When I became a mom two years ago, I thought that was it for me. I thought raising my daughter was going to be my only job and my one great passion. I’d tried and failed for years to find a career I was excited about and had never even considered being an author. So, imagine my surprise when seven months later, I started writing my first book and suddenly had a whole new passion! I was an exhausted new mom with brand new dreams and no time to enact them. Launching a career as an author and parenting a little one full-time certainly hasn’t been easy, but writing and parenting have only ever coexisted for me, and if I’m making it work, so can you.

Melanie K. Moschella

Melanie K. Moschella

The great paradox in my life is that my daughter is both my inspiration for writing and my greatest obstacle. It was the isolation of staying home with her during the pandemic that caused me to retreat into the daydream that inspired The Raek Riders Series, and it was my desire to be a good role model for her that motivated me to turn that daydream into a five-book series. But writing an entire book word after word—then an entire series—takes so much time! Not to mention, self-publishing is entrepreneurship and comes with a whole host of other time-sucking activities.

Suffice to say, time is the biggest obstacle I face juggling writing and parenting. I frequently only get short periods of time to work, and that time can be unpredictable. When my daughter was an infant, she rarely napped, and when she did it was often only for twenty minutes. I had to learn to work within that time. I had to learn to start writing the moment I sat at my computer and often had to step away mid-sentence. As she’s grown and her nap schedule has become more predictable, I have been able to find larger, more reliable chunks of time to write, but moms are doomed to be interrupted over and over again no matter how old their kids are—am I right?

So, how do I do it? How do I flip the switch in my brain from parenting to writing and back to parenting? It isn’t easy—at all—but I’ve found that setting a routine helps. Sitting in the same chair with the same view (preferably not of your dirty dishes or disastrous living room) is a good first step. But my favorite way to get in the right mindset is by playing music. I put in my noise-canceling earbuds and listen to a particular playlist when I write. If you’re new to writing or don’t usually listen to music when you work, you might try a playlist that’s purely instrumental. Whatever you choose, stick to it, and your brain will learn to associate that music with writing. You can even choose a certain song to start with. I like to pick something that represents the tone of what I’m working on.

The other challenging aspect of time can be not knowing when to write as opposed to … all the millions of other things you have to do as a mom to manage your home and give your kids the life you want them to have! Because let’s face it, you can always do more. You can always make your house cleaner or spend more time cooking healthy foods, and that’s after meeting your kid’s basic needs, your basic needs, your pets’ basic needs, and maybe even squeezing in the occasional nap. There isn’t enough time in the day, as is, so when is the right time to write?

The only advice I can really give to combat the urge to spend all of your time on your kids—and the guilt that’s associated with doing anything else—is to tell you that if writing is your dream, you’ll have to make it a priority. It doesn’t have to be the top priority and take precedence over your family, but it does have to rank pretty high, or you’ll never get to it. And if guilt is keeping you from your work (which I understand and combat regularly), remember that part of being a good mom is modeling a full life for your kids. Keep reaching for your goals, so they learn to reach for theirs!

When I started this article, my daughter was sleeping. She’s now awake, babbling at me, and smacking my laptop. She has completely interrupted my train of thought, which is to say: I have some things figured out but certainly not everything! I hope the tips I’ve shared will help you—whoever you are—juggle writing and parenting. And if you have any tips in return, please feel free to reach out via my website or socials. Everything is easier with the support of the right community. 

Melanie K. Moschella has her latest five book series released on the 19th March 2024 The Raek Riders Series follow the link to see our full review.