One of the things I hear a lot of writers talk about is the balance between family life and career. In the countless interviews I’ve given through the years, the question of how I juggle the needs of my family with the demands of my writing career often comes up. Balance seems elusive. Parents can carry around a lot of guilt—especially if the kids claim that your “job” is more important than they are.
I’m still carving out my right balance. Recently, I was asked to think about what my perfect day would look like. That sure got the gears turning. Here’s what I would like to see Monday through Friday:
6:30—Get ready for the day
7:00—Drive kids to school
7:45—Read and respond to emails
8:00—Write for an hour
9:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.—Real-estate appointments
2:15—Pick up the girls from the bus stop
2:30 to 5:00—Household chores
5:00—Make lunches for tomorrow
6:30 to 9:00—Family time
As of right now, my days rarely look like this. Writing this out and posting it in my office, however, shows what I’m striving for. Just like I have health and fitness goals and post workouts and recipes online to keep me focused on those goals, having this list staring me in the face each morning motivates me to find that balance. There might be days that everything doesn’t fall into place. The unexpected can happen at any time. But having a plan and doing your best to stick to it certainly gets you farther than leaving it all up to chance.
Do you struggle with finding the right balance between your family life and writing career? What would your perfect day look like? Would writing out your perfect day and posting it in your writing space be helpful? What tips can you share for finding that balance?