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It began with a message. People consistently asked me the same question: “How do you write, care for five children, homeschool, and do virtual assistant work?” So, I set out to write an eBook that would help answer that question and offer the possibility to other moms who had a love for writing, but didn’t believe they had the time or permission to pursue it.

Yes, I’m a writer. To my very core. I process life best by writing. I communicate best by writing. The world of blogging has opened up doors I never thought possible as a writer.

I am also a mother to my core. Ever since I was little, all I dreamed about was growing up, getting married, and caring for babies.

I was ten when I first began journaling. When I became a mother at 21, the idea of writing was behind me. I never even once considered the possibility of it because I didn’t know it was okay to be a mother and a writer. My eBook, Blog at Home Mom, answers that question as well as offering practical ideas on how it can be done.

It took me years and many seasons of blogging through different stages of motherhood to learn this information. In hopes of saving others some time, I compiled it into a quick, efficient eBook.

It's not about perfection

So, how did I write an eBook with five children?

My Husband

I couldn’t have done it without the help and support of my husband. The very support of my husband was foundational to my own success. If he didn’t support my writing, I couldn’t have left the house 1-2 times per week in order to write the eBook. He helped with the children by making dinners, bathing them, and getting them to bed. He even helped me format my book for Kindle. He’s my biggest fan. I simply couldn’t have done it without him.

Discipline and Planning

I am not a naturally disciplined person. At all. I need to force myself to be disciplined. Before I started writing the eBook, I put a down payment on a book cover for it so it forced me to commit to writing it. I considered it a valuable investment.

Again, my husband was a large part of this process. On nights I did not want to go out to write, he encouraged me to anyway. He was my accountability. He created ways for me to go write, even on busy Saturdays.

Along with discipline to write, I needed a plan. I was still blogging and doing virtual assistant work alongside writing an eBook. Being careful with my time was a must. I needed to carefully plan my time in order to get everything accomplished and still keep the home fires burning and well.

Were there times when the house was left a mess and we ordered pizza or Chinese for dinner? Absolutely. It’s something I have accepted as going along with the writing life. But I try to only let that happen occasionally, not regularly.

Let Go of Things

I have small children. Their ages are 10, 7, 6, 4, and 2. One of the areas I finally gave up trying to perfect, at least in this season while my children are yet young, is making fancy meals. When my daughter was young, I relished making and trying new meals. But that season has vastly changed over the years and for so long I was still holding on to it, frustrated that I couldn’t make it work like it once did.

The fact is, my children are still developing “adult” taste buds and palettes. They do not appreciate nor enjoy a gourmet meal the way my husband and I do. So rather than constantly putting all my effort pouring into a meal that my children groan about, I decided to keep it basic and serve foods they enjoy, such as spaghetti or BBQ chicken.  This has saved so much time and frustration — for everyone!

Time Management

Time management looks different for everyone. It’s simple. Manage your time to maximize what time you have. We all have the same amount of time; how we use it is up to us.

Rather than choosing television in the evenings, I read or write. Early in our marriage, my husband and I watched so many movies rented from Blockbuster Video (remember them?) that we got a letter in the mail congratulating us for being among the top 3% of renters in the country. Nowadays we are a lot more picky about what movies we choose to watch. We simply don’t have as much interest in them anymore because we choose to spend our time in other ways.

Our evenings (after the children are in bed) offer me a good chunk of writing space. My husband and I sit side by side, working independently, yet together.

Homeschooling

On top of being a mother of five, I also homeschool. I spend my mornings focused on doing lessons and reading aloud with my children. At each meal, we read aloud as well. It’s wonderful, because we have several books going at once and we all anticipate the next chapter of each book. Since we’re already sitting together, it makes reading aloud fairly easy, especially once it’s become a habit. My children know what to expect.

We don’t always get everything accomplished in the morning because there is usually a child who resists wanting to do lessons. Sometimes, they’ll end up doing it in the evening when Daddy gets home.

There are times I get sucked into the computer and find a whole day has been wasted. I really try to make it a point to keep the computer closed in the morning. I update Facebook and Twitter here and there, but I really do try to avoid getting sucked in when I need to be focused on homeschooling or cleaning. I am still working on this.

In the End

I am not perfect with keeping my schedule or always keeping balance. There will always be a battle for balance. I never expect I’m going to get it perfect, but continue work at being better at keeping things balanced. In her foreword to Blog at Home Mom, Crystal Paine quoted Dave Ramsey as saying that we don’t measure balance in our lives over the course of a day or week, but over the course of a whole year.  There are days when take-out is ordered when a writing project is looming and days when blogging is set aside for a day of movies or reading aloud. It’s not about perfection, but about purpose and progression.

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Christin has a heart to encourage and equip women in aspects of discipleship, marriage, mothering, writing, blogging, and community. She sees the body of Christ as an important community of encouragement and discipleship and works to foster that around the web. Her biggest ministry is to her family and she knows how beautiful, hard, overwhelming, and exhausting mothering can be. Her passion is to encourage mothers who need a challenge or a lift (or both). She has been married 12 years and has five children ranging in age from 10 down to 2.

You can find her encouraging moms at her blog Joyful Mothering, helping women in blogging at ChristinSlade.com, and chatting it up on Twitter as @ChristinWrites.

5 Comments

  1. Hooray – someone else like me who loves to write and is a mother. I used to homeschool my two kids, too (stopped now, though). I have to say that that evening chunk of time gets harder to find as the kids get older. Mine are now 15 and 12, and go to bed almost as late as I do, and even after they’re tucked up with the lights out, there will be the inevitable “Mooooom! I need my sports gear for tomorrow/another blanket/the cat removed from my bedroom/etc.”

    I used to read to my children over dinner, too. You eat quickly, or you take a bite in between pages. My parents used to read to me and my brothers over meals, too, usually as a form of bribery to help get disliked food down the hatch.

  2. I don’t know how someone can read aloud to their kids during meal times. The only way that I see that happening is Mom does not eat. She serves all the kids, helps them eat (in the case of little ones) and reads the book.. In my house, I surely cannot chew and read at the same time.

    Other than that, all her suggestions are valid.

    1. I eat. I just read for 10-15 minutes and then I eat. πŸ™‚ Sometimes I take a bite in between pages. πŸ™‚

      1. It seems like you are multi-tasking during meal times. πŸ™‚ I tried that and I figured that it was not accomplishing the purpose of meal time which for us is nourishing time. I was so busy trying to read, discuss and eat at the same time, that by the time meals were over, I was exhausted. Instead of nourished, I felt depleted. So I don’t do that anymore. We read after or before meals, but during meal time we talk and enjoy the food and each other. πŸ™‚ As for the rest of the day, I am multi-tasking all the time. Except for sleep time… oh, no!! I multi-task then too: I breastfeed while I sleep many nights! ha! oh mommy life!!

        1. Yes, I suppose I am. πŸ™‚ It works well for us in this season. That doesn’t necessarily mean it always will, though. πŸ™‚ I’ll take it while I can! Thanks for commenting Tereza! I appreciate your insights!!

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