By Guest Blogger Jill Osborn

Working as a stay at home mom is like cleaning up during a tornado. It seems nearly impossible. With a two-year- old still at home, a four-year- old in preschool, and a seven-year- old in first grade, I find my time is mostly spent in the mini-van. (Intermittently, I feel guilty for not having learned a second language by now because if I had put in an Italian CD every time I got in the car, I would probably be fluent. But, ciao to that idea.)

Instead of learning a second language, I decided to put my extra energy (if that exists) into my passion: Writing. I had an idea to write a book about accessing the media. With experience in the national news, federal government, and helping my husband run a successful business, I knew I had the knowledge. The next question was how. How would I find time? We had speech therapy to go to. We had tennis lessons and swim meets to attend. We had doctor appointments. The laundry pile haunted me. And my minivan needed to be vacuumed. Again. How in the world could I conquer a book while not ignoring my husband and children?

Well I found a way, and I did it.  Here are my 6 Success tips to help others trying to conquer it all, too.

6 Success Tips:

  1. One Consistent Time – Carving out time every day to work was key. I told myself that even if I had zero motivation, I would make myself sit and stare at the computer for one hour at the same time every day. So, I decided to start waking up early at 4:45am to start my day off fresh and with a cup of much needed coffee.
  2. Location – Finding a good location is helpful. I tried working in my husband’s office, but the kids would wake up and find me. No problem. I would close the door. But then I would hear crying and, “Mommy, let me in.” Then, I noticed little fingers underneath the door. The disruption was too much. Therefore, I changed my office location to Starbucks. Lucky for me, their coffee tastes better than mine at home. Unlucky for my husband, it costs more.
  3. Spousal Support – My husband was encouraging of me to take on this project that had no promise of any future, but like most families, there were some days where we had disputes. But since he is the best husband in the world, he agreed to support me in this endeavor.
  4. Mentors – Finding others who inspire you helps tremendously. My mom, my sisters, my friends––I needed them all. After I had written most of my book, I was required to write a proposal in order to get a publisher. In order to get a top publisher, I knew I needed a testimonial from a top figure. I was lucky enough to get the support of one of today’s leaders of the modern women’s movement: Gretchen Carlson. Years ago, I had interned for her and I had kept in touch ever since, asking for tips on how to be a strong feminist in a tough world. Having her write a testimonial for my book, gave me the encouragement to continue on.
  5. Flexibility – Raising kids, will always be my hardest, most rewarding job I will ever achieve. They are my number one right now because I know, one day, they will grow up and have their own little number ones. So, there were some days I looked at my sick kids who had the flu and realized I just couldn’t work that week. I wanted to work. But I wanted to be a good mom more. Getting back on track the following week was hard, but sheer determination would always get me back on track to wake up Monday at the dreaded 4:45 a.m.
  6. Mini Goals – Many times I felt like, “I can’t do this. It is too much. There is no guarantee. What am I thinking?” But I had to tell myself the same message I tell my kids: “Don’t say can’t, say Can.” Making a list of mini goals to check off one at a time also made all the difference. Here is another silly little rhyme that I came up with for my kids that has worked on me as well: “One thing at a time and everything will be just fine.”

If you need a pep talk, feel free to email me. I will be your biggest cheerleader!




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