This is topic that every writer struggles with, at times more than others. Writing has been my career for over 13 years, and I’ve found this question evolves as my life has evolved.
Writing as an escape: When my children were toddlers, as much as I loved my kids, I was losing myself and completely bogged down in the small, emotionally exhausting day-to-day details of caring for small children. I returned to writing, and it became my escape and my “me-time.” Because I was happier and more fulfilled, I became a better parent and spouse.
Writing to prove myself: Once my youngest child was in school, writing was no longer an escape. It was my job, and I desperately wanted to be published and turn the career I’d chosen into a success. I guarded my writing time fiercely because I had a very limited amount. When the kids came home, my work time was over.
Writing is part of who I am, but it’s not everything: My kids are still at home and in school, but they’re older, so when they come home I can continue to write. I treat writing like the full-time job that it is. However, it comes with flexible hours that can constantly change due to my family obligations, and I give myself time off to recharge my muse and take care of me, usually with long walks and bike rides. My first responsibility is to take care of my family and keep my home running smoothly. And on good days, that leaves plenty of time for me to follow my muse. On bad days… well, there’s always tomorrow.