Monday, 15 July 2013

A Woman With Many Hats

This is my first time posting to the Romance Writers of Atlantic Canada blog and I’m super excited about it. But now I ask myself, what the heck am I going to write about? When it comes to fiction, I can come up with hundreds of ideas, but ask me to write something without vampires or criminals or werewolves and I’m lost. So I’m going with what I know: being a woman with many hats and struggling to wear them well.

So you’re probably asking yourself what being a woman with many hats means. Let me first tell you about myself. I am a mom, a published writer, a wife, a maid (comes with the territory of being a mom and a wife), and a military nurse. A typical day for me involves working eight or twelve hours, coming home and cleaning and/or cooking, having a quick bath, getting my uniform ready, tucking my kids in and then—if I have time—writing for an hour or two depending on whether I’ve fallen asleep or not. Now, don’t get me wrong, my days off are much more relaxed, but the days that I work I pretty much don’t exist for my family. It’s a very difficult fact to accept. But I chose my profession and I chose the military so I really shouldn’t complain, should I?

What matters to me most? It’s the same thing that probably matters to most women: my family, even though when I became a commissioned officer I swore country before self and have had to spend many months away from them. I struggle everyday to be a good nurse, to be a good mother and wife, and to find the time to do something that keeps me sane (yes, that would be writing). Being a woman in today’s world is hard, especially when we wear so many hats. More often than not, I struggle with feelings of inadequacy in both my work and professional life. The only way I’ve managed to cope with this is reading and writing. These beautiful activities let me escape my life and allow me to live my life through the characters I create. They let me forget about the stress and time constraints I work under and that for over five months this year I will have clocked over five months away from my family for taskings and courses.

What's sad about this is that I know I’m not alone, and that there are so many other women out there who struggle to do the same. So I wonder how they cope. How do they deal with feeling overextended and finding and achieving a happy work-life balance? Honestly, I’d love to hear your thoughts. How do they stay sane? Please leave a comment and tell me all about it. 

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  1. Sara, I think most women with young children feel this way to some degree. But what you're doing matters and you're being a great role model for them.

  2. Thanks, Anne. You always make me feel better.

  3. I agree with Anne. All the things you are doing are important. But it's hard. All those hats must sometimes feel like spinning plates on a juggling stick.

  4. Crazy days make for great writing - too bad there wasn't more time for it!!

  5. Sara, our lives are made up of different seasons. I home schooled my sons until high school, and they were involved in a zillion extracurricular activities, so I felt like I was writing in the midst of a tempest. However, that season has passed, as will the hectic one in which you find yourself now. Soak up all your variedexperiences and make the most of them. You'll be able to weave them into your writing later.