#TalkAboutItTuesday The Working Mother Balancing Act.

On #TalkAboutItTuesday, I post topics of interest to me for discussion and answer ANY questions you have on ANY topic. This was a question I received a few Tuesdays ago, along with my answer.

Catherine: Where do you find the time to write, work and have a life too?

Dicey: Hiya, Catherine! I do what I have to when I must, and carve out time to do what I really like to do when I can. That’s Greek for–I don’t have a life.

More specifically, my husband and I have a legal practice, so my work time is more flexible than it would be if I worked at a legal firm for someone else. I work as many cases or as few as I can stand each month. That involves more paperwork and computer time than most would desire and a few court appearances. During this summer, both of my children (3 y/o and 5 y/o) have been home with me. With them as my priority, my caseload slackened a bit and my writing time dwindled to nothing at all. I wrote my first few books with one or both of them at home with me, but I prefer to write without constant interruptions. When they go to bed during the school year, that’s when I normally write. However, I’ve been so worn out this summer, I usually find more relaxing things to do in the late night hours.

It’s like that sometimes. Sometimes I can balance my responsibilities better than at other times. Since writing isn’t just something I enjoy doing but also something that helps to maintain my sanity, I have to be more strategic about when I get it done. The way I make sure I write and finish my books is by setting deadlines. Though I haven’t written much this summer, I know that I plan to have the next book published by Oct. 31st. That means, come hell or high water, it will be done. As the days of no writing tick away, I have that deadline at the forefront of my brain, which means the moment my children go back to school, and my days are my own again, I will be hitting the manuscript hard. Working late into the night. Around the clock. Drinking energy drinks to maintain the energy necessary to get it all done. But it works. I have yet to miss a self-imposed deadline.

My life? Other than spending time with my family, watching TV shows/movies, working out, and reading books, I don’t do much else. Every blue moon, I’ll hang out with my girls. Sometimes I go to a social event or even host one. That’s it. I’m happy with it…just wished I was able to travel internationally.

Maybe one day.

So I squeeze it all in by prioritizing. The things I MUST get done, I schedule. The things I want to get done, I make time for, usually late at night, burning the midnight oil. Sometimes, I multitask (reading while on the treadmill, cooking dinner while watching The Vampire Diaries, typing this FB response while my children brush my hair and scream in my ears). I imagine this is the same type of balancing act all working mothers have to do.

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The question is now directed to other working mothers. How do you balance your many roles and tasks?

On another note, my children went back to school yesterday. YAY! Now, I’ve got to get back on my work and writing grind with more intensity.

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6 Comments

  1. Flexibility within the day job is a huge help, but balancing will always be just that-balancing. I firmly believe that if everything you do all day long is inspired, then no matter what you accomplish, you will be leading the best life that you can. Good luck to everyone, we are all entitled to “have it all”.

    • “…if everything you do all day long is inspired, then no matter what you accomplish, you will be leading the best life that you can.”–I really like this quote. 😀 Thanks for the comment!

  2. I am the queen of carry-out. I love to cook, but with the corporate day-job and 3 kids it falls pretty low on the priority list. I write after the kids are in bed. It helps that I really don’t watch any TV at all. Any free time is family time, exercise, or horseback riding!

    • I will admit to getting carry-out and popping a pizza in the oven quite often, especially when I’m working against a deadline. Everybody still gets fed. We do what we have to do, right? Thanks for the comment!

  3. I’m a stickler for keeping a schedule. I know what were doing every hour of everyday. I’m a stay at home mom, with 2 children that I part-time homeschool then 5 acres, plus 2 houses to maintain also my sewing business on the side. I also volunteer at their school, church and other stuff. But I base how much work I can get done with how my children are behaving. This past year, I took a big break for my sewing and focused on my house and children. The breaks over now that they are both going to school for 3 hours a day. But boy, 3 hours with no one to bother me, I’m sure I can get so much done. 😉 I normally wake up 2 hours before they do to get in my work. Then 2 nights a week I’ll go to my studio and leave my husband with them to sew the night away. But it’s just balance. If my children are showing signs that they need me more than I need to sew, I’ll drop it and spend time with them. I think that’s what most working mothers do. At the end of the night when they are finally asleep and my husband is off doing whatever men like to do, I get my escape with a imported beer and my boyfriend (iPad) reading a naughty book while swinging on the porch swing. It may be a time consuming life but I wouldn’t change it for the world. Plus I think I’d be pretty dull with out all the craziness. 🙂

    • WOW. You really are busy. Scheduling everything is a MUST. “It may be a time consuming life but I wouldn’t change it for the world.”–Exactly. Thanks for the comment!


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