I have a special affinity and sympathy for the struggles of working moms who also want to write. It is my sisterhood, after all. I also have an understanding of the working writer mom dealing with a guilt complex - a very special sisterhood indeed. Many of my friends and some of my fellow writers who are just beginning this journey ask me, "How do you do it? When do you get the time to write? How do you manage?" You're not going to like my answer.
I don't think I manage very well at all.
I don't have the answer on how to find the time to be a mom, writer, wife, career person, friend, family member and every other hat you might be wearing. If I did I'd write a book about it and make a bazillion dollars. I don't even have a plan or a way to organize all those balls we're juggling. All I do is live with the guilt that I'm not keeping the balls in the air. Inevitably, something has to drop.
For example, this weekend was Canadian Thanksgiving. A whole 3 days at home. Surely, I could get to do all the things that have piled up over the last few weeks. Surely, I could finally finish the revision that I've given myself to the end of this month to complete. Surely, I could spend more quality time with hubby, the kids and my visiting family. Well, in some ways I did do all of that - but not everything was accomplished.
I could have spent more time with family, I could have written more, I could have done more laundry. But at least I did a little bit of each. And maybe that's my answer. It's not all or nothing, you see. It can't be. That way lies madness. I mean, I can't juggle at all so why do I think that if I put more than two or three things in the air I'll be a success at it? I won't. But I know I can juggle those two or three. So on any given day I pick those two or three and deal with them. The next day it might be two different things. By the end of the week I'll have juggled a grand total of fifteen to twenty things but on different days. Totally doable and quite impressive when you add them up.
So, bottom line, don't try and be a master juggler every single day of your life. All you'll end up with is a bunch of balls rolling around at your feet ready to make you trip and fall. So take it easy, one day at a time, one or two balls at a time and, most importantly, one guilt trip at a time.