by Karen Hoover
I realized today that my book has become a third child, but not just any child, oh no. This is a stubborn, time consuming, chest pounding, King Kong sized, tantrum throwing child that won’t let me eat or sleep without invading my thoughts and dreams. I can’t help but feel a little guilty sometimes. My baby takes up so much more time and energy than the rest of the family put together. It seems selfish to put one child above another.
So, how do we find a balance? My initial reaction is, “I don’t know, you tell me,” because this is something I’ve certainly struggled with. I am hardly an expert—but the image that comes to mind is that of a high-wire walker holding a long pole. Too much weight on one side and the pole tips. Too much force to compensate and down comes the walker.
I guess balancing our lives is much the same. Too much time writing and, oops, the family suffers. Overcompensate by becoming a supermom (or dad), and our writing and creative self fall. I don’t know about the rest of you, but if I’m not writing, I’m not happy. Life falls apart. I fall apart and my family takes the brunt of it.
If we can’t be supermom or superwriter, alone, how do we find the balance?
For me, it has meant turning my eyes heavenward. Everyone has different needs that will be answered by different solutions. What works for me may not work for anyone else, but thankfully, there is someone who knows all of our needs and will answer them if we but ask.
Balance? For me it means taking the time to sit with my family at dinner. It means writing while my children are at school or in bed, and taking them with me for errands. It means pulling myself away from my writing long enough to check on them every hour or so on the weekends, and taking time to put a puzzle together or play a quick video game. It means sharing my dreams with them, and making them part of the process.
There is where I find my balance. There is where I find my joy.