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It Doesn’t Feel Right to Quit My Part-Time Writing

  • 5 min read

If you have kids in the house, you can’t have it all, at least not all at once.

For all of you who asked me about what my life looks like right now with two kids in the house and how I’d manage to keep being so prolific, this is for you:

Since July 2023, I’ve been a mom of two around the clock. My baby is three months and my toddler is 3.5 years old.

photo credit: Kristina God

My life is a crazy whirlwind.

But in the quiet hours of the evening (right now), I find myself in front of my computer, typing away — this is my time, my escape.

Writing isn’t just a hobby for me. It’s a part of who I am. A side hustle that’s slowly but surely taking shape.

The question I often find myself grappling with is:

“Should I continue to carve out this time for writing, even if it means sacrificing some moments with my kids and husband?”

It’s a tough call

Parenting, as I’ve come to realize, is less about enforcing discipline on your kids and more about practicing self-discipline.

This realization hit me hard. Before my kids came into my life, a fellow colleague with two kids had told me:

“Work, family, self-fulfillment — you can only pick two.”

To be honest, I didn’t understand it then, but now, it resonates with every fiber of my being.

Every time I say yes to writing in the evening, I’m saying no to a potential moment with my family.

It’s a heart-wrenching trade-off

But here’s the thing — I believe that to be the best mom and wife I can be, I also need to nurture the individual within me.

Writing is not just about building a side hustle, it’s about maintaining my sense of self.

The discipline required to manage a (full-time) job, a family, and a part-time writing career is immense.

It’s like being on a never-ending tightrope, trying to maintain a perfect balance.

It’s exhausting, yet, paradoxically, it’s also invigorating.

When I write, I channel a part of me that remains untouched by my roles as a professional and a parent. It’s my personal sanctuary.

I’ve come to realize that the art of balancing isn’t about perfect equilibrium. It’s about making conscious choices, knowing well that you can’t have it all, at least not all at once.

Meaning, I have many ideas about how to grow my part-time business but at the moment I simply can’t do more. I have to laser-focus on one thing per week.

My process as a busy part-time writing mom

To grow my YouTube channel and monetize it (about 100 subscribers missing to reach 1.000 subs and being monetized) I create one YouTube video per week. Last week, I interviewed Sinem Guenel and Zulie Rane.

I use this one piece of content and create nuggets of valuable information around it. For instance six Medium articles with different hooks based on what I learned during the interview. In addition, I share once a week a tutorial video or interview with my Substack newsletter subscribers to nurture them.

This way you have the feeling I’m all in on Medium, YouTube, and Substack. That’s how I manage to be so prolific.

I’d love to write about my life with a baby in the house, and what it’s like to live on the west coast of Germany and experience one thunderstorm warning after the next. Or how my relationship with my hubby and parents have changed, my monster-in-law, or what will change in regard to email marketing in 2024… but I simply can’t because otherwise, my baby would start crying, this would wake up my toddler… and so on.

I only have a limited time slot in the evening (or sometimes during lunch break).

To give you a feeling, it’s already 10 p.m. (German time) and pretty dark outside. My baby sleeps next to me while I’m typing this.

I say YES to myself

Choosing to write in the evenings is my way of saying yes to myself, an act just as important as saying yes to my family.

But it’s not without its share of guilt. The fear of missing out on family time is real. Yet, I believe that by pursuing my passion, I’m setting an example for my kids — that it’s essential to have something of your own, something that defines you beyond your roles in the family and workplace.

When I put my toddler to be he says:

“You have to work now, am I right?”

I call my part-time writing “work” because it feels as if it were my job to write. That’s why I wrote short stories when I was a kid, took part in writing competitions, studied journalism, worked for media outlets, and — after years of writing for others (as a consultant and marketing manager) finally write for myself and also promote myself — not a company or brand I work for.

In conclusion…

I’ve decided to keep writing in the evenings.

It’s my way of preserving my identity and my dreams. It’s tough, and it requires a lot of self-discipline, but it’s worth it.

For other parents out there juggling similar responsibilities, know this — it’s okay to carve out a piece of the day for yourself.

It’s not just okay… it’s necessary.

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