because they've been there too. We all need to know we aren't alone in this. That it's hard. But that after we overcome the hard, it's really good.
Anything else you’d like to share with our readers?
I lost my own mother just a few months ago, and I'd just like to say that moms are important. Whether you feel like it or not, you are valued by your kids. I never had a fantastic relationship with my own mother, but I miss her presence in my life more than anything now. I say that to encourage you to press on, even in the hard. You are important.
Thank you, Emily, for the great interview! To find out more about her or her family check out her blog here!