Tara Ziegmont is a full-time working mom that runs a successful blog named Feels Like Home, homeschools her two daughters, takes care of the family’s various pets, and still find time to treat and take care of herself too! Curious how she manages to do all of this, and more? Then read on to see how this supermom manages to stay so productive.
Let’s begin! Care to tell our readers a little something about yourself?
I’m a full-time working and homeschooling mom with a husband, 2 daughters, 5 cats (plus one, if you count the neighborhood stray my children are trying to lure to our home), a turtle, a fish, and 5 frogs.
What’s the story of Feels Like Home? What determined you to start one and how has it evolved since your first post?
Oh gosh, I’ve been blogging since 2007, so my blog, as well as the industry of blogging, has changed significantly.
I started blogging way back then as a means to keep my family and friends updated about my new baby. It grew steadily and soon I had readers that I didn’t even know. Within a couple of years, I was making money through BlogHer ads and sponsored posts, and it took off from there.
What have you learned from blogging? How did it impact your life, and what motivates you to keep it up and running?
I have learned so much about business and entrepreneurship, about writing, about the internet and social media. Blogging has opened all kinds of doors for me and my family through products and trips that we otherwise wouldn’t have had the opportunity to experience.
My family gets annoyed with me stopping to take pictures of things all the time, but they accept it because it has given us so many cool things. For instance, we once got to ride in the Oscar Mayer Weinermobile. Not everyone can say that!
As far as motivation, I don’t know. It’s a great side income for my family, and it’s also an outlet for my writing skills. If I weren’t publishing on my blog, I would have to write in some other way.
You blog, you’re a mom, you are an entrepreneur, how do you manage to stay organized throughout the day and make time for everything?
I’m also a full-time employee and a homeschooler, and I’m starting an elite MBA program next month! I am not ultra organized, but I do have a routine to my days that keeps me on top of everything.
I don’t try to do it all at once, but instead, focus on one or two things at a time and do them well before moving on to the next thing. Every Sunday night or Monday morning, I plan out the week ahead, and that helps a lot with organization.
I also sketch out a basic to-do list every morning, but I don’t have any guilt if the things from one day get pushed to the next. Most of the time, I only complete the urgent or most enjoyable things on the list and let the rest go for another day.
I’ve written a bit about productivity on my blog, so you can check that out in my Productivity category.
Want to share a funny kid-work balancing story or event?
I can’t think of any funny balancing stories. It’s hard work, and sometimes I get it wrong. My kids watch way too much TV and YouTube, which I hate, but it is what it is.
What do you most enjoy doing with your kids or what is your favorite family tradition?
We do all kinds of “field trips” which I put in quotes because they’re just fun outings. We go to the ballet, the theater, zoos, museums, and festivals. (Also) we visit the nature center and hike together. We are always on the go, but always together.
The other thing I love is playing board games as a family. I’ve written a lot about that, too (in a special Games tag).
Confession time: what do you consider to be your biggest parenting success? Would you also share your biggest parenting failure?
My biggest success is the relationship I have with each of my girls. I am hands down their favorite person in the whole world.
The older one tells me literally everything, good and bad. The little one is much more private, but she wants to hold my hand every night as she falls asleep, so I know I’m doing something right. My biggest parenting failure is that my kids have way too much screen time.
On the same note, which were your best and worst days as a mom?
My best day as a mom is any day that I get to spend entirely devoted to my kids, no work, no commitments, when we are doing something we love like visiting a nature festival or going to Hersheypark or the pool.
My worst days are the ones where I have back to back meetings all day long (I work from home, so I’m with the kids all day but not really with them, if you know what I mean.), and I don’t have time to take a lunch break.
Lunches are typically when I sneak in a quick card game or read a book or cuddle with my youngest, and she is really sad when I can’t take time away to do those things.
What helps you decide to post/not to post pictures of your children on social media?
I post pictures of my kids almost every day. It’s been that way from day one, and they don’t know anything else.
Tell us all about your favorite baby or child accessory or product.
Wraps and carriers. I wore both of my girls when they were infants and up into their toddler years. I was still wearing my youngest when she was 3. We both loved that contact.
While it might sometimes be hard to find a moment for yourself, what are your favorite “Me time” indulgences?
I don’t see “Me Time” as an indulgence, I see it as a necessity. I get up at 5:15 in the morning to exercise for an hour every single day, usually walking 4 miles or so, but sometimes using the elliptical machine (which I hate but use when it’s too cold/windy/rainy/hot for a walk).
During that time, I also listen to audiobooks, which feeds my brain and creative mind. (Also) I watch a couple of TV shows (When Calls the Heart, Outlander, and Reign) and love that too. I sneak in moments of self-care all throughout the day in addition to these big chunks.
Want to share your biggest achievement/what you are most proud of?
This is hard because I’m proud of a lot of things. I graduated from high school at age 16. I earned a master’s degree from Penn State (and I’m getting ready to begin working on a second!).
My kids say I’m an awesome mom. I have a successful blog and business. I have a great job that I love that allows me to work from home. These are all wonderful things that I have achieved through the grace of God and my own hard work.
To wrap things up, do you have any advice you want to offer our readers?
In general, my advice is to pray often, work hard, and take time every day for self-care. If you don’t treat yourself well and nourish your mind, body, and spirit, you won’t be effective in whatever else you try to do.
Is there anything else you’d want us to ask supermoms in our interviews? Then leave your questions in a comment below!