Work Life Balance
Novelist Finds Time To Write While Waiting For Her Kids To Come Home
Mothers with interests beyond the home are always looking for ways to squeeze in extra time here and there. Whether it’s to paint, scrapbook, watch sports, or even work part-time, the need for more time is insurmountable. Margaret McLean, author of Under Fire, has revealed how she manages to work on her manuscripts despite being a single mother to three kids. She says that her secret is that now that her kids are bit older, they’re never home.
â€œI multi-task and always have my legal pad with me,â€ said McLean, who is excited that the play is almost ready for production. â€œYouâ€™d be surprised how much time there is waiting to pick up kids. When Iâ€™m not teaching, I start writing as soon as the kids are on the bus, and I sit at the computer until they come home. When I have too much time, I get less done.â€
Women pursuing the craft of fiction in the few moments of the day when no one is home is a long-standing literary tradition. Sylvia Plath was said to rise in the early morning hours to toil away with her fiction before waking her children for school. Virginia Woolf advocated that the only way women were to write, and be seen as literary figures, was to have a space and a literal room of one’s own in which no other voices or needs were present.
McLean’s careful use of her time falls right in line with a literary pattern for women, but one that most likely can only be emulated by mothers of older kids.