Oh man, you guys. You have no idea how much I have been DYING to share this news with you. The last month has been crazy in terms of sudden new opportunities, budget-wrestling, life-balance agonizing, and everything else that goes with such a major life upheaval.

Here’s the deal: I’ll primarily be writing ongoing posts for The Stir along with some corporate work. I’ll be doing this from home while juggling kid-wrangling, because this is the last week of the boys’ daycare. Three days a week, our wonderful babysitter will be coming from 1-4 in the afternoon to watch Riley and Dylan, and I’ll scoot off to a coffee shop or wherever I can poach some Wi-Fi.

There are a lot of questions I don’t have answers to yet. I will have daily deadlines that I’ll need to meet, and I need to figure out how to do this without relying too much on Yo Gabba Gabba. I know I will slowly go crazy if I don’t have any adult interaction EVER, and the kids need socialization too, so I need a plan for getting us out of the house and interacting with actual live humans. I need a schedule, one that can be flexible enough to accommodate unforeseen problems but structured enough so that I don’t completely morph into this Oatmeal comic.

We decided to wait on starting Riley in kindergarten this year, so I had to think long and hard about whether it was the right thing to do to pull him from preschool. (His daycare is a care center and school combined.) And Dylan, for that matter—they have both done really well in their classes over the years. Under my new salary, I can’t afford to keep sending them there even part time.

Maybe I will find a less expensive preschool somewhere down the road (although as long as we live in this area it seems doubtful), but for now they’ll be home with me. The idea is that school—the homeschool variety—is going to be part of our new routine too. I don’t have much to say about that yet, but I’m hopeful that we can figure out the time management, and that the inevitable frustration is tempered by fun. I hope that it ends up being a great opportunity to connect with my kids and enjoy the last of their little-boyhood.

I have no doubts whatsoever that all of this is going to be really, really hard, in a lot of different ways. But I’ll tell you what, goddamn if the very best things aren’t always hard as hell.

Priorities have shifted all over the place, and I won’t be going back to school in the fall like I’d planned. Winter, probably. I will slowly but surely chase down that dream, no matter how long it takes.

I still dream of a career helping people reach their fitness goals. I want to get our house sold and move to Oregon. I want to write a book. I want to do a lot of things, and my road seems wider and more beckoning than ever before. This isn’t my forever, this is my new right now. And it is so, so much better than my yesterday.

For that and so much more, I want to say thank you. Thank you so very, very much for reading and being part of our lives. Without you I would not have this opportunity, and that is the absolute truth. The words aren’t enough, but I want you to know: I am so incredibly grateful.

Now, my dear friends. The comments are open for all kinds of advice, because I would love to hear any and everything you might want to share about surviving being at home full time, figuring out schedules, avoiding hermit-ness, keeping kids happy, not collapsing in a pile of your own personal filth, and so on. Next week a new chapter of our lives is starting, and I am so happy to be sharing it with you.



148 Responses to “Learning to fly”

  1. Nicole on September 3rd, 2010 5:34 pm

    Your flexible schedule may allow you to do a co-op preschool with the boys, which is significantly less expensive, plus gives you a touch of adult interaction.

  2. bwsf on September 3rd, 2010 6:33 pm

    There’s been a fair amount of Yo Gabba Gabba helping me through it, but really it’s just about spending some time hunkering down and doing the work, and the rest of the time enjoying your freedom. This is great news, I have been reading for so long about how much you didn’t enjoy your job. You can do this! It will take an adjustment but seriously, you can do it.

  3. Lane on September 3rd, 2010 6:51 pm

    With 100 comments I have to confess that I have not checked to see if this has been suggested. Our 4.5 year old is set to attend preschool starting next week at the local public elementary school. We live in the Portland Metro area and the public preschools in our school district are provided at a subsidized rate regardless of home income status. We pay about half of what most private schools charge. Maybe your area offers something similar?
    Best of luck with this huge life change! I have been a reader for a long time now and couldn’t be happier for you and your family.

  4. Janet B. on September 3rd, 2010 7:18 pm

    I’m in the same situation, I pulled my 3 yr. old son out of preschool 2 weeks ago to work primarily from home. It’s been an adjusment but I’ve found that once the TV is turned off he will entertain himself with toys and the backyard. There’s the usual before naptime crankiness but that takes care of itself once he goes down. I had a meeting where I actually had to get dressed for work, & man it was a little uncomfortable. I’ll think I will miss the adult dressed working community, but am trying to appreciate the opportunites that maybe other working mom’s don’t have. Plus I log on at about 6 am when I wake up so am ususally ahead of the game. Good luck, & think of all the day care/preschool money you are saving!

  5. Josefina on September 3rd, 2010 7:19 pm

    I am excited about these changes! I agree with others who said you are brave and wonderful.

    I just began homeschooling my sons. I held out for years. I was afraid I couldn’t do it, not because I couldn’t understand the material, but because of the logistics of things: the organization skills involved, the time & commitment necessary, the Oh No Will They Begin to Hate Me Because I Just Never Shut Up or Go Away…I decided to make a list of reasons to do it and it went on for pages and pages and I finally realized that the bottom line was this: I just wanted to. So far, it has been frantic and hectic and stressful and wonderful. I love having them here with me. I am so glad to have this time with them. They seem happy to be with me, too. So far.

    There are groups of homeschooling moms that get together to support one another, and groups that get together to provide social and extracurricular opportunities for the children. Sometimes those groups are one and the same, and other times not. I was fortunate enough to find a group of moms with a similar educational philosophy to mine, which has been very helpful as I’ve been getting materials together, etc.

    Best to you, Linda! I am happy for you!

  6. shelley on September 3rd, 2010 7:58 pm

    Good for you ! I Applaud you for having the cojones to chase your dreams. I have no doubt that you will be successful and look forward to you sharing your journey.

  7. Gnometree on September 3rd, 2010 8:04 pm

    Well done to you. The only suggestion that I have for you is do you have a playgroup or similar near you? We have them here in Australia but I don’t know about the US. Mums bring their kids along and play with the kids in a group or do different structured activities. At our playgroup each mum is rostered a day to be the organiser – it might be playdough or sock puppets or obstacle courses. The mums help the kids with the activity of the day and after the activity, the mums set the kids to play on the playground and then sit back and have mummy time with a coffee and cake. It usually only costs us $2-$5 per child. Its a great way of getting out and about with the kids, kids meeting kids, and mums meeting mums. It has been a sanity saver for many mums I know

  8. marta on September 3rd, 2010 8:17 pm

    Oh I’m so excited for you. One idea comes to mind: free nights at museums, like free night at Museum of Flight and I think SAM has a free, interactive monthly art day for kids at the Sculpture Park.
    I’m quitting my job in a couple months and will be following your journey eagerly, for good tips. I’m great at leaving the house but what scares me is all the at-home time.

  9. tawnya on September 3rd, 2010 8:36 pm

    PLAYGROUP. I love ours. Every Wednesday from 10-12. At least I know I have that.

    And I make sure we are up and dressed and ready to GO by 10 am. Even if we aren’t going anywhere.

  10. Rebecca (@playcon) on September 3rd, 2010 9:03 pm

    If you get to comment #108, my only advise is to only ever plan on doing one thing per day with the kids. Then don’t beat yourself up if it doesn’t get done. This thing that your embarking on is fucking hard, but the fact that you’re doing it now makes me think it must be worth it. Thanks for the reminder.

  11. Amanda on September 3rd, 2010 10:25 pm

    Hot damn, Linda! Congratulations, a million times a million times over. SO proud of you, so happy for you!

  12. MizzM on September 3rd, 2010 10:31 pm

    Congrats on the “Big Step,” but I am confident you will make it work! I have always been (and will always be) a Work Outside the Home Mom, but my kids are older now, and it is SOOOO much more manageable. Since your kiddos are still little, I would say that scheduling is key and routines are key. I’m also certain there are TONS of Homeschooler Groups and Playgroups you can find online to connect with other parents and arrange for Field Trips and other Group Activities. Also check with your local Parks & Rec Dept. and Public Libraries for inexpensive art, storytime, sports, etc. Even if it’s only a few hours a week, it will keep your kids interacting with other kids, and get all of you “out of the house” for awhile.

    You are a talented writer–I’m sure you will be able to make this a success! Good luck!

  13. GingerB on September 3rd, 2010 11:01 pm

    So, so, so very excited for you. I work full time, use a big hive day care, use my lunch and not booked hours to run my errands and get PT for my special needs child and keep my household afloat, and damn, I got nothing about how to do what you’re doing, except plan, plan, plan. All the time.

  14. Katy on September 4th, 2010 12:17 am

    OMFG I am so excited for you! I am a SAHM to three kidlets and my suggestion is the same as a lot of others – get out of the house every day. Otherwise you will go right round the bend. Good luck, I am so much looking forward to reading more of your stuff on the interweb!

  15. Sarah on September 4th, 2010 6:12 am

    This is so amazing, and I’m so happy for you!!

    The only advice I would have is to find, or start, a good playgroup. My area has an awesome playgroup I was lucky enough to find, and they have structured, scheduled playdates…regular monthly playdates and then a variety of others. You don’t have to attend any, but you can look at the groups monthly calendar and figure out a schedule of when you want to go. Best thing I ever did when I became a SAHM!!

  16. Niki P on September 4th, 2010 7:01 am

    Don’t lose sight of yourself as a woman and a wife. You married your husband for a reason and the stress of being at home full time can make you forget that. Kids are great and all but they will leave the nest- you need to be OK with yourself and JB.

  17. Ness at Drovers Run on September 4th, 2010 9:13 am

    Welcome to freelance wahmhood! It rocks, hurts, is awesome, difficult, amazing and will always be better than any corporate job there is.

    However, one word of advice, should your husband ever utter the words, “But what do you DO all day? It’s not like you’re doing REAL work…” try to resist the urge to beat him senseless…

  18. Donna on September 4th, 2010 9:21 am

    Be happy, have fun. Life is short, childhood is short, the house bills troubles will always be there, so put them on the back burner and enjoy.

    You are so VERY wise to realize what it is you want out of life at an early age and go for it…

    And, you’ve already shown you can do anything you put your mind to, remember having to swim in the lake? Running? Working out? Not drinking? God, any one of those would have killed most of us, so you are already waaaaay ahead of the curve.

    Also, love the cemetery pics, I do alot of those, and did a paper on the symbolism of the carvings, statues, etc for a death and dying class once. They all mean something.

    Anyway, good for you, we are all so proud!

  19. Diane on September 4th, 2010 1:19 pm

    Awesome! Congratulations on doing what will make you and your family happy!

  20. CharChar on September 4th, 2010 1:55 pm

    Awesome Linda!
    I haven’t read all the other comments so this has probably already been said but as a mom of two, same ages as yours, I also wrestle with wanting to speed out of this hard, hard phase but at the same time wanting it to last forever.
    I joined a mom’s club that emails me daily activities in my area, and I can choose to go, or do my own thing. Its free and its awesome. That gives my day structure.
    And there will be those day with too much TV, too much boredom, and too many fights, but that’s OK too.
    See ya sh**ty commute!

  21. Shawna on September 4th, 2010 1:55 pm

    I don’t stay home with my wee ones so I’m lacking in advice in that department. Even stuff I know from my friends applies more to the system up here in Canada. I know there are a ton of online resources on homeschooling if you really want to look for ways to fit learning into the kids’ days. I already sent you a couple of book suggestions a couple of months ago… Nope I’ve got nothin’ right now, except:

    WOOOOO!!! Go Linda!!! You ROCK!!!

  22. parodie on September 4th, 2010 2:26 pm

    I am so, so, so very happy for you. Thrilled. Someone may have already said this, but: My advice with scheduling is to have a rough schedule with “types” of activities, and then to fill it in depending on what’s available. So maybe you always go to the playground after naptime/quiet time, and at least twice a week you do some fun activity outside the house around 9-noon (library or Y or some special activity, depending on mood and availability), etc.

    Good luck! Have fun! Remember that your schedule will feel very different once you’ve got the imposed structure of kindergarden, too, so enjoy this year as a different experience (as I see, glancing up, that others have already said).

  23. Meg on September 4th, 2010 4:14 pm

    First time commenter, not because you are not amazing, but because I always am overwhelmed by your posts. I just wanted to say we are two very different people – I am a 21 year old Australian girl about to be married, you…well, you know who you are. I love reading about your struggles and triumphs, and I love reading your prose, it is just so gloriously free flowing.

    Anyway, the real reason for my comment is to point you towards The Pioneer Woman’s homeschooling section, if you haven’t seen it already. She has a bunch of homeschooling mums post there, and they all have awesomely different styles of teaching and learning.

    Good luck! I’ll be here, reading and fingers crossed.

  24. Kristin H on September 4th, 2010 5:58 pm

    I don’t have much in the way of advice other than what’s obvious: know ahead of time that the next few months will be transition months. Just knowing that helps me get through a period of change, especially on hard days. Also: hooray for you for doing the homeschool thing! Even if it’s just for a year. That alone will help give your days structure. There are a million sites online with ideas for what to cover. If you ever need more advice in this area, I’m sure you’ll get tons if you just ask.

  25. Jen on September 4th, 2010 6:31 pm

    SO SO SO happy for you!

    The working-at-home thing with kids is… interesting, as you’ll find out. There is a freedom that comes with it, but sometimes it’s also restricting and there are some unique pressures with it. But having a routine and a schedule is KEY to keeping it all together and not losing your mind (at least, not losing it TOO much, ha)

    Good luck!!!

  26. Lara on September 4th, 2010 7:35 pm

    Congratulations Linda!

  27. emily on September 4th, 2010 8:07 pm


  28. Courtney on September 5th, 2010 7:43 am

    That is just all so awesome. On the nursery School front, do you have any co-op nursery schools in the area, they require time from the parents, but cost so much less than others.

  29. shygirl on September 5th, 2010 8:39 am

    Gotta chime in and agree with the others who’ve said: 1) have a regular morning routine where you shower and dress just as though you were going into the office, and 2) make a point of getting out of the house at least a few times a week.

    Not that you have to go full-on corporate every day, but being showered and dressed and at least pulled-together enough where if you have to leave the house unexpectedly, you won’t feel embarrassed. And remember, you’re modeling what work-at-home looks like for your kids, too. You’re a kickass professional. Comport yourself accordingly :)

    –but seriously, after 5 years of working for myself, from home, I can tell you that I neglected this advice, and what happened to me was this very slow, creeping loss of self-esteem that slowly seeped into my life. It got pretty bad before I realized I should probably TAKE the advice I’d heard so many times, and now things are WAY better. You don’t need that! Keep it at bay by making a little time for yourself every morning to pull yourself together. It’s surprisingly hard to do it on your own when you don’t actually have to be anywhere, but it’s well worth it!!

  30. Jenny on September 6th, 2010 4:57 am

    Go, Linda, go! Best wishes to you and thank you for sharing your story!

  31. Cobblestone on September 6th, 2010 5:10 am

    Working on similar plans myself, just wishing you the relentless bravery and joy that is necessary. Good luck!

  32. Stacy on September 6th, 2010 5:58 am

    Linda, I have been a freelance writer for much of the past 20 years; a mom for 13 of those years. During this time, many have asked for advice about freelancing and I always give the same important directive… When you get up in morning, first thing, brush your teeth. Otherwise you’ll tend to the kids and the deadlines and somewhere around 2 p.m. you’ll sit back and your desk, breathe in the satisfaction of accomplishment, and taste your terrible morning breath. Really, you can greet the courier and the UPS man in your pajamas, but the other you don’t want to do. In all seriousness, best of luck. I have other tips, but it sounds as if you won’t need them. Enjoy.

  33. Shannon on September 6th, 2010 3:11 pm

    I agree with all, about getting out of house, getting showered and dressed, free stuff and Mom’s groups…All great for keeping you functioning efficiently and help you keep your sanity!

    One thing I found really helped give me ‘me’ time (you begin to feel like your days morph into the day over and over – hello ground hog day)was simply find a gym with a daycare.

    I know you go to the gym and not sure if it has a daycare, but if not think about finding one with a child care. Its so nice to go there during the day. The kids get to play and interact with other kids…and you can take time to work out, take a class.. and oh maybe actually take a shower and get dressed without two little monkeys interupting every two seconds.

    Congrats! This is very exciting news for you…super happy for you and your family…

  34. Gleemonex on September 6th, 2010 4:26 pm

    Congrats on the new chapter — insanely inspiring to me right at this moment!

    So, I’ve been working a non-traditional schedule since I returned from maternity leave (almost three years now) — three days in office while Kid Gleemonex is at “babyschool,” two days from home sans childcare. So yes, I’m putting in a full day’s work while parenting. Here’s what I can share from that:

    1) Yo Gabba Gabba is …. AWESOMMMMMMME! (Trying to approximate the way DJ Lance says it — how’d I do?) Some days, one ep is all you need. Some days, you’ll underreport the actual number of eps to JB on purpose out of guilt. So be it.

    2) Go to the gym before they’re all up. It sucks duck scroat to get up that early — holy SHATNER am I not an early riser — but I do it because it’s the only way to guarantee I’ll get to go at all. (Although the gym daycare is a great option if you have it, too — a mix is ideal — I’m just saying, the early session is the only one you’re GUARANTEED to get.)

    3) Maybe you disable/block Twitter and Facebook etc. and even this blog on the computer you use for your writing? I’ve toyed with that idea myself, because it is SO EASY to use naptime/sitter time for You Time, because you DESERVE IT GODDAMMIT and you’re only going to be on for FIVE FUCKING MINUTES … but then that’s 30, or 45, or 2 hours … you know how it is. And time is precious like never before on this arrangement, so you have to do what you can to make sure it works. :-)

    Love you, love your blog, sending vibes of fabulous success on all fronts your way!

  35. oaklandma on September 6th, 2010 4:27 pm

    Learning to fly is right! You’re awesome, Linda! It’s a delicate equation, but it really comes down to deciding what’s important to you AND paying the bills.

    You have received so much good advice here. It’s interesting to read through… You’re getting a lot of “how to freelance” and a lot of “how to homeschool” and a lot of “how to maintain your self-time” and a lot of “how to be a stay at home mom.” But it seems to me that what you’re trying to attempt is such a mosaic of all these things. The sum of the parts is a huge undertaking. I know – I live it.

    I’m a work-from-home mom of a toddler, with another babe on the way, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I have been a freelance designer for 10 years and knew that I would continue once we started a family. I can’t imagine doing the traditional 9-5 thing now. Adjusting to life with a baby was – of course – ah, challenging. I expected that I’d be able to multi-task my way through every day and be all things to all people. I got over that after two schizophrenic months of trying to nurse my daughter at my computer, and design high-end websites in 15 minute chunks. Finally, we hired a babysitter to come in for 15 hours/week, usually in the mornings. Not much but, with a regular afternoon nap still and 2+ hours after she goes to bed (4-5 nights a week) and sometimes one blessed hour before she wakes up in the morning — all working at my computer — I somehow scrape together a month of 50 billable hours.

    Of all the tips and tricks that come to mind to me, the biggest one is to figure out how to make some enough damn money so that you can buy yourself some breathing room. Pure and simple.

    I take my professional world very seriously and have deadlines nearly every day. I don’t ever like to have a sobbing baby within earshot when I’m on the phone with a client. I have heart palpitations if a client has an emergency request at 8am on a Monday and I don’t have a babysitter coming at all that day. Maybe it’s different with babies. But my advice is to do whatever you can to get time where you can truly separate yourself from your kids for at least a few hours every day or every other day. I don’t think Yo Gabba Gabba qualifies (personally) and my daughter is no where near ready/mature enough for me to just ask this from her nicely.

    When clients ask for phone appointments or make deadlines while I’m spending time with my daughter, I simply tell them I’m “unavailable” or that I have “been in a meeting all morning,” etc. I have found that they really don’t want to feel like I’m not a “real designer”, meaning full-time designer, so I don’t reveal a lot about my other life as a stay-at-home mom to them.

    Because I have some help from the babysitter, most of the interstitial time I spend with my daughter is pretty sweet (even with it sucks). The true “away”/professional time helps me appreciate the kid and the kid time that much more.

    Hope this is helpful. Again, you’re awesome and you’ll make it work.

  36. Meghan on September 6th, 2010 11:02 pm

    Another plug for co-op preschools – here’s a link to Bellevue College’s co-op programs: http://bellevuecollege.edu/health/parented/classes/

    It’s been such an awesome experience for us, I’m going to do it with our daughter in a year (once the dude is in kindergarten). Good luck!

  37. JennyM on September 7th, 2010 6:13 am

    Oh, man — I don’t have any advice, but I think you’re so brave and wish you the very, very best of luck. One thing I can say, since I’m going through some major life changes of my own at the moment, is that I do believe you can choose, most of the time, to see the glass as half full. Which is not to say that is doable all the time or that there aren’t Moments — but it’s sort of that same “pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and start over” mentality that so many of us have about exercising and eating healthfully. I hope that, above all, you find a routine that works for you guys so that you can fully enjoy this time! So exciting. Here’s to a new right now!

  38. Jenny on September 7th, 2010 6:18 am

    I haven’t read the other comments so I may be repeating something here but …
    Here in Georgia kids 4 and up can go to pre-k for free, so my daughter is in school 6 hours a day. I am a student so when I’m not in class I am trying my best to study (an intensive nursing program). My husband works nights and sleeps during the days. I have my two year old son with me. Always. And sometimes, he does watch shows. Sometimes, he plays with his trains for two hours at a time. Sometimes, he asks me every two minutes for something new. Some days, it’s time to go pick up my daughter and damn if I didn’t get a single thing done. I have learned to realize this is not little house on the prairie and some days are full of wholesome good ol’ nature loving education building happy happy joy joy times. Others are movie days because I need to get something done. The end!

  39. Jo on September 7th, 2010 6:20 am




  40. charissa on September 7th, 2010 6:44 am

    Oh my goodness Sundry — Congrats! : )
    I’m no expert with the kid-wrangling, but I do have a goodly number of years of Trying To Keep Myself Motivated Whilst Working From Home. The best suggestion I have (if you have a goldfish attention span the way I do) is Use A Timer. (Rumour has it kids like this too. Again, no idea there.)
    Give yourself say 15 or 20 minutes to focus on One Task, get as much done as you can in that timeframe, then do 15 or 20 minutes of either housework or playing with your boys, or whatever makes sense.
    That’s pretty much the only thing preventing me from just baking bread all day some days.

    I am so inspired by and proud of you! Go you! And good luck!

  41. jennifer on September 7th, 2010 8:19 am

    Started reading you on that blog that you stopped writing for that had all the grumpy commenters…what was that one? Anyway, I’ve got 2 boys, 2 years apart, (both of your are about 6 mos. older than mine), I was inspired by your home fitness routine to becoming a serious runner, I work from home, my boys go to KinderCare part-time (although we can’t really afford it) I’m wrestling with the same issues, I feel like I’ve been on a journey with you. I’m still not sure where mine is going, but I’m enjoying the ride and enjoying your company. Good luck, you are a strong smart lady.

  42. Life of a Doctor's Wife on September 7th, 2010 8:24 am

    Congratulations! What an exciting new path you have in front of you!

    I’ve been working from home – as a writer – for going on six years. And my biggest piece of advice is to make sure everyone – spouse, kids, babysitter, parents, EVERYONE – knows that you are still working. Just because you are in the house doesn’t mean you aren’t doing something valuable and worthwhile. And “everyone” includes you, too! Sometimes it’s easy to look around at laundry and messy rooms and dishes and think, “Well, since I’m home, I guess I should do that.” But you are at work, and that’s important too.

    You’ll figure it out. And it will be wonderful. :-) Congrats again!

  43. Carolinabeth on September 7th, 2010 10:27 am

    Congratulations Linda! You’ve been one of my favorite writers for years now, and I’m so proud that you’re pursuing it on a larger scale. I’ll read anything you write, so keep it coming!!

  44. Lynn on September 7th, 2010 10:44 am

    I would love to be doing what you’re doing now although I’ve been there and done that. I currently have an office job which I love, and am taking care of my two-year-old grandson part time which I also love. I’m exhausted! (But I wouldn’t have it any other way.)

    Love reading you and stopped by The Stir from your link. Check under the seat cushions and see if you can find that missing R. You lost it from your Stir bio:
    “Hoaders-level filth.”

    Good luck with the challenges you are undoubtedly facing!

  45. Milehimama on September 7th, 2010 12:10 pm

    I’m late to the party and there are already 140+ comments, so please forgive me if I repeat.

    I am a freelance writer who works from home. I also have 8 children, 4 of whom I homeschool (plus 3 little ones and a public schooler). It can be tough!

    Right now what is working for us is for me to take 2-3 hours a night for writing, while my husband oversees dinner cleanup and bedtime. Having another adult who will step in and help is the key – whether that’s a spouse or a sitter or whatever.

    Also I found I had to start keeping a list of “intendeds”. Things I want/need to do while I have dedicated computer/office time. Otherwise, I’ll forget.

    I also do easier, quick things during the day, during “down time” in the kid’s schooling or whatver. Often the kids don’t need me right there with 100% attention (like if they are playing tea party with their baby or stacking blocks – IMO it’s good for kids to play on their own without adults sometimes- but obviously I still need to be in the room and available. So I’ll check my email. Write titles of blogs I want to post and save to drafts. Scroll through my Reader. I write about pop culture for a tween site, so I might sneak in a YouTube of Justin Bieber that I need for an article later that night. Quick 1-2 minute bursts.

    And I joined a writing crit group that meets at a cafe 2x a month. That refreshes and rejuvenates me. Also I always do the marketing by myself. In our house, we’ve agreed that Tuesday nights are “mine” for my writing group, or to just go to a wi-fi cafe and write my spec fiction, or even just browse the HobLob. (My husband goes to Aikido 3x a week, though not all night, and that’s the tradeoff that works for us.)

    Oh, and when you have littles home all day – just prepare that your house will look different at the end of the day, compared to when everyone was out of the house. And don’t hold yourself to an impossibly high standard. Being Mom is good enough, don’t pile on needing to do a picture perfect craft to go with the letter of the day, complimented by a snack that fits into the theme, along with learning two new finger rhymes, all while keeping up with laundry, house, and cooking.

  46. kristylynne on September 7th, 2010 1:35 pm

    Fellow work-at-home-mom-writer here. My first piece of advice is: Hire a babysitter, which you’ve already done.

    My second piece of advice is: Don’t expect to get a damn thing done when the babysitter is not there, because you Will. Not. Get. Anything. Done. The faster you accept this, the happier you will be, because time spent stressing about what you need to get done is time better spent enjoying your kids. And if they want your attention and don’t get it, all hell will break loose, and then you really won’t get anything done. At least, that’s how it works at my house.

    Third piece of advice: Set your priorities. Mine are as follows: 1. Kids. 2. Work. 3. Feeding everyone. 4. Personal hygiene. 5. Sleep. 6. Housekeeping. This means that on some days, the house will be a wreck, you will be unshowered and you will be exhausted. But you will be happier, and so will your kids, and that’s what counts.

    Best of luck to you. You’ll do great.

  47. Katie on September 7th, 2010 7:33 pm

    I am inspired!

  48. Tracy on September 9th, 2010 8:59 am

    you’re an inspriration. i just resigned from my corporate, government-esque job to work for a non-profit, happy place for less money. it will work. it has to work and i could not be happier or more terrified! i loved reading this post. thank YOU

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