Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Making It Work

Late last fall, I realized I was going to have to start looking for a part-time job. My husband would soon be taking a pay cut at his job, and our belts were already as tight as they could go. I'll admit, I was terrified of going back to work. Not because I'm lazy or because I didn't want to give up my posh stay-at-home mom lifestyle (sarcasm, people), but because I was worried I wouldn't have enough time to write. That by getting a job outside the home, I'd have to give up my dream of becoming a published writer. No joke, I cried, yelled, got depressed . . . blah, blah, blah. But then my mom said something that really stuck with me: "If it means enough to you, you'll find a way to do it."

And I did.

A little over a month ago, I went back to work (about 25 hours/week). It definitely took some getting used to, but I am adjusting. AND I'm still finding time to write. Are some days harder than others? Sure. Are there days I don't write at all? Of course. But I'm still writing 4-5 nights a week, plus an hour here or there before I pick the kids up from school.

I'm making it work.

How I do it

Finding time to write when you work and have kids (with busy lives and schedules of their own) is not an easy task--as I'm sure many of you can attest to--which means you often have to adjust your lifestyle and priorities. Here are some things I've done in order to make time for writing.

1) Buy Clorox Wipes (and lots of them--no joke, yo). When I don't have time to do my weekly bathroom cleaning, I take a couple of wipes and go to town with them. It does the job until I can find the time to do the real deal.

2) Give your kids some chores. Now that we have a little bit of extra money coming in, I decided to make a chore chart and start paying the kids an allowance. It keeps me from having to worry about things like stripping beds and vacuuming, and the kids get to earn a little bit of money.

3) Lower your standards. I'll be the first to admit: I'm a control freak (aren't all writers?), but if you want to lessen your load around the house, you have to learn to pick and choose your battles. It's true, my husband couldn't fold a towel properly if his life depended on it, but at least it's getting folded. And maybe he doesn't load the dishwasher *quite* the way I would, but the dishes are still getting just as clean.

4) Learn to say no. I often felt obligated to volunteer for every (or almost every) event held at the kids' school, but I've learned that it's okay to say, "Sorry, but I don't have the time right now." The same thing goes when it comes to going out with friends or watching that cheesy horror movie on the SyFy channel with your husband. If writing is *that* important to you, you learn to say thanks, but no thanks.

I'm curious, how do you manage to fit writing into your busy life? Any tricks or ideas?


  1. I've got a full-time job with up to an hour commute each way, two twin daughters who are almost 6 months old, a weekly gaming group, one book on edits and another being drafted.

    You could say my life is a tad busy. ;-)

    But I do it. I have time with my daughters, time with my wife, time with my friends. I find ways to get it done.

    I work in admin, so I write before work starts and on my lunch break. I get up early on weekends either to have some me-time, or when I'm close to a deadline I use that time to get some extra writing or editing done. I also have a netbook so if my wife and I are just chilling out after the girls have gone to bed and there's nothing in particular on TV I get some more work in there.

    You will always find time for the things that matter, so long as you're willing to let go of the things that you only hold onto out of habit.

    1. Oh yes, I've been known to whip out the laptop when there's nothing good on TV, too ;) You're so very right--if it's important enough to you, you find the time. It's not always easy, but anything worth something never is ;)

      Thank you for stopping by and sharing your "secrets" to making it work :)

  2. I applaud you, pretty lady! I make too many excuses, and now after reading this, I don't have an excuse for not writing. You're a super mom! Love your guts!

    1. Well, it takes one to know one ;) Thanks for stopping by, goat-sistah! Love your guts MORE! ;)

  3. I'M ALL ABOUT LOWERING MY STANDARDS--just ask my husband.Heh.

    It's more about consistency than actual time spent in front of the computer, IMHO. Even if you can only carve out 30 minutes every day, do it. Same time. Same place. Just show up regularly. You'll be amazed at how much you accomplish. Also, when you know you've got that set-aside time, your brain gets all excited and you end up thinking up stuff all day that you can't wait to get down on the page. You'll be shocked at your productivity!

    1. *pulls eyes away from purdy avatar* (gorgeous dahling)

      I knew you'd have some wise words on this topic ;)

      I REALLY need to work on the consistency thing . . . ugh. I'm just SO TIRED lately *whines*. I am good about doing my nightly writing, but it's that time between after work and picking up the kids from school that I'm really bad about (all I want to do is veg out!). Though I guess I won't have to worry about that much longer, seeing as how the kids' last day is Tuesday *cries some more*.

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