Tuesday, January 10, 2012

WRITE AT HOME MOM: Talking 2012

USAToday Bestselling author and mom to four, Mira Lyn Kelly, is kicking off her new column and the new year with one resolution that covers them all… Balance.

In a perfect world, I would be the kind of mother who joyfully gave my family everything I was, every second I had… and it would neither suck the life out of me, nor turn my children into a lot of spoiled psychopaths. My house would be immaculate. Dinners, healthy and delicious every night. My husband, family and friends would have my undivided attention, as long as they desired it. I’d be totally fit and I’d have five to eight books releasing every year. Oh, and it would all be effortless.

Yeah, yeah. This, is not a perfect world. I am not a perfect mom, an effective housekeeper, or a prolific writer. And my jeans are too tight. As for giving everyone the time they want…with four kids, I could dole out my attention twenty-four-seven and it wouldn’t be enough.

Essentially, I’m a perpetually busy mom with a million responsibilities, a passion for a career I can’t seem to find enough time to really get going, and a life that seems to forever be just a bit beyond my control.

I want to do better.

Notice I didn’t say I wanted to do it all. I can’t. There aren’t enough hours in the day, enough of me to go around, or even enough slots available in my line to handle all those books, lol. But better I think is possible.

Which means this year I’m all about making a better balance my resolution.
I’ll be taking a look at my priorities, seeing what room there is to wiggle, and then making some tough choices. Checking out techniques to maximize my effort/output ratio. Working toward a healthy mind/body goal. Testing tips on ways to keep my home from becoming a hovel. Basically trying anything and everything to turn out the books while making sure my highest priorities know they are number one… and, ideally, not losing my mind in the process.

So if you are like me, a determined mom trying to squeeze out as much of IT ALL as you possibly can, please join me the second Tuesday of each month to share tips, advice, experiences and maybe even the occasional consolation as we take a Write-At-Home-Mom’s journey toward a better balance.


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  1. I'm here every step of the way! You had me at 'passion for a career you can't really find the time to get started.' I KNOW what you mean!

  2. What a wonderful concept, Mira...even though I'm not exactly a write-at-home right now, with 2 kids under 4, day job, every free min I have is spent on writing...and in the process, I'm losing sight of it all...so I'm all in way for a way to do it better...

    can we also develop a harmless weapon to silence judgy, but well meaning friends who don't get why your house is not clean?

  3. Rach, let's hope this is the year it all kicks into gear!

    Sri, I bow to your ability to make the writing happen in addition to doing both your other jobs! And can I ever relate to the writing in every spare minute. I think what kept me going when mine were that young (no day job, but having all four by the time the oldest was 3 1/2 was a handful,lol) was that need to have have something that was still about me. That creative outlet and dream of building a career of writing probably saved my sanity. As to judgy friends...hmm...well let me field test the "harmless" weapon on my possibly justified in being judgy husband first :-)

  4. Oh, YES! A subject near and DEAR to my heart! As the sole financial provider for my family via one job, 3 kids, a hubby, an annoying dog, and now a writing career I'm struggling to juggle??!? Count me in, Mira!

  5. Okay if you ever find a way to keep your home from becoming a hovel let me know please. I hate housework. I'm gald you are finding time to write a bit though as I'm finding time to read too much.
    Hence the hovel.

  6. Sheesh, is anyone's house ever clean who has kids?? Personally I'd be worried about the kids if they were that neat! But count me in too Mira.

    My two boys are now 14 and 19 and my writing career didn't really kick in until they were both old enough to use the sandwich toaster (and A-bomb the kitchen while doing it!) so hats off to any writers here with kids younger than that. I'm in awe.

  7. Aimee, you are amazing! And don't you travel for work as well? What some of you writing mom's are capable of just blows me away!

    Kaelee, lol, good to know it's not just me. Definitely working on the writing, though I admit that a book I've been waiting six months for came out today. It's going to be really hard not to dive right in!

    Heidi, having the kids old enough to contribute makes a huge difference. But there's definitely a transition period where that HELP means way more work for mom once they're done, lol!

  8. I'm here! Bring on the tips and the sympathetic shoulders. I just decided to go back to school, so I'm trying to balance even more, when it was already pretty overwhelming. Now all I need is to actually sell a manuscript and then I'll have the added fun of deadlines! A girl can dream, right? LOL

  9. Kat, that's awesome! School does add another ball in the air, but talk about a great investment in yourself. Crossing fingers 2012 is your deadline year!

  10. I did start my writing career when my son was 6 - but I always lived by the motto that an immaculate house is the sign of a misspent life. I'm still sticking with that even though he (the offspring) now has his own home (where he and his partner obviously live by the same rule.) The one thing that I miss about having to look after him when he was younger is the thinking time - you can play endless games, cook meals etc while lettting your imagination run free. Then when I did sit down to write I was raring to put words on the page. These days I spend much of that thinking time staring at a blank screen, trying to come up with ideas.

  11. Kate, you know, when the kids were much smaller, I think it was a similar situation for me with the plotting in the background. But not so much now. When they are around, I am ENGAGED or they totally know it, lol! "Mom, Mom...MOM"
    So very true that much of my work time is now spent on that THINKING part--though I do drift on the treadmill and while I do housework if the kids aren't home :-)

  12. It's never easy to juggle a home and writing. I stand by that. I wish there was some template out there that could tell you what should be done when. But, there's not. So all you can really do is follow your heart and your instincts.

    And cleaning is a never ending task. There's always something to clean even if you could devote 24 hours a day to it.

    Looking forward to your column, Mira!

    Abbi :-)

  13. Kids and a clean house? Not sure those ideas belong together. Especially when you throw in work as well. But then we wouldn't want life to be boring, would we?

  14. Abbie and Annie, as I approach load five of the laundry today and prepare to unload the dishwasher for the second time in three hours...I am particularly aware of the endless aspect of cleaning, lol.

  15. I have four kids too and they're all off school at the moment. Time is a very precious commodity indeed. At least I can never say I'm bored.

  16. Maria, lol, yeah, boredom is seldom an issue around here!