Balancing Home-Life with Writing

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Balancing Home-Life with Writing

Traci Kenworth

 

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?

 

 

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11 thoughts on “Balancing Home-Life with Writing

  1. I agree. Balancing home life and writing can be tricky and sometimes difficult. Just like you, my kids respect my writing. But they do know I will be there whenever they need me. I usually try to write in the wee morning hours or right after they go to bed. I do know household chores aren’t getting done like they used to when I wasnt writing daily. But chores suck anyway. I figure, as long as things are done regularly, I’m good. Food on the table. Clothes on their backs, etc…
    It’s all good.

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    1. Thanks, Susan!! Fifteen is all it takes to keep going forward on your wip. And balancing your time between the kids gets easier with practice. But what a joy the children are to have around. In school or out.

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  2. “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.”

    This is what has kept me going through tough places. I remember this constantly and ask myself, in ten years, will I have regrets about how I handled my writing? Will I have regrets on how I handled my home life?

    Writing will always be there, no matter how long it takes. A growing family will not. So I think that when we pressure ourselves to do more, to grow more and become better writers faster, we need to step back and look to see if other areas of our life suffer as a result. If we can’t square with what we’re giving up to write, then we need to make a shift. No one should live with regret.

    Great post!

    Angela @ The Bookshelf Muse

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    1. You’re so right, Angela. Home-life has to ultimately come first if we want to develop the relationships between the kids and us. Because once they’re out the door, it’s too late to turn back time.

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  3. Great post. It does take a concerted effort, on my part, to stay balanced. Otherwise, I would constantly write. Never leave the chair. Never workout, clean the house, etc. I often set timers. Okay, write for two hours. Housework for another 1/2 hour or hour. Write for two hours…..That helps me. 🙂

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  4. Awesome post. With two kids under the age of 4 at home, who I will be homeschooling through elementary school, this topic always on my mind. There are days when I wish I could write more, and faster. But I just have to keep the right perspective. When I’m standing before God one day, will he be more pleased with how many books I churned out or what kind of children I raised? Problem solved.

    For me, scheduling down time is really important. I write 5 days a week during naptime. I always leave 2 days free to do whatever else I need or want to do. Having some time off from writing makes me more creative and energized on writing days.

    Becca @ The Bookshelf Muse

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