Are you a mama who loves to write?
But don’t know how to balance family life being a writer mom? I know the struggle is real when it comes to balancing motherhood as a writer. There isn’t enough time in the day to get everything done. It’s hard to give your children every second of your attention while making progress on your writing goals.
I started writing back in February of 2017. It was something that, at the time, I wasn’t sure was my passion. My son was only 1; an age that required a lot of attention. Splitting my time between the two was hard. I had to figure how it’d be possible to get a substantial amount of writing in while still raising my son while giving him the attention he needed.
It’s important to mention that I took a few months off from writing. I started a new business venture and had to replace my writing time with that. So, for months, writing basically didn’t exist to me. Eventually, I decided it wasn’t for me and headed back in the direction of my true passion; writing. Since then, I’ve been making writing a priority, and one of my main focuses.
How to balance family life being a writer mom…
Sometimes I still find that question floating around in my head.
I don’t focus on writing if it’s a babysitter day. Being away from my son for all those hours is hard enough. By the time we get home our priority is our family. We have dinner together and then spend the rest of the evening (the little bit that’s left before bedtime) playing. If I’m not too exhausted after he’s asleep, then I’ll spend a little time writing, but it’s not consistent after being exhausted from working all day while carrying baby brother around in my womb.
To the moms who have full-time jobs…
There are quite a few ways you can get writing time in while still getting to see your child at the end of the day. If you carpool with someone then on the days you’re not driving you can use your phone and work. Twenty minutes might not seem like a lot of time, but you can get a little chunk of writing done in that amount of time. This goes for breaks too. I know some people get 10 15-minute breaks throughout the day. Eat a snack and use some of that time for your writing. And don’t forget about lunch time! If you have an hour to yourself then use that time wisely! Find a quiet (or noisy) space and write for as long as you can. If you’re lucky you can get in a productive 30-minute writing session by doing that.
However, I understand that’s not possible for everyone. For some, it’s hard to focus if you’re on a 15-minute break. Don’t forget that working on your writing doesn’t just entail writing, but outlining, brainstorming, editing, revising, and the whole sha-bang. You might not get in the headspace to add to your chapter, but maybe you can scribble some brainstorming notes into your phone while chowing down on that yogurt parfait.
There is always the early morning and late evening hours, too. There is such a thing called the 5 am writer’s club. It’s real people, I swear! If you’re an early bird, you can wake up an hour earlier to get some decent writing time in before your kids wake up and you have to get everyone ready to head out the door in the morning. Or you can use the time after everyone is asleep and work your creative magic.
But what about those mamas who stay at home and raise their littles full time?
You have to be creative if you want to get work done while you’re little are awake. You can reserve an hour in the afternoon that is dedicated to ‘quiet time’. This is a good option if your kids no longer take naps. Some with put on their favorite movie or open the door to the playroom. Grab a snack, let them play and get some writing done! Chances are if your kids are older they’ll understand the process a little more, meaning that quiet time is mommy’s writing time, too.
Then, there is nap time. If your kids are still young and take a nap then use this time wisely. Some days, my son sleeps for a good two hours during nap time, which is a nice slot of time to make progress on whatever writing project I’m working on. But, even if the nap only lasts for 45 minutes still use it!
If a family member wants to spend some time with the kids, ask them if they mind you working a little bit in the process. Your children will be supervised and getting in some much needed time with Gramps or their cousins and you’ll get some time with your manuscript. I understand this option may not happen often, but if it’s a daily occurrence so about splitting time between visiting and working. Chances are they won’t be bothered by it, especially since they’re getting some quality time with their niece, nephew, grandchild, etc.
Don’t be afraid to ask your spouse/partner for help.
I benefited from this in the beginning. My husband spent time with our son, playing and keeping him content so I could write. They usually lasted in 30-60 minute increments but it time allotted for my writing and our son was still getting to have fun!
Being a stay at home mom is a hectic gig. Between keeping the house together and everyone happy, 60-minute writing sessions may not be possible. That’s okay. Train your mind to adapt quickly for when you get those small 10 minute breaks throughout the day so you can use your time wisely instead of wasting it. If you get 4 or 5 of them throughout the day then that equals a good 30-minute writing session. And the more you write, the more efficient you’ll be with that time and the more words you’ll be able to get down and log!
If none of that seems possible, then maybe it’s likely you’ll need to split your time up in a completely different way. Sitting down and being 100% present with your child(ren) for a while before working on your writing may work better for you.
You have to pick the times and places that work for you and your family.
Not everyone is an early bird gets the worm type (especially me). Before you nix an idea, give it a try to see if it works. You might be surprised. But remember, it’s tough balancing family and writing, and at times you may go a few days without adding words to your manuscript. It happened to me many times. Don’t look at it as defeat but opportunity. You were able to spend a little more time with your family on those days. Once you refocus you’ll be able to get some work done too. Be patient with yourself as you find the balance. It’ll take time for you to figure out how to balance family life being a writer mom.
I’d love to hear how you balance the two, especially if it’s something different than what I mentioned in this post! Leave a comment below! And if you think my 3-page productivity kit will help you, feel free to opt-in for it here! It includes benefits of productivity, a weekly event calender (great for recording your daily word counts), and a daily to-do list!