Do you ever feel like a seal at the circus, balancing a ball on your nose while you try to reconcile your family responsibilities with your writing career?
As authors, we balance the stories we tell in regards to narrative elements, action, dialogue, characterization, plot, setting...
As mothers and wives, we must balance our families, the household responsibilities, and our writing. In addition to imitating ball-on-nose balancing seals, we also need the ability to juggle, without taking a hit.
Without taking a hit. Easier said than done. Sure, the dust will still be on the shelves next week, especially if there's a deadline involved, but in the meantime, if, like it is in my house, you're the Chief Cook, all within your domain will perish without sustenance that can only be provided by you, the Chief Cook. (Chief, heck! I'm the ONLY cook here!) Oh, the pressure! (The crock pot is one of the most wonderful inventions. Also, a George Foreman grill or a Hamilton Beach grill. I have a Hamilton Beach grill, and it will grill a steak in 5 minutes. You can even do taco meat in it.)
The answer? Delegation. Children can run a vacuum cleaner just as easily as you can (and it's probably a good idea to give them some chores around the house, after all, the kids create 99.999999999% of the mess in the first place). Husbands are capable of loading a dishwasher (so long as you don't care HOW it's loaded), and in most circumstances, are able to operate an ATM machine to obtain money and know where the nearest McD's is in relation to their home. <--For when you're buried under a deadline, and suffer from Chief Cookitis. Men are also capable of doing laundry. Shocking, but true. My husband can wash, dry, hang and fold. It's the putting away fo the kiddo's clothes that stymies him. Of course, I'm of the opinion that the kids should be in charge of putting away their own clothing. They wear it, they can put it away. Clorox wipes are the best for keeping the bathrooms useable, and for a quick clean, spray Scrubbing Bubbles over the tub, tiles, shower... and just let it sit. Don't forget to rinse it later, though. ;) )
As for the rest of it, keep the lights low, and in a pinch, open a bottle of Pine Sol. It will make your house smell clean, even if you did just put all the dirty dishes formerly in the sink into the oven because your mother-in-law dropped by unexpectedly. If she stays for dinner, call out for Chinese.
And remember, a schedule is only as good as your intent to follow it.
Tomorrow, Recipes for the Author Under a Deadline.
Today's Valentine's Day Link: Valentine's Activities for Kids.