White On Time
People ask me all the time how I manage to be a full-time wife, mother, and writer. The answer is easy: prioritizing and organizing (thank goodness for my Palm Pilot—the best thing since volumizing shampoo and creamy concealer!). I’ve delegated the things that take too much of my time ie. cleaning and cooking, and I only do laundry once a week. My kids know that if their stuff isn’t in the laundry room by 6:00 am Thursday morning, it doesn’t get washed. Yes, I know, they’re old enough to do their own laundry. This is my one compromise: because I can’t physically be there for every sporting event, or cooking hot meals for them every night, this is what I always do for them. And for my long-suffering husband.
I don’t Twitter, but I do have a Facebook page and email—which I schedule during the day so I’m not tempted to check both all day long or I’ll see my time sucked into the dark vortex! As for grocery shopping—once a week, after church with the whole family so I don’t have to listen to anybody complain that they didn’t get something they wanted. And I TiVo everything so I can watch my favorite shows (Medium, HGTV, Cold Case) without sitting through commercials. I’m also really good at finding time. Three times a week my daughter and I take a Pilates class together. It’s a way of spending time with her as well as keeping in shape (multi-tasking!) and because she can drive now, I can work on a blog or check email on the way there and back. And did I mention I’m now under the heat dryer? I’m guessing this blog will be done by the time I leave—assuming I don’t mind hairs on the keyboard and keep my laptop out during the cutting process. My stylist, Veronica, thinks it’s cool what I do and is very supportive and understanding when I’m not chatty. That’s the other thing to getting things done: surround yourself with supportive and understanding people. Friends send me encouraging texts (instead of calls) and I’ve got all sorts of fun things scheduled with them after my December 1st deadline. So, why do I make my life so complicated? Another easy question to answer—because being a writer isn’t what I do, it’s who I am. I think it’s important for everyone to include in their lives something they’re passionate about. Otherwise, everything else just seems like you’re going through the motions. I love my children, but in a few years they’ll both be in college and I’m so glad that I have my books to fall back on when I’m surrounded by a suddenly empty, quiet (and spotlessly clean!) house. Veronica’s approaching, ready to take me from the dryer and start the shampoo/deep condition process. I will gladly close my laptop for this—there’s nothing nicer in the world than having somebody shampoo and massage your head and I’ve been known to fall asleep during the process. Yes, I make time to enjoy myself, too. Regardless of my to-do list, I make sure to spend time each day doing something fun that requires no brain cells. Yes, that can include napping (of which I’m a big fan). It an also be watching tv with my family or laughing over videos my son finds on the Internet. Which brings me to my point: balance. Decide what’s important, what you’re passionate about and then, just like that Nike commercial says, Just Do It!
I enjoyed the post so much.
You are right, we need ‘balance’ in every aspects in our live. Thank you for sharing it with us Karen!
As a new mother one thing you are told over and over is to create a support group. It amazes me how many areas in life that holds true. Kudos to you for building that group of people, it’s not as easy as some would have you believe. the South will always hold my heart, don’t tell my husband. Can’t wait to see more.
Sounds like you are well organized and have your chicks in order. I was a mother of four all within five years so was busy but always found time for what had to be done. It can work out. ha ha I want to thank you for such a nice interview as I enjoyed reading what all you do. Thanks also for the postcard you sent me.it came today and THE GIRL ON LEGARE STREET sounds very good. I love southern based books..my heart is down there somewhere most of the time. ha ha susan L.
I really enjoyed your post. I so agree with it for anyone who has a full schedule. I have to constantly prioritize and reorganize or my life just goes all eskew.
It’s awesome you make time for writing. I look forward to reading your work!
Sounds like the life of a loving mother, wife and writer! Need I say more!
As the old saying goes: the more you do, the more you can do: the less you do, the less you’re capable of doing. When I was a working parent, I still somehow made time to write, because it was what I wanted to do.
THE DROWNING POOL, Five Star/Gale romantic mystery 2009–request it at your local library!