Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Career + Family: How Do You Make It Happen?

If you've seen my past posts, you know I'm learning how to balance a family with a career. Every day I learn something new; but most of all, I watch others I respect who are learning too.

I have so much admiration for Sarah, Betsy, Erynn, and my friend Tricia. I know none of us do this writing biz/family biz perfectly, but here's what I'm learning...

1) Take time to disconnect. Every evening after 8:00, the computer goes off, even if there's more to do (unless it's a deadline I absolutely must meet).

My husband and my daughter both deserve my attention, and I come back to work more focused the following day.

2) Focus when it's work time. If I'm not doing marketing via social media, I turn off Twitter, Facebook, and anything else that would distract me from writing. I have only an hour most afternoons during nap time to make it happen, and I can't afford to be on social media (that's what my smart phone is for when my baby's hanging out with me... though I try not to get too sucked in).

3) I ask for help when I need it. If I'm on several deadlines, I've learned to explain this to my family. I might call a babysitter for a morning, or my husband might do the dishes a few extra times that week. He is very supportive like that and often gives me time to write while the baby's still up in the evening.

4) I make time for me. I find weird things therapeutic: a long shower, a walk, my hands in the dish soap... I try to stop for a few moments throughout the day and enjoy using all my senses.

5) I take care of my body. Yes, it's easier to pop in a few handfuls of chips, and there's nothing wrong with that. But it's almost just as easy to pull out a bag of salad and slap some dressing on the top. (Or pop a handful of almonds!)

When I don't eat right, my emotions and my body feel the difference.

Share: What do you do to support your dreams AND your family?


  1. What a loaded question....haha!
    Experience tells me I still haven't found the perfect balance, but maybe that's because the equation constantly changes. After 12 years as a mom (4 kids total in a 10 yr span), I know my needs keep changing and my kids' needs keep changing. The schedule or system that works one spring may need to be tossed out the window come summer. For real.

    Right now, I'm conceding to the fact my oldest does school work (we homeschool) best when his siblings are not around (HA! Figure that out when we're all home every single day all day long all year long....). So for now, he wakes early some days and goes to bed late other days. He is more productive and happier. (He is also my high needs kid which is it's own cup of tea.)

    I find I am having to "disconnect" in a different way - I need alone time. The kids get me constantly. My new goal is a day-trip or weekend away once a month. Alone or with a friend (think: split the cost). This is for my emotional and mental health and has sparked some fabulous writing ideas along the way!

    Since I don't write professionally, I don't have deadlines unless they are self-set (I do set them on occasion). My husband and parents help me with my kids just to ease the pressure of life in general (things can get touch here sometimes); they are all a God-send.

    And I simply write when and where I can, in the midst of the madness that surrounds me. ;D

    1. **things can get tough here sometimes

      (I hate small spaces to read through what I've written.)