Anabel González

As you all know I am working in the revision and translation of my novel, something that needs a lot of work, so I need a lot of hours. And you may say yes, I know. What's the problem? The problem is to find the time to do this without feeling guilty.

I am a mom of a 5 year old and a 2 year old that need all my time. The 5 year old goes to preschool but the two year old stays in home all day and he will never let me concentrate. I write when he is taking a nap in the morning. But that isn't enough if I want to finish my revision - translation before the summer. So sometimes I take an hour at night when the kids go to sleep to write and I feel guilty because that's the time when my husband and I can be together and talk.

I think this time is important and I don't want a divorce. I love my husband, he supports me in my crazy life of writer but everything has a limit and I have to spend time with him.

The other problem is Holiday vacations begin next week and I am going to have Carlos also in the house so my time for writing will be null.

Well I guess I can write at  two in the morning when everybody is asleep and don't need anything from me. But I can't, the doctor told me to sleep every time I could because I started to faint with all the months I expent sleeping poorly with Alex ,my body needs sleep. So no, I can't.

What am I going to do?

I feel guilty for thinking of ways of expending less time with my family and more with my revision - translation.

Have you felt guilty for expending time writing?

14 Responses
  1. tracy_d74 Says:

    I am single with no kids...but I do feel bad when I dodge friends. It is something all writers struggle with to some degree. I think many write when kids nap or are in school. It is tough. Hang in there. There is no deadline. Don't put unneeded stress on yourself. When you get published and people are demanding you meet deadlines, that is a different thing...until then...just breathe.

  2. bogwitch64 Says:

    Oh, sweetie, I've been there too. The truth is, you can't escape the guilt AND write as much as you want. I was a stay-at-home mother to my children, and until they were all in school, I didn't write much at all.
    If I may make a couple of suggestions:
    1--write whenever Alex is sleeping and Carlos is in school. End of story. Nothing else but emergencies can intrude. No housework. No neighbors. Nothing. It's not a lot of time, but it's YOURS.
    2. Ease up on your goal of finishing by next summer. You could well do so, but setting a goal like that only puts pressure on you. That's the last thing you need. You have no deadlines now but your own determination. Keep that goal in the back of your mind, but give yourself a break too. Just know that you will keep working until it's done. THAT is your goal right now.
    3. Give yourself specific times to write while your husband is home, a nice chunk of time. For example--three hours every Wednesday evening. It is VERY important to let your boys see that their dad supports your writing, and that he is willing to keep them out of your hair while you do it. You WANT your boys (and your husband!) to know that you have an identity that does NOT involve being wife and mother. That's one of the biggest obstacles stay-at-home moms have--making sure their family knows that they are a person too!
    4. If you don't get to write one day, two, a week because your family is home and needs your attention more than usual, let it go. Don't stress over it. You have TWO jobs right now, and sometimes one has to take precedence over the other. Your boys will be big and independent before you know it. Enjoy them during these times, because while the writing can and will wait for you to get back to it, children can't!
    Advice from one stay-at-home-writer-mother to another. I hope it helps!

  3. musingaloud Says:

    It's a hard act to juggle when you've young children. I do think it's not too much to ask, perhaps, for the 5 yr old to play quietly for an hour while his brother naps and you take some computer time. Hard to concentrate though when you're bound to be interupted. I'm afraid there's no easy answer. No, I definitely would not skip sleep to write, not at this time in your life. As long as your husband will give you an hour to write in the evening, I would take it and not feel guilty about it. At this point, you'll have to take what snippets of time you have. Three more years (or less, depending on when you feel comfortable putting the younger one in daycare), you'll have more time during your day.

  4. musingaloud Says:

    Oh, and exactly what Bogwitch says!!! I should have read her post first! she's very wise, that girl!

  5. I know I have no deadline but as you can see I am very obsessive and once I think of making something I have to end it soon. I know is something I have to change.
    Thank you!

  6. It helps a lot, thank you!!
    I am going to talk to my husband to see how I can take some extra time to write. He arrives from work when the kids are almost asleep, but he is here for lunch and on weekends so I am going to see if we can set one night for me to write or a few hours on saturday morning.
    Yes, it's hard to make husbands and kids see that you are a person too and need other things.

  7. jajaja Thank you!! You are wise too!

  8. Thank you!! Yes I am thinking of asking Carlos to play quietly the time Alex sleeps this vacations so I can write and then play with him.
    Over here official preschool starts with 3 years. So next year Alex will go there. And my husband thinks I should send him a couple of hours to day care in the spring so he can adjust to be without mom and play with other kids. I am thinking of that...:)

  9. robinellen Says:

    Yes, I often feel guilty for letting my other responsibilities take me away from my family. *sigh* Seems like life is like that, though...and when I actually make time for writing, I don't feel guilty, because it's so rare these days.

  10. musingaloud Says:

    Oh, preschool at 3 years, how wonderful. There's no "official" preschool here, only private, which is very expensive. But my oldest grandson started this year when he turned 3 and it's been very good for him to be around more children and he's also learning a lot.
    A couple hours daycare for the youngest would be good for him, too! Definitely look into that.

  11. tracy_d74 Says:

    I am the same way...I hate having stuff hanging over my head. BUT in the writing process I have learned to just breathe. I think every draft is the last draft and then I learn something new and realize I have a LONG way to go.

  12. Yes, I still have a long way to go...:)

  13. Over here we have official and private, there are private schools that are not expensive maybe because the official school is bad so all of us try to go to private when we can.

  14. Yes it seems life is like that!:)

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