Tuesday, February 12, 2013


It's time for the blog chain again! This week we're responding to Lisa's topic:

The balancing act. How do you balance your writing time with everything else in your life--including, kids, job, book promotion

Balance. Hahahahahahaha HA! That's me laughing so hard I'm crying. I think balance is a myth. For years I taught full-time and wrote. I sacrificed housework, socializing, exercise, and sleep to find time to write. I mean I didn't give up all of those things all the time to write, I just made writing a priority. But I couldn't find time to work all day, plan lessons, grade papers, spend time with my husband, write, and do all those other things.

When I quit teaching and worked only 40 hours a week, it got easier. I had time to write every evening and do some of those other grown-up things like dishes and walk the dog. I didn't watch TV. I see all these writers on twitter chatting about their favorite shows and I don't know how they find time to watch them.

When we decided to start a family, I knew there was no way I could work, write, and raise a baby. Amazing people do it, I just couldn't picture myself being one of them. Something had to give. Luckily we could afford for me to stay home with our son (at least I hope we can afford it, I'm afraid to look at our bank statements!). I thought I'd be able to get tons of writing done. Sure I knew the first couple of months would be hard, but I'd figure out a schedule and be a super-productive work-at-home mom. I mean I've met tons of women at conferences who find time to write with small kids. A friend even coined the term nap-time-writer. Yup, I was going to be a nap-time-writer.

Except my perfect little baby doesn't nap. Sure, he'll nod off for 10-20 minutes here and there, but that's usually just enough time to feed myself and change the laundry. Oh and that neglected housework is a much higher priority now that I'm home all the time. So I squeeze in writing time when I can.

This morning I woke up at 5:30 and wrote until my little boy woke up at 7. If I don't get too tired, I might make that my new routine. I'm writing this post with one hand while nursing my little one. Sorry, TMI?

So, balance? Balance is what my laptop does at the edge of my knee while I'm holding my baby.

Any tips for a new work-at-home mom? Has anyone out there achieved this mythical balance?  Haha, reading the other blog chain entries, it looks like we all struggle with this. Is finding balance a unique problem to writers? Or as humans, do none of us have enough time for everything? I'm tempted to say if anyone feels their life is perfectly balanced, maybe they're not trying hard enough. 

Check out Michelle's post here and tomorrow you can read Cole's take.


  1. Nap-time writer is cute. I think it works with one really good napping child. I did it successfully with my first. But he required a lot of work to put down for naps (think 1 or 2 hours of rocking and singing). So after I had kiddo#2, it became impossible to write during the day. With three boys 6 and under, I am now a night writer. I have to say, it works. Writing at night is perfect because it's the time my mind wants to wander and dream anyway. It's also when I usually shower, which is a perfect plotting time. (After dinner dishes, too, when I'm being good.)

  2. I am so embarrassed to admit how much Little Einsteins played a roll in freeing me up some writing time.

  3. Wow, I am impressed with the 5am thing. I just couldn't do it - I would just be thinking the whole time how much I wished I was sleeping.

    And don't be too hard on yourself - it definitely gets easier over time. Also, as Cole mentioned - when they get old enough to watch TV - it is such a wonderful kiddie distraction.

  4. I was just like you when my guy was a baby. Trying to write when he napped. My kid only napped on me, but I was able to write. He's 5 now and no time. You're doing great squeezing time when you can. It will all work out! But I love the line "Balance is a myth." I'm getting that on a bumper sticker!

  5. I can't even imaginine how exhausted you must be!
    Writing is such a consuming (time, energy, soul) activity it is hard to balance it with life :) Great post!