Being a mom is my most important job. Everything else and everyone else, comes second. I figure in about a decade I will have a life of my own, LOL! 🙂
Some days this clear-cut statement is harder to navigate that others – I need to work to take care of my child, but I also need to be there for him. And so the balancing act goes like this:
Last Friday I was scheduled to host a Facebook event on Hooks & Books page. Facebook events are fun and a great opportunity to meet and visit with current and new readers. Before I was doing my own, they seemed pretty easy and not all that time-consuming, beyond the 1-2 hours an author was chatting with the group.
The reality is that they take prep work; you have to write the posts ahead of time (well I do), so they are easily accessed and posted in a timely manner to the page. You have to set aside those 1-2 hours with little interruption so you don’t miss anything and/or leave a comment by a valued reader without a like or comment. You have to arrange prizes, get links set up, look for memes or photos of celebs to chat about, some of us make our own memes which takes time, as well. Suddenly, that 1-2 hours is now 3-4 hours where you aren’t writing your new book. So, there is a commitment made. All marketing is time-consuming – writing isn’t just about writing these days. Sad, but true! 🙂
So, back to my event last week. When I set up the event, my calendar was clear. My son’s basketball practice was cancelled, for its usual Friday slot, and so I scheduled the event to discuss my One Day at a Wedding Series. Then my son was asked to move up to the Pep Band and play with the high school kids (along w/ a couple of 8th graders). My son, Triton, is only in 7th grader and picked up an instrument for the first time just this past September. So, it’s a BIG DEAL that he was asked to play in the Pep Band as a first year student. I am very proud of him. The problem…their first game was Friday the 30th.
What is a parent to do? There is some liberation in the fact that I am a writer and essentially I work for myself. I make my schedule. But, I also want to be a succesful writer, one who can be counted on to meet deadlines, show up at events and be available to readers. My first thought was okay; I will set up posts, schedule them, and just do the event from my mobile phone, at the basketball game, while I watch the band. I have actually had to do Facebook events from my iPhone before, due to rescheduled basketball practices or games. So, it’s possible. But my level of engagement is certainly not as high.
Then the mom in me kicked in and said, how great would it to be feeling really special and look up in the stands to make sure your mom is watching you and instead see her looking down at her phone? Not so great. Here is the dilemma for working parents, focus on work to take of the material needs (inc. basic food/water/shelter) AND focus on their emotional well-being. It a choice all parents make, all the time.
In this case I opted to reschedule my event, last-minute, which I felt bad for doing. In an effort to make amends I did offer a giveaway to the site and those that were interested. That giveaway went really well and I was happy to see such a nice response and interest in getting a free copy of my series One Day at a Wedding. Even better was the look of pride on my son’s face, as I watched him play in the high school band. Sitting there in the stands, watching him was the only place I wanted to be. People in our small town were all telling me how great he was and I got to video the band to send home to our family in California. It was a great night and my son was beaming. I sure would have hated to miss that.
It’s a balancing act and the reality is that sometimes we are going to have to pick work over time spent with the kids. It’s just the way the world works, now that we can all access work from home, at night and on the weekends. All parents have to make tough choices, no matter what your line of work is, we face the balance. I am glad that last friday I was able to pick watching a high school band. My kid was awesome.
For a chance to win a copy of the first book in my One Day at a Wedding Series, Once Upon a Wedding, please leave a comment below about your most recent balancing act and a winner will be randomly chosen to win an eBook copy.
For more information about my books please take a moment to check out my website http://www.kellyraebooks.com and look me up on Facebook for news about this series, the paperback coming out soon and future work, http://www.facebook.com/kellyraebooks
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Wishing you well, in fiction and real life