Monday, February 10, 2014

Queen of my Kingdom: Balancing Writing and Parenting

I have two primary priorities in my life: my family and my writing. I rarely sign on anymore for other volunteer
commitments because I've finally learned how to hold the delicate balance between work and home. It's not always easy because as a writer, my work is at home.

This year, I need to produce one book every ten weeks to keep to my deadlines. In the midst of writing these books, I'll be editing them which means simultaneously writing one book while doing edits to another. It would be so easy for me to become overwhelmed and throw all of my attention to my writing but I'm committed to maintaining my carefully achieved balance between work and family.

How do I do this? How can you do it too?

Identify your Priorities
All work-at-home mothers, really all mothers, go through this challenge of finding what makes their life work. Balancing isn't easy but knowing your priorities helps. When I make decisions with my priorities in mind, I'm focused on what's important to me.

Schedule your Time
This is easy for me because I like keeping a schedule. I see it as a goal. For example, I allow myself two hours for emails, social media and special projects in the morning. Then two hours for writing, one hour for a workout and lunch, and another two hours for writing. Then it's off to get the boys from school. After they're settled in for the night, I spend another hour for special projects. I know when I need to do certain tasks and sticking to it makes me feel as if I've accomplished my goal.

Focus your Energy
When I'm on a task, I'm 100% present in my task. While writing, I'm writing. While parenting, I'm parenting. Both are important to me and, especially with my family, I want them to know they're important to me. Giving them my focus sends that message. I set aside my phone and email to give them my attention in the evenings. And during the day, my writing gets my full attention.

Honor your Needs
I leave plenty of time for pursuing my own interests and taking care of myself. Since I enjoy reading and share that interest with one of my sons, we'll often sit and read side-by-side. I also listen to audio books while performing the coveted task of carpooling. Then my husband swoops in on the weekends to give me some alone time. I love my bubble baths behind a locked door while hubby is in charge of the boys.

Are you a mom? What do you do to Balance Work & Family? Whether you are a writer or in another profession... whether you work outside the home or not... every mother needs balance. How do you achieve yours?

My Stick Family from WiddlyTinks.com
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