From the perspective of a single mother, it seems that we have to wear all the pants, hats, shoes, and everything in between to take care of our business, right? While this may sound simple enough, I assure you it is not! As a matter of fact, it is extremely difficult to keep the smiles on our faces and to keep our feet moving as fast as the time clock on which we run. I have to admit, women do have a knack for making the most complicated and tedious responsibilities seem flawlessly easy, sexy, and attractive, but it does come with a huge price: our sanity.
Begin with the full-time job of raising children, then add in a full-time career, online classes, and a significant other (who sometimes requires as much care and attention as one of the kids!) – oh, did I mention that I am an author by moonlight as well? People ask me how I find the time to do it all. Sometimes, I have to ask myself the same thing. The answer is, I don’t really don’t know: I just do it.
So let’s go ahead and lay out the agenda of a typical day. First and foremost, I’m Mom. I have a pre-teen daughter and a busy five year-old son, which means getting the kids up for school, making sure they are clean, and giving the same speech every morning: comb your hair, brush your teeth, eat breakfast, take your vitamins, stop arguing, no fighting with each other, and remember to share. In the meantime, I have to get myself ready for work, making sure I look presentable and am completely ready for business! Next on the agenda is getting the children to school and day care, and then it’s off to work for me. Dealing with a full-time career is exhausting and takes a huge part of the day, but it is an absolute necessity, so complaining is not an option! Already my feet are aching and I’m feeling the mental strain of dealing with life at work; however, the fun is just now rising to its peak! Online classes come next on my schedule!
Although these are not mandatory (I take them of my own free will), they are a tool that is supposed to give me the added advantage of having a higher education. I already have completed a Bachelor’s degree, but I have yet to reap the benefits. The jury is still out on whether obtaining my Master’s degree will help or not. Unfortunately, the only thing it’s helping me do right now is acquire more debt! But that’s another topic for another day.
At this point in the day, my attention is really starting to waiver. The rest of the day consists of picking up the kids, completing homework assignments, cooking and eating dinner, spending time with my significant other, and then… me. It’s about 10:30 p.m. at this point, which doesn’t leave me any “me time.” My characters in my stories are talking to me now, and I desperately want to create and bring their stories to life, but, again, it’s already getting to be late in the evening.
Writing, marketing my books, socially working and maneuvering between numerous social networks, blogging, editing, and re-writing all take a huge amount of effort and time. So, what do I do? Sometimes, I get it all worked in along with my daily goal of 3,000 words; other times, I don’t have time to write a single new word. After a busy day and a night spent trying to write, tiredness and a lack of attention are really setting in. By now, I’m past exhaustion, but I must get up and repeat the same routine the next day, and the day after that, and the day after that.
I frequently use phrases such as “over-extended” and “physically and mentally exhausted” to describe how I feel. How much attention can one person give to everyone and everything in a single day? Quite frankly, I can see how women can exhibit symptoms of attention-deficit personality even without a proper diagnosis. I have found myself having wandering thoughts, a lack of focus, and a short temper, meaning it’s time to take a break and try to simplify my life.
In the modern world, everything is fast-paced, so toning it down and living a simple life can be a challenge! For the majority of women who live the type of lifestyle that I just described, there really is no “simple” alternative. However, I do find a great deal of relief and solace in the fictional worlds that I create. I love that I can have control over who does what and why, unlike in reality, where everything happens whether I want it to or not, and I must handle it in whatever order life drops it on me. The attention required by the people in my life and my other responsibilities leaves me little room to wind down during the day. I have reached my limit on giving my attention to everything and everyone, so I have learned to be selective about what I spend my time doing, and when to speak up and say no! Saying “No, I don’t have time” or “No, find someone else to do it” is acceptable to say. Even just being able to postpone the task with “Not right now, maybe another day” is helpful.
As a single mother, you are never going to be fully relieved of your responsibilities, but you can minimize your need to be involved in everything! You may feel guilty for saying no, but guess what? The work will still be there whether or not you say no, but you will feel calmer and more in control by refusing. You will also be able to think more clearly! I personally commend all mothers, single or otherwise, because more than likely you are still doing it all anyway! It is a hard job being a woman, despite what people think!
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Category: African American Women Writers, Being a Writer, Contemporary Women Writers, On Writing, US American Women Writers, Women and Family, Women and Friendships, Women and Work, Women and Writing, Women Writing Fiction, Women Writing Non-Fiction, Writing with Children
About the Author (Author Profile)
As an avid reader, Shawna Hill always loved the idea of writing a novel. Her first ventures were in short story format where she found her knack and was published first in confessional magazines. Later she moved on to create and publish an online romance magazine that eventually went into print. Her first novel, In Between Lies, is a result of numerous engaging conversations with her girl friends.
Always one to want to explore ideas, explanations, and scenarios, Shawna decided to pen the stories that questioned situations. What is commitment… and when in a relationship does it take place? What is the price of being friends with benefits? Is it worth being that “friend” and taking the risk to maybe being the “one” later? How about the women that think they are in committed relationships only to find out he’s not committed at all? Once you find out he is not with just you, what lengths do you go through to try to be the only one? Or do you even want to? Do you run or stay and claim what you want?
In Between Lies, raises these questions and explores them through volatile relationships with drama filled twists.
Shawna Hill was born and raised in Columbus, Ohio. She holds a BS in Business Administration from Ohio Dominican University. She is currently pursuing her Masters in Marketing and Communications @ Franklin University. For several years, she’s been an avid reader and at the urging of friends and family, decided to pen her own stories. She is currently at work on her next novel that will yet again question situations and ideas. Visit Shawna on her website @ http://www.shawnarhill.com, her blog: www.spicyaddictions.blogspot.com, and or email her @ email@example.com