I started writing when my kids were five, two, and a newborn, and I was starting my first year of homeschool. My husband was in college and worked at night. We were poor. LOL.
I started writing during naptime, but by the time I started getting book contracts, my kids were too old for naps, we still homeschooled, and my kids were home all day. So for years I wrote when they were around the house—usually in the afternoon.
I was just talking to my daughter Leslie about this a few days ago. She’s twenty years old and she’s passionate about God. She’s a pretty great writer, too! Here is her blog.
Anyway, I asked Leslie what were the benefits/drawbacks of having a writer-mom at home. These are the three benefits she came up with.
1. Leslie said it really impacted her how I modeled serving others in my life . . . and through my writing. She said I showed her how important it was to serve other people.
2. She said it really grew a love of books and writing in her. She loves to read and write and is minoring in writing/editing in college.
3. She said that it was “cool” having a famous mom. Her friends thought it was cool. She also got to meet amazing people and she was able to travel with me to interesting places. (I had to laugh at the “cool” part. She never told me that before!)
I asked about the drawbacks. She told me it was what her and my brothers referred to as the “five-minute rule.” They would approach and ask me something . . . and then wait. “Then, Mom, after about five minutes, you’d turn and say, ‘What?’ Or you’d turn and answer our question. We’d always laugh about that.”
I thought that was very funny, and I can remember that happening. If I was writing I’d have to finish off my train of thought before I turned to answer them. I’m glad to know that they thought it was funny. Also, it was normal for them. It was normal to have me writing at my computer for a few hours each day. (They were with me 24/7, and I had times dedicated JUST to them, too.) And I was still there—still present. Our presence as moms makes a big impact.
The funny thing is that Leslie didn’t mention the stuff I felt guilty about:
1. Not having a clean house all the time.
2. Limiting their extracurricular activities to one activity per child per year.
3. Getting a babysitter once in a while.
4. Going away to conferences a few times a year. (And later a few more times to speak.)
5. Having weeks now and then of picking up pizza or Taco Bell for dinner because I was under deadline.
Every family is different, but this really encouraged me. Now, as I continue to balance writing with my younger ones, it’s been a huge benefit to see that the older three have turned out great. It’s helped me to realize that I often feel guilty about things that aren’t really going to matter years from now.
Being present, and letting your kids know that they are the most important thing, goes a long way!
God, Thank you for my children. Thank you for instilling creativity into each of us, myself included. Help me find the right balance between family, creativity, and the rest of my life. Give me wisdom and sensitivity to see things from a new perspective.
Balanced: Finding Center as a Work-at-Home Mom by Tricia Goyer
The Solution To Working Moms Finding Balance In Everyday Life: Control Your Life Before It Controls You by Marita Kinney
Life Interrupted: The Scoop on Being a Young Mom by Tricia Goyer
Get Organized Secrets of Professional Organizers Volume 2: Leading Experts Talk About Productivity & Work-Life Balance by Donna Smallin Kuper
Beyond Soccer Mom: Strategies for a Fabulous Balanced Life by Leonaura Rhodes
To celebrate launch of The Lulu Tree Boutique, I’m doing a giveaway!
Ten winners will receive a copy of my book“Life Interrupted.” One grand prize winner will receive “Life Interrupted” and a Lulu Doll! Only those in the U.S. are eligible to win. Winners will receive an email and be announced next week! a Rafflecopter giveaway
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Thank you for this!! I loved your book Balanced (I was an amish fiction fan of yours before that) but that book made me realize it’s ok to chase dreams, and it’s okay for our kids to see us work or wrote or both from home. My kids are 10, 7 and 3 and I freelance, blog and we homeschool and I hope to one day be published. It’s ok to do and want these things our kids will turn out ok. Thank you for the reassurance!
My kids get the 5 minute thing too 🙂
Tricia Goyer says
You’re welcome, Misty! Keep following those God-dreams and your kids will see how it’s done!