Balancing acts

There are a lot of days lately that I feel like I can either be “Miranda, the author” or “Miranda, the mom” … I’m having a lot of trouble balancing both. Technically all three because thrown in with mom duties are also maid/cook/transporter duties, plus that whole being a wife thing.

Now that To Have has released, I’m trying to figure out the gifty things – swag – that won’t bankrupt me while promoting the book as much I can and also taking time to write the second book. I haven’t touched my file for the next book in three days. It took me, broken up, about 10 hours yesterday to relearn aspects of Photoshop just to create one bookmark.

I keep trying to be the author when my kids need the mom. I work in starts and fits because that’s all the time I get lately and that’s usually interjected with fights and arguments between the girls or me and one of them (no, you can’t have marshmallows and freeze pops for breakfast … cue meltdown and unproductive day). If it’s not a fight about food, it’s the television; if not the TV, over a toy or getting in the car or I breathed too loudly in the wrong direction.

My stress translates into their stress, and I have a lot of stress – not just book related – but sadly the ways I decompress are to hide away and write or go to the gym. The last time I went to the gym was to update my credit card info two weeks ago and before that it was April. Maybe?

Last week I worked on the new WIP four out of seven days. Not bad when you consider last year while I was working on To Have there were times I would only work four days out of an entire month. But, those four days could sometimes produce 10,000 words depending on if it was a weekend or the kids were off with my parent for a couple of days. Regardless, I want to be in the pattern of writing every day and when I have to be mom first and author second, it makes it difficult to get downstairs to my office even for an hour a night.

I overcame that struggle once before, in the early days of Brian and Stella’s story, by using Evernote to sketch out chapters, or even just a few lines of dialogue while sitting with one child or the other as they were trying to drift off to sleep. It works, but it’s not the same as sitting at my computer and letting it flow. There’s a lag in trying to type on a phone and then I deal with major auto correct fails if I try to get a lot out of my head at once.

The balancing act is a constant struggle, though. As soon as I think the girls are settled for a while and I can get some work done during the day, they change the game plan on me. I’ve been writing this post for an hour … I’ve had to figure out what buttons my 3-year-old pressed on the Roku remote and get her movie started again, scold my 4-year-old for kicking a ball in the house, argue over eating yogurt (because I didn’t put enough in the bowl the first time and that was wrong … so, so wrong of me), and have general interruptions.

Now I have to speed through a shower, force the girls into clothes they will probably tell me they never want to wear again, and get to the dentist office for Charlotte’s appointment. She’s been up since shortly before 6 a.m. so this should be enjoyable.

Apparently, today, I’m Miranda, the mom. I wonder if my cape is dry?

2 thoughts on “Balancing acts

  1. Miranda I am right there with you! I write during twin toddler nap times and have even started taking them to daycare two days a week because I just can’t handle full time mom. Now that it’s summer, 7 yo and 16 yo are home, so there’s that added distraction and there’s ALWAYS something else I SHOULD be doing. The stress of trying to do it all and be everything is far worse than any full time job I’ve ever held and I used to be a single mom working 60 hours a week! Good luck to you and your new release. And finding that stress relief!

    Liked by 1 person

    • This is one of those situations where I’m glad I’m not alone, but I hate that others are in the same position. I actually considered trying to find daycare for a couple days each week for the summer and then decided against it because I would probably just come back home and curl up in the fetal position and sleep for four hours every day. Charlotte gave up naps more than a year ago, so I don’t even have that time during the day. Right now our oldest is in afternoon Pre-K, so I have a little quiet time, but once June 24 rolls around and school is out I’m basically looking at working from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. Thankfully, there’s a girl across the street I can have help me out once in a while during the day.

      I absolutely agree with you about the stress being worse that other jobs. I worked as a full-time editor/reporter for a daily paper before getting married and then continued working for a weekly paper after moving once we were married and all of those 60 to 80 hour weeks were nothing compared to this.

      It sounds like we both could use a margarita and a beach vacation. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

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