I think balance is the thing many people struggle with, especially women. Society expects women to be the caretakers of the family and home. But in today’s world, women usually have to also hold a job, whether it be outside the home, or like the lucky ones, working from home.
I used to work full time out in the world. But when we had our first child, I left that job to pursue my other career goals- a home-based floral business. Plus, I wanted to be home with our children. It was the best of both worlds. In the 10 years since leaving my 9-6 day job, I have changed careers, but my new one still allows me to stay home.
I’m working real hard toward a career as a novelist. I’m on my way, but it is a slow process. And logically, the more time I spend working/writing, the faster I will get there. The more books I write, the more books I can get out into the world, and therefore, make money. BUT…am I willing to spend every waking moment at my computer, sacrificing time with my family and friends?? The answer is no.
During the day I do what I can with my time….trying to work as efficiently as possible. There are days I stay on my computer after my daughter comes home from school…hubby will sometimes make dinner. But the evenings are for my family. We do what we need to do. I help with homework, bathe kids, go to extra curricular activities, read with my kids. Then once they’re down for the night, it’s time for me and hubby to have some relaxation together. It may sound stupid, but we really enjoy watching TV together. We love to laugh together and predict who will win on Chopped.
My husband doesn’t work a normal job…he works most weekends. So his “weekend” is often a Tuesday and Wednesday or a Thursday and Friday. If we need to run errands or we just want to spend the day together, I have to also “take a day off”. And weekends…even though my hubby is working, most of the world is not. Many times we have things to do on weekends and that takes me away from my writing.
Don’t get me wrong…I make good use of my time. I didn’t write 80,000 words in 35 days by slacking off. But I will not sacrifice time with my family to further my career. I won’t look back at my life when I’m 80 and have regrets.
I’m finding my balance…are you???
~~~~~~~~~~Stephanie Haefner is a multi-published contemporary romance author, PRO member of RWA, and secretary for the Western NY Romance Writers. Visit her website at www.stephaniehaefnerthewriter.com or follow her on Twitter at @stephanihaefner
We’d love to see your comments on how you manage to find a balance between work and personal and/or the challenges you face in doing so!
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