Balancing Home-Life with Writing
It becomes a challenge (with any career) to balance such with home-life. On one end, you have the kids, piled up laundry, dirty dishes, pets that demand attention, and at the other, there’s your job, that thing you do that supports/fulfills you. Writing is that for me. It’s my pick-me-up, face the bald facts, never-going to-end-till-I-die occupation. And I wouldn’t have it any other way.
As I think I’ve mentioned, writing kind of saved my life after my divorce. It brought me back to believing in myself, in going that extra mile, and restored my faith in the kindness of others. When you have such a life-line, it can drag you through shark-infested waters. I won’t say it’s been easy. There are hurdles like in any other field. You have to train, train, and train.
You also have to figure a way to prioritize things. For me, I spend the early morning hours and afternoons writing, I split the rest of my day taking care of the house and spending time with the kids. It’s not easy. Sometimes I wish there were more hours in the day, but there aren’t. We can only do what we can do. Don’t beat yourself up about tasks you don’t get finished, save them for the next day.
One step at a time, I guess, is how I balance things. Giving my all in all three areas. Someday if someone special pops into my life, I’m sure I’ll have an even tougher spin of the wheel. But I do love a challenge. I didn’t used to, but I’ve come to realize that they’re what keeps us alive and going forward.
The kids respect my writing, but they also know I’ll be there for them if they need me. And yes, I go through thousands of little interruptions a day, as I’m sure any stay-at-home or work elsewhere mom goes through. You take care of them then go on. Does it break my concentration? Sometimes. But the truth is, the kids will only be young once, I figure I better treasure them now before the house becomes silent to their laughter. So, no, when they need me, I do my best to be there.
And you know what? I still have plenty of time left to pursue what I love. Writing is a tangled, exciting, enriching, and glorious job. It can also be painful. That’s when we need to step back, enjoy some time away, and get back to the basics. You and me, kid. Life kicks enough dirt in our face, let’s do our best to wipe it away, and get back in there. Anything you put your heart into will pump back the rewards. Motherhood. A career. Your love-life. It’s only a matter of time to figure out how to handle them all.
When things seem over-whelming, just retreat to your quiet place. In fact, I recommend doing so, at least ten-to-fifteen minutes out of the day. Just relax your mind, dream a little, have a talk with your muse, whatever helps. It’ll calm and energize you and set you on your way again. So the secret to balancing your writing (aka career) with home life is to handle things as they come. Figure out what’s important to you, the rest will fall into place.
How do you handle your day-to-day tasks? Any advice to others on how to stop the craziness that is life and get down to what matters?