Practical Ways to Balance Motherhood and Writing by Margo L. Dill
I have a 3 ½ year old daughter and a 13-year-old stepson. This summer, it seems harder than ever to balance work and motherhood. I think it’s because the kids are older—they sleep less and want to do more. But I’m working on some practical ways to entertain and love my children while I also work as a writer.
1. Visit a place where you can work and they can play.
This is harder because my daughter is only 3, but a great place to work while she plays is any restaurant with a play place. My stepson can sit with me and fiddle around on his iPod Touch or read his graphic novels while my daughter plays with all the other kids that are trying to stay out of the summer heat. I can tune out the noise and work. I sit right by the door where she can see me. It’s worked a few times when I had a deadline, and she needed to get out and do something.
2. Take them with you to work when you can.
Since I have this new young adult novel out, I have been going to bookstores and conferences. If I can take the kids with me, I do—especially to bookstores. Both my stepson and daughter LOVE to go to bookstores (and the library), and so if I need to do research or talk to bookstore owners, I can just take them with me. With conferences, my husband has come with me, we have a little mini-vacation in a hotel! My parents have also come, so that I could bring my daughter.
3. Use TV or a movie.
I’m not ashamed. I have a lot of marketing to do with Caught Between Two Curses, and I can’t get it all done and my writing and editing work, too. So, on a super hot summer day or in the evening when we’ve been out all day, I’ll ask them if they want to watch a movie. They think it’s great. I put it in and get busy, once I make the popcorn.
4. Share responsibilities with another writing friend.
When I was writing CBTC, another writing friend and I were trying to finish up novels during Christmas break, which can be just about impossible. So, we had a write-in with our kids. I would write for 20 minutes, and she would watch the kids. Then we would switch. We both wrote many more words in those short increments of time than we would have at home, alone, playing with the new Christmas gifts.
The bottom line is you can do both, and you may be doing things a little differently than your non-writing mommy friends. This is okay. Use the resources around you to find more time to write. One other thing to consider—often we are more worried about our kiddos than we have to be—like the movie thing, if my daughter watches one movie a day but still does imaginative play and “reads” 10 books, is that okay? Of course it is. . .
BIO: Margo L. Dill is the author of Caught Between Two Curses, a YA light paranormal romance novel about the Curse of the Billy Goat on the Chicago Cubs, and Finding My Place: One Girl's Strength at Vicksburg, a historical fiction, middle-grade novel. She currently has two more books under contract--both are picture books--with High Hill Press and Guardian Angel Publishing. Besides being a children's author, she is also a freelance editor with the business, Editor 911: Your Projects Are My Emergency! and she is part of the WOW! Women On Writing e-zine's staff as an editor, blogger, instructor, and social media manager. When she is not writing, editing or teaching online, Margo loves to spend time with her husband, stepson, daughter, and crazy Boxer dog, Chester in St. Louis, Missouri
Find out more at http://margodill.com/blog/
Group blog: http://www.thelitladies.com
WOW! Women On Writing: http://www.wow-womenonwriting.com
Book trailer: http://youtu.be/foFvYdh8KNs