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Write From Home
Kim Wilson
P.O. Box 4145
Hamilton, NJ 08610

E-mail: kim @ writefromhome.com

Writing Time, Family Time and More Writing: The Balancing Act
by Paula Schmitt

Ok. So here I am again, lying in bed, awake at 2 am trying to come up with a logical, but successful plan on juggling motherhood and work. Another dead end. My brain just isn’t working. My sweat glands are though, as my skin feels clammy, my mind is racing and my tired eyes are wide open as if I have toothpicks holding them open-Ugh!  What’s a mom to do?

Sound familiar? It was time. Time for me to sit down, in awakening hours instead of the middle of the night, and organize some type of a plan for balancing my family time with my writing time. At first this was not an easy task. There was the guilt over spending time with my laptop for hours on end instead of using that time to be with my children. Then, when I did set up some kind of a schedule with working hours, I would have the constant interruptions, approximately every ten minutes.

“Hey Mom, I think the toilet is clogged. You’d better come down right away.”

And again, “Mom, where’s the car keys? I can’t find them anywhere so they must be lost.”

And once more, “Mommy, Nick is swearing at me and threatening to choke my neck until I turn purple.”

So, after unclogging toilets, finding car keys that were never really missing and being mommy mediator, I return to my desk and take a deep breath and try like heck to remember what I was just writing about. I look at the clock; oh, bad idea. How much had I gotten accomplished in the last hour?I sometimes feel like it’s a race with the clock and I, writer and mother of four, usually lose that race.

I do want to say here that I love my kids. I would do anything for them, including reaching my hand into an unflushed commode to retrieve a cherished and now dirty toy. What’s a mom for?

I do follow, somewhat, a writing deadline schedule for myself and I am proud to say that it has been working quite nicely. My children like to read what I write and they visit me often to see what mommy is working on today. It gives me encouragement when they sneak a little sweet kiss on my cheek while they are visiting me at my desk.

I realize that my work will get done; it just may take some time. A few minutes here, then a mommy mediator break, fifteen minutes here, then a ‘look at my loose tooth’ break.  Sometimes even a break just to cuddle. Those are the best kind.

If you are an at-home-mom and write from home, try not to get discouraged when things don’t go as planned. Simply add whatever did not get accomplished that day to the next day, and tell yourself it will get done. Spend that quality few minutes, here and there, with your kids.  It’s so important. Not to say that your writing isn’t important, but for me family comes first.  Just one word of advice-don’t look at your clock.

Paula Schmitt is a writer and mother of four boys living in Chelsea, Vermont.  She’s a strong advocate of wholesome, family oriented child rearing.  Some of her hobbies include reading, writing, music and animals. E-mail her at pj5@sover.net and read her latest column at http://paulaschmitt.netfirms.com









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