Tuesday, May 15, 2012

The Juggling Act of a Writing Mom


When I was working full-time (without children) my life was structured. I had a time mapped out for everything. Clear, written plans. A calendar with times and dates filled in, writing-time, work-time, fun-time. Now, not so much. I’ve learned to become flexible. A lot! Having kids is a full-time job in itself! Adding a day job and writing to that mix makes it all the more interesting. But, my passion for books continues. And I make room for it around my family. Since I’ve become a stay-at-home mom, I have several openings available to me throughout the day to fill my notebooks and computer files with my stories.

There is still a bit of structure to my day. I have about 30 minutes to an hour to write in the morning. I tried getting up earlier to have more time, but I swear my oldest son (6 y/o) is psychic. No matter how quiet I woke (no alarm clocks!) or how quietly I walked (I do have to visit the bathroom in the a.m.), within ten minutes he would wake and come see what I was doing. Then he would lecture me about how it was still night-time because the sun wasn’t out and I should be asleep. I’d like for him to take his own advice!

After I see him off to school, I spend about 2 hours cleaning the house or other morning chores. I move as quickly as possible since I’m not a big fan of housework (who is?), but if I don’t do it, it won’t get done. Then I have about 2 hours of writing time while my 2 younger children (4 y/o and 20 month-old) play. That is, I do what I can on my laptop while sitting in the living room and settling squabbles or disputes, suggesting silly games to entertain them or when they watch a little TV (I believe Sesame Street is educational and it gives me at least an hour!). This time is not always guaranteed. I might actually squeeze in only 10 minutes of writing or editing, but that’s 10 minutes I won’t have to do later. The rest of the day is a blur of kid-time activity, other household chores, running to the grocery stores or paying bills, and mealtimes until after they go to bed around 8pm. From 8-11pm I can devote undivided attention to my writing, or as much as I can until I fall asleep. Some days I don’t do too much at night simply because I’m tired from my day. Being a mother is exhausting!  

Of course, the school year is almost finished, and my writing schedule will have to re-adjust. As I’ve mentioned, having kids has made me learn to become flexible. But, I will continue simply because I can’t stop writing. I’m a writer. I’m determined to succeed. And the simple matter is that no matter what, we are all given the same 24 hours every day. If I can get only 15 minutes of that time spent on writing, I’m happy. That’s 15 minutes I won’t have to do tomorrow.

~Tricia Schneider writes paranormal and gothic romance while raising her 3 young children. Visit her at her website.

2 comments:

  1. Inspiring! As a married mom of 4 I am with you on being flexible. But when someone gets sick, i.e. me, the house turns to hell and it takes weeks to get back on track. Because let's face it, dad's are awesome, but doers of little girls hair, they are not. Love your post!!

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  2. Too true! I had the flu this past winter and it was a nightmare! Thanks for your comment!

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