Confessions of a Writer, Mother, and Pastor’s Wife

Confessions of a ...Every time I share that I’m a writer, I have people look at me and ask how do I do it all? How do I balance raising four kids, being a pastor’s wife, and writing?

Confession time: I haven’t always done a good job juggling all three. Honestly, I think the only person who could is Supergirl, and even then I think she would struggle. But what I have learned is to have priorities, and those priorities have changed as I went from writing as an unpublished writer to an author with a deadline, and from having four kids under four to kids in the double digits.

When I first started writing, I was home with babies and toddlers, snatching bits of writing time during naps and nights when my husband was at church meetings. The more I wrote, the more I wanted to be published. I think this is the desire and goal of most writers (after all, we write so that we can share with the world). There were moments where I grew discontent with just being home with kids. I wanted more. I wanted to be an author so bad I could taste it. But that wasn’t where I was in life. So instead, I took the time I had to learn all I could about writing, then continued writing during those spare moments I had.

That period of my life taught me the value of waiting, of putting aside my desires, and to put my family first. As a pastor, one of my husband’s goals was to never have our children grow up and feel like the church took their daddy away. I had a similar goal: I never wanted my children growing up believing writing was more important than them.

New FotW coversNow, as a published writer, I am thankful for the boundaries I set earlier on around my writing and around my family. I write when my kids are in school, but when they are home, I put my writing away. There are those few weeks every year when I’m on an edit deadline, but because I have invested into my children and husband, they help me out during that time instead of resenting mommy disappearing into her office for hours on end.

As far as being a pastor’s wife, honestly, I’m not any different that other women in the church. I just happen to be married to the pastor, other than one thing: the more he is gone, the more I need to be home so I can hold down the fort. I serve where time and gifts allow, and in some ways, my writing is also part of my ministry. As a shy introvert, it is hard for me to be around people. That’s why I love writing! I can communicate my heart and faith with people in a way that bypasses my weaknesses.

So what advice do I have for mothers? Enjoy the time you have with your little ones now. The writing will always be there, but your children will not. They grow up and before you know it, they’re gone. Also spend time with your husband. Your marriage needs you to be a part of it. It might mean you only write a book a year, but your relationship is worth it. If you want to be writer, you need to write. But find a time and a pace that allows you to be a mother and wife as well.

Tainted_Hi_ResAlso, saying “no” is okay. You can’t do everything. That is something I learned early on in ministry. I can do a couple things very well, but if I spread myself out, my effectiveness diminishes. In order to juggle the role of mother, writer, and wife, I’ve had to use “no” many times in order to say “yes” to a few things so I can do those few things well. That might come in the form of saying no to writing three books in one year (no!), or heading up three different ministries at church (no!), or having each of my kids participate in three sports, piano lessons, and drama club (no!).

So how do I do it all? By giving each area the time in needs, and saying no to everything else. My kids and husband get time with me, my writing gets its share of time, and I serve the church when I can (and sometimes that means being home for our family and allowing my husband to go off and do everything he needs to for the church).

How about you? Do you struggle juggling everything? How do you prioritize your time, obligations, and relationships along with your writing? Share below!

 

morgan-busse-NLR-5Author Bio:

Morgan L. Busse writes fantasy and steampunk for the adult market. She is the author of the Follower of the Word series, including Daughter of Light, Christy and Carol Award finalist. Morgan lives on the West Coast with her husband and four children. You can find out more about Morgan at www.morganlbusse.com

 

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My books: http://www.enclavepublishing.com/authors/morgan-busse/

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8 Comments

  1. Thanks for the post. This summer has been very difficult for me to juggle. I so desperately want to finish writing this book, but this summer has been a torrent of chaos. Life has felt like a machine gun aimed at my feet. There is one week left of summer before school and I am torn between squeezing every second I can with my boys and squeezing every second in to write because once school starts, so does my substitute teaching. Your post reminded me my writing will always be there. If I only find 30 minutes in the day to write, it is okay. My family is what matters, especially when they depend on me to manage the chaos. Two weeks until my writer’s conference get away. Two more weeks until they have to manage on their own. I can juggle this. *Self pep talk*

    • I know what you mean. Summer’s are tough for me, too. That’s why when possible, I try not to have a deadline or edits due. My oldest will be in high school next year, which means only a handful of summers left with him, and I don’t want to miss one.

      I try and remember that when the writing bug hits me 🙂

  2. I definitely struggle with juggling. I tend to be singularly focused and will spend hours and hours on one task no matter what it is. Life has been chaos this summer, to the point it felt like a machine gun was aimed at my feet. Things are starting to calm down, but I am learning to set timers for tasks so I don’t lose track of time. I am trying to make sure I spend focused time with my boys, especially this last week before school, and set time frames for when I write.

  3. I enjoyed and appreciated this, as a mom of four kids 5 and under! 🙂 Thanks for sharing your confessions, Morgan!

  4. Thanks for your perspective and honesty Morgan! I am enjoying your books so much, especially your character development and tension in the books. It’s your fault the chores pile up… just kidding, sort of. I’ve realized I work best in “spurts” or seasons, so while I love to write daily, I’ll set seasonal goals for leaps ahead in producing that coincide with my kids’ and husband’s priorities. That way there’s less tug-and-pull and I can get through a busy time knowing I’ve blocked off other time to try and keep a balance going. Grace helps a lot, too.

    • I do the same thing! When I have some extra time, I try and work ahead so I can have holidays and summer off

      And who wants to do housework when there are good books to read!

  5. Even at my age (uh … older!) I struggle to balance. I am in a special time of my life, so I hope I can encourage younger women: there is time after kids. My kids are grown. Our parents are gone. Yes, I have grands, but three are far away and four are here. My husband travels a lot (he is a truck driver – gone 3-4 nights a week) so there is literally no excuse for me not getting word counts or edits, etc. done. My recent time zapper? FB. I have now deactivated my account. I will work on building an email list and staying in touch in other ways.

    Signed ~ Former FB Addict

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