Working from home, helping the kids with school, cooking, cleaning, and the list goes on and on. Tackling all that’s on a mom’s to-do list while also dealing with all that’s going on in the world may leave you feeling like you’re living in chaos. But Krystin Godfrey believes you can have peace at home in spite of it all, and she strives to help moms do just that with her blog Growing Up Godfrey.
“My mission is to teach other moms how to love and teach their children with joy and to live a peaceful life in a restless world,” says Krystin, who homeschools her children. “We all know that the world is often chaotic and the complete opposite of serene, but we can still have peace in our homes. God has called me to share our peacefully, imperfect life in the hopes that other moms can pursue the same, with joy.”
Krystin started her blog in May of 2019 after her husband Phillip encouraged her to find a way to share her story with others. The next month Phillip started a blog of his own, The Pneu Dad.
The name of Phillip’s blog comes from the word pneuma, which means breath of God.
“I envisioned the blog being a place to challenge societal norms surrounding fatherhood,” Phillip says. “However, as I began to process the thought more I settled on a simple goal for the blog — to challenge men be the best versions of themselves.”
While Krystin helps to Phillip polish his writing, he helps her with the technical side of blogging.
“We’re a team in everything that we do,” Phillip says.
Krystin and Phillip, who met while they were in college at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, are the proud parents of four: 12-year-old Sabria, 4-year-old Joshua, 2-year-old Judah and 7-month-old Creed.
“We live a loud, beautiful life with God at the center of it all,” Krystin says. We had a chat with Krystin and Phillip about blogging, parenting, and more.
What makes your blog different from other lifestyle blogs for moms?
Krystin: I think that my blog and social media channels are super authentic and share the highs alongside the struggles. My house may never have that super white aesthetic or be extra tidy but what I do have is a deep love for my family and my work. There is this narrative that moms have to do it all and be it all and that’s not my reality. I don’t think it’s the reality for a lot of moms, even though social media may paint a pretty picture and say otherwise. That’s why I’m so passionate about my community and the stories I tell. I think my readers appreciate the candor.
What are some of the biggest misconceptions you think are out there about dads and how do you try to challenge those?
Phillip: I think some of the biggest misconceptions about dads is that they are distant, cold, and angry. Dads are typically depicted as coming home from work and not wanting to be bothered or being uninterested in the day-to-day dealings of the kids or watching football in a recliner ignoring the kids. I try to challenge these misconceptions by teaching myself to be guided by my decisions and not by my feelings. In most cases, dads aren’t distant, cold, or angry because they want to be. It’s usually because they are tired, stressed, or spread too thin and, in the moment, those feelings win and you come across as distant, cold, or angry. But I believe that if we are intentional with pushing past our feelings in the moment and giving our kids the best us then we can rewrite that narrative.
What tips would you give to moms interested in starting a blog?
Krystin: It sounds so cliché, but be true to yourself. I take pride in being my authentic self in every way that I can. Because of that, I feel that I get to connect with my community in a way that I absolutely could not do if I were trying to “put on” for social media. Secondly, if you want to blog, learn all that you can about the blogging world. You can learn absolutely anything on the Internet! And finally, recognize areas where you need to outsource and look for help. Phillip is my tech support, helpdesk, and a bigger cheerleader than I ever could have asked for.
What advice would you give to a new dad who is struggling with being a confident parent?
Phillip: My advice to a new dad who is struggling with confidence is that God has already given you everything you need to be a successful father on the inside of you. You won’t be perfect, and you may drop the baby once or twice, but you can be confident that as you continue to seek maturity and wisdom as a father, you’ll get better and better at your new role.
You’re working on turning your blog into a business by collaborating with brands and you’ve even landed partnerships with big-name brands like Sunny D. How do you balance blogging with parenting and homeschooling?
Krystin: I try to set daily priorities. I pick the top 3 or 4 things that I need to get done that day and do those. We also value family time and have four kids with different needs and different love languages who all need us to be present, loving parents. And at the end of the day, there is nothing I enjoy more than snuggling up with my hubby to talk or watch a movie for a while after all of the kids are in bed.
Balance is key, and I’m constantly figuring out how to do that to best fit my family. So that may mean that we eat take-out for dinner 3 nights in any given week or that I have a hustle shift where I work from 11 pm to midnight every night to make sure I close out my workday strong. It doesn’t always look like the traditional schedule of a homeschooling stay-at-home mom, but I’m finding my groove and what works best for us.
What are some of the biggest challenges you think new dads face and how do you think your blog can help them through those challenges?
Phillip: I think one of the biggest challenges that new dads face is the weight of responsibility that comes with being a parent and leading a home. Once you have a wife and family you have to be much more intentional and thoughtful with all of your decisions. I think that my blog can help through these challenges because I share content that gives men tools to manage these responsibilities. On the blog you will find tools such as using wisdom to make strong decisions; living a life of purpose; building on the proper foundation; and having sound priorities, to name a few.
What are your top tips for parents who are homeschooling for the first time due to the pandemic?
Krystin: Don’t compare your homeschool to anyone else! That advice applies to curriculum, schedules, homeschool rooms — kill the comparison trap. You have the opportunity to teach your children the exact way they need to be taught and to cultivate their strengths and be gentle with their weaknesses.
I also think it is important to be gentle with yourself. Everyone is having to adjust and relearn and unlearn so much about the way we live life and the way we school. Be gracious to yourself.