More and more lately I’m asked, “How do you write and care for your four kids?” This is probably the question I’m asked the most, so here’s my reply.
First, I understand that this inquiry is not meant as an insult or judgement (most of the time). People genuinely want to hear how I find time to care for my home and children and complete my work. Any author-mom will tell you it’s a lot to juggle. I’m not gonna lie. But my answer is always the same.
“I make time for what’s important to me.”
We all have priorities. For me, crossing the important items off my to-do list usually means going without things I like to do to make time for what I love. Most days I go without reading a book, baking desserts, visiting friends, and so on, to write. I stay up late, wake up early, drink too much Diet Coke, and multi-task as often as possible. My family and faith will always be at the top of my list. My home is less tidy than it used to be and meals are less elaborate, but no one goes without clean clothes or starves. I have an amazing husband who has never once implied I stop writing and who cares for our home in equal measure. Our kids are pretty awesome, too. Even so, I carve out the time to write, because like anything else that gets accomplished in my day, it’s important to me. And I’m happier for it.
We can often tell what matters most to someone by what they spend their time and money on. What we choose to do each day with our time and means indicates to others our measure of commitment, passion, and determination to our endeavors, whatever they may be. In fact, some days our willingness to sacrifice our time is all we have left to give to our dreams. We put in the hours and do the work. We keep at it and don’t give up. I pray my children will learn to dedicate themselves wholeheartedly to something they love to do.
From now on, when people ask me how I find time to write and care for my kids, this will be my reply: “I make time for what’s important to me. How do you find time for what matters to you?” Hopefully they’ll understand that my writing does not conflict with my duties as a mother but adds to my joy.
Finally, I know my circumstances are not the same for everyone. My workplace is in my home, both as a mom and an author. But a lot of busy author-moms also work outside the home. Hats off to you, ladies. Keep it up.