Writer mom schiznophrenia

As a freelance writer and a work-at-home mom, it sometimes feels like I have multiple personalities. This morning, I was a culinary critic, getting a head start on the day at 6 a.m. and wrapping up a restaurant review while LO and hubby were asleep. Then I switched gears to become an expert on an electrical contractor, pumping out three paragraphs on biomass fuels and alternative solar energy. Oh, and somewhere in the afternoon, I was a blogger telling parents about the importance of early intervention for keiki who have autism and ADHD.

And throughout it all, there’s the LO feeding, playing, diaper changing, putting to bed, the laundry (Oh the neverending LAUNDRY!), dinner prep, cleaning the house and etc. etc. etc.

It’s non-stop. It’s crazy. It’s productive. And it’s a lot of fun!

It’s important as a freelance writer to have a niche — mine is food. But I also believe it’s a valuable and necessary skill to be able to write about pretty much anything your client wants. And you have to be able to write about any topic in an authoritative, pseudo-expert voice, without sounding like you have no clue. That’s why a lot of writing is, to be honest, faking it.

But the biggest challenge is training myself to switch seamlessly from one topic to another. It’s hard to shake off that tone/style/mindset for, let’s say, reporting on a news story, and going into an opinion piece. I have to give myself a break between articles by playing with LO, watching an episode of a TV series, eating 3 pieces of Dove chocolates and giggling at the little pick-me-up messages. Or, much healthier: taking a break.

And to keep my brain sane, I write things down (surprise, surprise!). I have a calendar that I use to keep all the different stories in check. On busy weeks, I have 2 to 3 articles to write a day, and anywhere from 1 to 4 interviews. Scheduling everything and having a to-do list helps me stay on top of my workload.

Until, of course, LO is teething and wakes up mid-nap, just when your phone rings for an interview. Blurgh!


10 WAHM Confessions

1: When on the phone with a client, sometimes LO wakes up and needs to be fed after a 5 hr (amazing) nap. I close the door and have to let her cry because it’s an important client. #momguilt

2: I’ve taken my baby to a couple interviews. It’s the nice short ones, where you walk around a lot on an exhibit tour, and she falls asleep which is kinda great actually, but at the back of my mind I always wonder if this is incredibly unprofessional.

3: I’ve breastfed while still working on a particularly good sentence so I don’t lose momentum.

4. I’ve also pumped while writing an article. #handsfreebra #maharoz #ftw #ftm

5. Feeding/diaper changes/playtime have become a good/healthy break for me from working nonstop.

6. There are bad days where I am mega pooped because LO is mega pooping. Like, non-stop, poop marathons. And all I want is coffee on these days. I am very jealous of moms who can chug down gallons of coffee while BF – go you!

7. I’ve become more productive working from home now because I pack in all my writing, interviewing, researching while LO is asleep or playing by herself. Time management is key, people.

8. Once I was working while having Gilmore Girls on TV, and LO became incredibly quiet in the midst of her talking/cooing/chattering/gurgling. 15 minutes later, I realized that she was mesmerized with Rory and Lorelai too. AAAH, 3 month old watching TV? NOOO…(but it was actually a wonderful 15 minutes.)

9. Not WAHM-related, but I haven’t read a book in ages. My day is usually baby, work, baby, work, dinner with hubby, crashoutsleepzzzz. I need a time to schedule in a good read, and I need a good book recommendation too.

10. My favorite part of the day is when LO wakes up and she is playing by herself, and when hubby and I walk in, the happy smiles, the exciting feet kicking and the giggles make everything all worth it.