I am a mom. I am also a writer with deadlines. By doing both, I've learned a great deal about managing my writing time while not neglecting the family.
While things did get easier when the kids went to school, in the early years it was a challenge. During that time, when I was in the midst of toddler tantrums and sleepless nights, how did I manage to keep writing and selling my novels? Through trial and error, I discovered some tips on how to be a mother and a writer at the same time.
So here they are, in no particular order.
1) Nap time is not clean the house time. It is writing time. Give up on having a spotless house and write. Ask people to call before they come over so you can do a quick clean. This applies to everyone except for your family. They already know how you really live.
2) Get up early or stay up late, whichever works for you. Do not fold laundry. Do not watch TV. Do
not play around on the internet. Write.
3) Buy a Crock-Pot and learn to love it. You'll have a healthy dinner without a lot of effort and more time to write.
4) After your family revolts when you serve yet another slow-cooked meal, find a few other meals you can make ahead of time, or in the morning when the little one is eating. Make them ahead of time and then make sure you get two or more dinners out of them.
5) Delegate the laundry to someone else in the house. The toddler is probably too young to reach the washer and dryer, so recruit an older child or hubs.
6) When the in-laws come for a visit and take over childcare duties, by all mean go have a massage or a manicure, then write.
7) Buy a spiral notebook and pick out a nice pen. In one of the rare moments when you're outside and the child is happily caking himself with mud and could care less what you are doing, write.
8) When your family complains about eating spaghetti for the fourth straight dinner in a row, invite someone else to start making dinner. When the invitation is refused, go back to #3.
9) Buy a lot of clothes for you and your family. This will prevent you from having to do the laundry which is now piling up because #5 failed. Write.
10) Manage your time wisely. You know when your deadlines are so don't wait until the last minute to work on getting your writing done. If you do then plague will strike your house in the form of stomach sickness or strep throat. You will save yourself a lot of stress if you plan ahead, then stick to your plan and write. Also, while writing is fun, time with your children is to be cherished and enjoyed. If you plan your writing schedule wisely, you won't miss out on a minute of the wonderful moments with your little ones.
I hope you find my list of hints helpful. If you do, then check out my books because you need a break.
For more writing life and mom life posts click here and here.