If you are a housewife and raising little people, how then can you also become a writer? You want your home to be clean and lovely, you spend a good deal of time shopping and cooking good, wholesome meals, you enjoy time with the children and maybe your have even started homeschooling. How, on God’s green earth, will you have time to build a writing career?
Simple! Yes, it’s simple really. I used to read these women’s blogs and they would post once a week, write books, raise 100 kids, and run a farm complete with cows and apple orchards! They would make their own soap and coffee mugs…sigh. I was envious and found them to be ridiculous and amazing. Turns out that if you manage your time and get smart about chores and soap making, you can have time to blog and write books. It helps if you don’t have to milk cows or have 100 children.
I have two little boys. One still nurses and that can put a monkey wrench in production right there. I was tired when we lived in a big house with a lot of front, back, and side yardage to tend to. Then I downsized…and still am. I went from 2,000 square feet of home to 860 square feet. We now have the little yard in the back with a little garden. I got rid of …gave away…a lot of stuff. Cleaning takes 30 minutes a day (2 hours for intense cleaning, of course, I’m no slouch). The yard is sweet, but low maintenance.
We live in town now so we take minutes to go shop or to the park. I have also created a home and yard that we really enjoy “living” in. The yard has a big sandbox we build with some boards and sand left behind, there is a huge climber with tunnels, slides, and towers I purchased on Craigslist for $170 (normally this gig is $800 to $1600 and that is not including shipping). I planted a strawberry patch and a vegetable patch from raised beds left behind and there are all kinds of plants and a big nice gazebo on my patio that I’ve gotten cheap also on Craigslist or the on sale at nurseries. My kids have their own playground when we don’t make it to the park. I have a garden to work in for my sanity.
My home is charming and cozy, but I don’t have lot’s of business and chachka that I have to clean around, under, or dust. I have streamlined my cleaning to get it done fast. I deep clean once a month and once a week I do the all over clean, but daily is a quick clean and tidy. I just do what really needs it that day along with the normal dish washing, bed making. One day I do a mop, the next the bathroom.
I have streamlined cooking also. I shop once a week. No in between. I cook up big batches at a time and we love leftovers (there is no option here). However, my leftovers are things that really do taste better each day it’s simmered. Things like spaghetti sauce (don’t mix with the pasta ever) or soups, stews, pot roast, beans…these things are even better the next day and then you freeze the rest for another day. My husband’s lunch comes out of this batch. I literally make a quick breakfast and then around noon I make a big batch of whatever and that is what we eat the rest of the day and dinner and the next, so I can really get it to where I cook every other day. Now, I do have plates of good food I put out for the kids for the day. I make a plate of fruit, veggies, dips, nuts, seeds, cheese, crackers, healthy granola bars, yogurt, and olives. It’s just the three of us during the day and we just graze as we work and play. This is fun and easy.
I have created rituals and routines. Morning routines, bath routines in the evening. We go to city play parks and forest, but not every day. I schedule a homeschooling coop event once or twice a month and we do a park or forest 3 times a week. I like to combine one of the times with the grocery shopping. We also do the library once a week. Once or twice a month we have a social visit to someone’s home or a guest visits. I’d say we have a house guest stay once every 6 months. We keep our calendar light. I even stopped going to the Center for Spiritual Awareness because it was more trouble than it was worth. I do my own “church” at home.
I blog early in the morning while everyone is sleeping. I sit at the kitchen table and sip coffee, watch the sunrise, and whip up a blog. I also do some work on a book if there is one in the pipeline. This is a job to me and I schedule in time daily to work on my writing. The boys have lots to play with in the house and in the yard. There is no end of things to do and I’m not one of those mothers that play with my kids all day. There is only so much dinosaur and tractor play I can do.
If you are working on a writing career, you schedule your day as though you have two part time jobs. You have times and rhythms. You schedule housework, cooking, the boy’s activities, writing. You even schedule in breaks and meal times. Your day never ends really, we housewives know this, so you must schedule in your dreams and breaks. You fit times in the day to enjoy a book, a show. You will lose your mind if you don’t make lots of fun, spiritual, and enriching time for yourself. You MUST make pockets of time for yourself to relax and do things that please your spirit. You MUST work on something that delights you and if that is writing you can make time for it.