“How can you give your family the attention they need while working full time and writing so much?”
When posed this question by another author at National Conference, I was halted in my tracks. Guilt is a problem for me. With 1 rude question, this author unknowingly hit me right in the gut. Though I’d love to be Wonder Woman (and hubby would totally dig that outfit!), I know I’m no super hero(ine). I do worry about short-changing my children or my writing, but I can’t give up either. I’ve worked too hard for both.
I can’t quit my day job, as much as I’d like to, because my family needs me to work for a steady income. At least for the time being. That’s simply life at this moment. And as much as I’d like to complain about it, I won’t. My hubby has gone above and beyond to take care of the kids and family responsibilities so I have more time to write. I won’t fuss about the demands on my time when he has just as many on his.
So this is a dilemma I have struggled with since I went back to work full-time, particularly when I’m on a deadline or have to say “no” when my kids want something because there aren’t enough minutes in the day.
So when I heard Kristan Higgins speak at RWA Nationals, it truly struck a chord. Both lunch speeches were awesome (other was Cathy Maxwell), but 1 particular statement by Kristen pierced my heart. It wasn’t the focus of the speech in actuality, probably something she ad-libbed. But it was something I desperately needed at this stage of my career and life.
She talked about a time when her husband worked long hours. She was helping him study for firefighters testing and they had a small baby. In order to help their family out, she strapped the baby to her chest while she cleaned a few houses. “Women do what they need to,” she said. “If you are doing what your family needs, be proud of that.”
What? I’m a mom. I’m not proud…I’m guilty of not being Super Woman!
But she’s right. I should be proud—
-of finding a fulltime job that pays decent without having recent experience.
-of working every day and still chasing my dreams.
-for teaching my children that dreams are worth sacrifice and hard work.
-for focusing on my children in the time I have with them.
-Making an effort to include fun activities or things they want to do when I can.
-expressing my gratitude for and to those who help me, including my husband, kids, mother, mother-in-law, sister, sister-in-law, and many others.
That, I think, is something to be proud of! All of you hardworking moms and dads out there, what are you proud of today? Give yourself a shout out! You deserve it!!!!