Today I want to welcome to the blog Hannah C. Hall. Hannah is a writer, blogger, and mommy to four. I asked her to tell us how she balances her writing with her family partly because I’m curious how this works…AND I like to use my blog to introduce you to great people. Thanks for sharing your insights, Hannah!
A few years ago, while visiting some family, we adults made a desperate decision; someone was going to get strangled if we didn’t get out of that house STAT.We ended up at Chuck-E-Cheese.We are idiots.While I concerned myself with preventing anyone from getting kidnapped and/or licking anything, my husband and brother, who are otherwise reasonable men, began exchanging large quantities of real money with actual value for Chuck-E-Cheese tokens.
And their insanity was contagious. If we thought our kids were wild before, the flashing lights and mechanical doo-hickeys surrounding them here were equivalent to something like feeding them Mt. Dew and cotton candy for lunch. Actually, we probably would have been better off had we fed them Mt. Dew and cotton candy.
I watched in amazement and semi-horror as my children dashed from machine to machine, unable to finish (or even enjoy) one game for being distracted by another.
There was so much to do, they couldn’t quite do anything. So they just ran. And ran. And ran.
And I learned two things:
1.) I, Hannah Hall, hereby despise Chuck-E-Cheese with all of my heart, and
2.) I am not so different from my children.
People ask me how I balance being a wife and stay-at-home mom with my other roles, namely being a writer.
The honest answer? I don’t know. Or it might be more accurate to say that I don’t balance it.
Not always well, anyway.
I often scramble from one thing to another, unable to finish (or enjoy) one activity before I’m distracted by something else.
There’s a blog to post, and there’s laundry. I told him I’d play Legos, but the milk is still out. And didn’t someone ask for a ponytail a while back? I need to read my Bible, but who left this cowboy hat in the floor? I’ve got to email her. And that story’s due. Why do we even have a cowboy hat? And there’s that blog to post…
And when I run, it’s not a jolting mechanical truck or an unfinished Skee-Ball game I’m leaving behind.
Usually, it’s either my kids or it’s Jesus.
Kind of like swapping real money for tokens.
A terrible trade-off, indeed.
Honestly, I don’t know the key to finding perfect balance between home and everything else. I often can’t tell what’s most important, and I certainly don’t always choose the best way to spend my time. But decisions have to be made, don’t they?
Some days, the pendulum must swing towards writing, especially when there’s a deadline. Other days, I need to focus on my kids. Maybe they’ve been acting up, and I need to be intentional about dealing with their behavior or maybe we need to do that Noah’s ark puzzle again, just because.
And there are days, unfortunately, when the bathrooms need to cleaned.
Yes, my kids will grow up fast and I’ll never look back and wish I’d spent more time scrubbing potties, but if I don’t at least occasionally opt to spend a few minutes with a toilet brush in hand then, yeah, that’s eventually gonna be a problem too.
There’s no one right way to balance it.
Each day is different. Each day takes new, fresh wisdom to face and find the balance in.
I don’t know how to do it, but I do know one thing: Each days takes Jesus.
Above all else, Jesus.
I’ve taken to praying a prayer that is certainly not original to me, but it’s changed my days entirely.
And because it’s simply the words of Proverbs 3:5,6, I know that when I pray it, I am praying a prayer that pleases God’s heart.
“Lord, help me to trust in you with all my heart. To not lean on my own understanding. To acknowledge you in everything. And to KNOW that you will direct my paths today.”
So it’s simple, but not easy.
Balancing life and career and dreams and hobbies and relationships and duties comes down to trusting in the Lord to guide every single step we take every single day.
Our God is a God who gives good gifts to his children, and that includes giving good directions. So if we start our day praying in earnest for God to direct, we can trust him to do it well.
Yes, some days that direction includes a toilet brush. Some days a business meeting. Some days a puzzle.
But when God directs, we can rest. No matter what He has planned for us.
Even if it involves Chuck-E-Cheese, He’ll never steer us wrong.
Hannah is the author of the “God Bless” children’s series. You can read more of her thoughts about motherhood and life at HannahCHall.com