Tuesday, April 10, 2012

WRITE AT HOME MOM: Let's Get Flexible

USAToday bestselling author and mom to four, Mira Lyn Kelly, talks about the hazards of writing from home…

If asked what I love most about being a Write At Home Mom (outside of the obvious getting paid to do what I love, that is) I would answer, the flexibility it allows me in taking care of my family.

If asked what I hate the most…well, truth?? The answer is the same.

Because, yes, we mom’s love knowing, if our kids need us, we can be there at the drop of a hat, snuggling our little sickie on the couch when no one will do but mommy. But seriously, I don’t really feel that same way about the plumber. And yet, I’m the one home. The one in the best position to drop everything and walk this guy through all the problems we’re having with the second floor toilet.

Sure, sure, stuff comes up once in a while, and really it isn’t that big of a deal to be flexible. Put off the writing for a few hours to take care of the emergency du jour. Except, sometimes life gets more nuts than others. Sometimes there are weeks and months when so many little things come up, I find myself buried under a big heap and getting further and further from meeting my commitments to my writing career with each additional little thing.

It’s at times like these I remind myself AND my family I’m not the only one who needs to be flexible.

I have contracts and deadlines, and meeting the demands of those means a paycheck that, though modest, is one we’ve begun to budget around. So though I AM the one home all day, I can’t be the only one taking a time hit. And though it took some lengthy discussions and a few paychecks before my husband really got on board, we’re finally at a point where my job is getting the credit and concessions it deserves.

Okay, so I’m still the one stuck talking to the plumber. I am here, after all. But when it comes to cleaning the kitchen or making sure the laundry for a family of six is sorted and put away… it doesn’t have to be me making sure it gets done every time.

Now, I’m not going to lie to you. When anyone other than myself puts the dishes away or does the shopping we end up with utensils in places I wouldn’t expect, brands I don’t typically buy, and menus I wouldn’t necessarily have picked. But that’s when I remind myself again…to be flexible.

My kids are learning responsibility around the house, my husband has a new appreciation for what I’ve been doing all these years, and I am able to do more of the things that are important to me. Instead of spending every free minute trying to catch up on chores or writing or whichever has become the most recent casualty to life in action, I do some of both, and then spend the rest of my time enjoying the chaos that is my family in action.

DINNER DONE QUICK – Preheat oven to 350 and combine 1 cup of mango chutney with 2-3Tbls of balsamic vinegar, pour over 1-1.5lbs of salmon filet and bake 25 min, or until done. Serve with white rice and steamed spinach.

Here’s a HOUSEHOLD TIP from Donna Alward for making the most of your minutes --the 15 min break between #1k1hr sessions (Twitter) is perfect for putting in a load of laundry/shifting it to the dryer/folding it.


PS - Have any helpful tips to share? Drop them into the comments… Here are a couple more I picked up this month...

Please join me the second Tuesday of each month to share tips, advice, and experiences as we take a Write-At-Home-Mom’s journey toward a better balance.


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  1. It's amazing how the size of the royalty cheque affects the family's appreciation for your stay-at-home job! I have now got to the stage where my husband does the weekly shop (though he buys far too much chocolate, just because it's on offer) and washes up after tea (though I can't get him to clean the sink every time)
    I've got to learn not to be such a control freak!
    My household tip - a shot glass full of vodka will get bicycle oil out of the carpet.

  2. I often work in spurts - in an hour I'll pressure cook the rice for lunch, work the washing machine, get the broom/hoover out. That gives a break from sitting at the computer too.

  3. Annie and Maria, so sorry for the late response! Annie VODKA??!! This is good to know! Hard to give up control sometimes...but can definitely be worth it :-)

    Maria, I do that too. I write in hour long sprints and quite often get the chores around the house done in the same fashion. Easier to swallow in small bites, lol.