At one point, I caught myself thinking, “So this is my life now. Reduced to being a home-bound mum without any outside means to express myself.”
After analysing books and instances of successful women combining careers and family obligations, I started thinking. I began wondering if I had what it takes to follow in their stead and join the ranks.
Many women (including many friends) believe that balancing career and motherhood is out of realms of possibility. As in, you can only allocate enough time for one or the other. Not both. And I shared that sentiment at the time.
Either way, I thought I’d still give it a try. And if things didn’t work out, I’d adapt my approach and work towards something else.
The collective experience of other women doing the same thing was a big inspiration to me.
Their sense of purpose completely enamoured me and applying it first hand was an eye-opening experience. There are some perks to being a writer, though. Not being bound to a workplace is probably the main one. My choice of occupation wasn’t a mistake; I absolutely love writing and telling stories.
I encourage everyone to try it; it’s an immensely powerful tool.
Even if you’re not a student and even if your job doesn’t require it (like providing an original help with writing essays at australian writings) you’ll still greatly benefit from it.
In reality, there is probably no clear-cut way to succeed. It may not even exist. But I felt I got close, even if I didn’t hit the jackpot.
After sifting through numerous theories, ideas, beliefs, and taking notes for balancing motherhood and career, I’ve distilled everything down to a simple, core idea.
And the secret is simple; it’s time allocation. Or as an alternative – no slacking.
When I was making a conscious decision to stick to writing and being a good mother, I was aware that I would have to limit myself in significant ways.
I will have to be on the move constantly. Cooking fast, and eating light. Washing dishes, tidying the house, and luxuries like applying make-up will have to be kept to a minimum. So far, so easy.
The hardest thing to contend with, I’d say, is maintaining proper focus. There is simply too much happening; overloads are constant, and play times are plentiful. But once a small break emerges on the horizon, I always try to cram in a short writing session. Just to get a few things done.
Plotting an upcoming writing session is pretty much unreal, though. You clearly don’t know what new adventure your kid is about to embark on next – stomach ache, some random illness, an insect bite or, god forbid, an allergy. I learned to enjoy writing during nap times and at night.
But at the same time, it’s important to give yourself ample time to recharge. Think of it as a holiday, or a cheat day or whatever; a day you dedicate to yourself. Restoration is a valuable part of the process, without it, you simply can’t function as a person you want to become.
Another thing vital to success is being honest with yourself.
You won’t be able to be everywhere and do everything; you will have to make sacrifices in every capacity.
I had to avoid other main distractions, like social media and digital entertainment. Keep your priorities straight and to the point. Get rid of needless activities, but don’t get rid of essentials.
All in all, we learn from our hardships.
Difficulties shape us, mold us into the best versions of ourselves. And this constant stream of inconveniences made me very flexible. I feel as if I’m primed and ready for everything.
Not to mention that a fresh perspective is all that’s needed to provide some inspiration for the writing process.
Getting used to the lifestyle takes time. But one time, it all “clicks” and everything starts making sense to me. That moment of clarity allowed me to meet the person I wanted to be.
This experience puts things into perspective, you stop being concerned with trivial things and only focus on what matters – going from a simple mom to a mom with working obligations.
I have enormous respect for like-minded people. Keeping a perfect balance is sometimes not even a possibility. In fact, this entire balancing act closely resembles a see-saw. Many difficulties can occur on the way to the goal. But once you’re there, it’s probably the most fulfilling feeling in the world.
The self-discipline and self-maintenance required for the process of combining are immense, but what you need to do is pick a direction and work towards it. It’s a complex transition, and I can’t imagine going through the same motions twice.
Of course, husbands and men can take a small brunt of the pressure, to ease the burden.
You can be the best at what you do. Books on successful women are a good starting point, but for a lack of better words, you should just do it. You won’t learn otherwise.
About the author:
Helen Birk is a freelance writer, who believes that even if you are a mother you can always find a way to express yourself.
SheSociety is a site for the women of Australia to share our stories, our experiences, shared learnings and opportunities to connect.