Thursday, September 22, 2011

10 Reasons I'm Freaking Out

Being a writer is like having homework every night for the rest of your life.
- Lawrence Kasdan

10 Reasons I’m Freaking Out
1. I’m sleepier after a day at work as a paraprofessional than I thought I’d be. Too tired to read or do projects for school. How will I be a graduate student and a Social Studies teacher at some point? Will this get easier?
2. Being a student again after an 11-year break is daunting. When I left, PowerPoint was just becoming something. Now the only “Blackboard” in sight is an on-line service that has all my coursework and messages from the professor.
3. My first day of class, I left my kids at the bakery across the street, where they were to sit for 15 minutes, and then go next door to do homework in the lobby of my daughter’s ballet class. Then my daughter would take ballet while my son would play videogames. 5 minutes into my class, I received a call from an unknown #. It was my son using the bakery phone. Turns out the ballet fall season began the next day. They were stuck in a dim waiting area with locked bathrooms. (My husband took the subway to rescue them.)
4. I have to take 36 credits to receive my M.A. in Special Education. Taking 1 class at a time means I’m going to be a student for a really loooooong time.
5. I have little time to blog or check Facebook.
6. Most of my energy is left for cooking, cleaning, ironing, and taking kids to afterschool activities.
7. I received edit suggestions for my short story in the upcoming Tiny Dancers anthology. I have no time/energy to work on them.
8. I received edit suggestions from my critique partner for my Muriel and the Misfits manuscript, but have no time/energy to incorporate them.
9. I have no time/energy to send out queries for Naked Eye.
10. I have no time/energy to write my new WIP.

I don’t want to give the impression that it’s all gloom and doom. After all, my family is helping. My husband is doing more. And the kids are doing more (though part of it is a behavior experiment from my class they don’t know they’re taking part in).
From kindergarten until age 30, I was a student nearly continuously. But I’m rusty, and my schedule, responsibilities, and interests (WRITING) have changed. Having it all seems harder to attain.

Is there room for writing in my new life?

Those of you working full-time
(especially if you’re a student and/or have kids)
how do you find time to write?

FYI: I have a post at BlogHer . Please VISIT and leave a comment, letting BlogHer know that I’m worth hosting. Thank you! xo

Don’t forget to enter my CoNtEsT .
Ends at midnight 09/27!


  1. I feel for you :) My daughter is finally at the age where she sleeps well at night (took her over two years to get there), so I don't feel like I need to take a nap with her to catch up on sleep. So I do blogging in the morning when she eats breakfast and writing/critiquing during the two hours she sleeps. Which is why I'm pretty slow, and sometimes don't keep up with blogs very well :) Best of luck finding your balance!

  2. I think you might need a break. Not a permanent one, but a creative breather.

  3. We are cheering for you Theresa.

    I am sure your heatrate went through the roof with the ballet mix-up. The Mrs. had a similar experience when two of the little kids' school closed unexpectedly one day at noon, and our gang was one of the last to be picked up and just had to hang out.

  4. I hate to say it but I agree with Angela. A creative breather. Step away from the writing for now. You can't be SuperWoman as much as you'd like to give it a go. Sometimes we have to prioritize and you can't really let go of the kids, hubs, school, job, housework (as much as you'd like.) Something else has to give and from what you've said, it pretty much sounds like the writing.

    If you don't let something go you'll end up in a fog and what purpose will that serve. Someday you'll find time and/or make time to get back to it, but for right now, just take care of you and your family, that's the most important thing. We'll always be here. Sure we'll miss you, but we know what you're going through.

    Don't push yourself into a nervous breakdown. It's not worth it.

  5. Wow, you have a very full plate. I agree with the others to maybe a creative breather is actually a good idea. Or maybe an altered creative part of your life, a new journal maybe, filled with writing notes-on-the-go, creative thoughts and plans that you will get to in due time?

  6. Oh Theresa! I went to blogher and typed a comment and they would not recognise my password but won't let me register again cos apparently my email and name are already in use... aaaaaargh! LOL!!

    But I did try!!!

    ANYWAY!! Don't you worry about the blogging!!! Really in the great big scheme of things blogging is not even on the list - your family and your twin careers of writer and teacher are most important. You've built enough of an online presence to take as many social media breaks as you need to!! If (fingers crossed) I get to do an academic course in the future, my blogging time will be the first to go! LOL!

    Hang on in there!!!! Good luck!! Take care

  7. AHHH SO MUCH GOING ON! I understand how you feel. It's tough!

    Working full time I find structure is required. I'm very detailed with my time. I spend an hour tweeting, facebooking, and blogging. Then another hour for writing. It doesn't always work but it seems to be the easiest. It allows time for dinner and time with the hubs. I don't always succeed.

  8. Four years ago, I worked full time, went to school full time and raised two kids. No writing. My sleep. Now, I don't have the school, but I'm writing. tv and no sleep.

  9. Hi Theresa .. it's finding the balance of what you want to do within the boundaries of life ..

    It sounds like you need to settle in to your new work .. and when you feel comfortable then start to return to other aspects ..

    Or do what Miranda does .. ?? Cheers and all the best - we'll be here .. Hilary

  10. I feel your pain. I know how impossible it feels. And not to send you over the edge, but, it might well be impossible. There are only so many hours in the day. I discovered I could not work a full time job and write. So for two years now I haven't had a job. If you take a couple of years off from writing, in order to be the best student you can, to ensure you'll have a job in the future, the universe will forgive you. And your stories will be there when you come back to them. No one can do everything...

  11. You poor thing, slow, deep breaths. Sounds to me like you need a vacation! I'd be totally stressed out and exhausted with all that on my plate too! I'm sending you virtual chocolate and strong coffee. :)

  12. I can't imagine how busy you must be! My advice is to take it one day at a time. Let go of the things you can't do, and it's okay if some things can't be done right away. I've got my fingers crossed for you!

  13. Aw, I'm so sorry you're stressed out. Don't let the first couple weeks of your new schedule overwhelm you. It does get easier as you hit your groove and adjust to all the changes. Don't beat yourself up if you have to take a short break from writing just to maintain your sanity. In the meantime, make sure you're eating lots of healthy, flavorful foods and getting enough sleep. I wish you the best!

  14. Oh Theresa, welcome to my world! Finding the energy for writing and blogging after a 40+hr working week, cooking, cleaning, laundry,grown children dropping in unexpectedly for weekends and week day dinners and trying to keep in touch with friends....well there just aren't enough hours in the day.

    Take a deep breath and just accept you can only get done, what you can get done and try not to stress yourself with it.

  15. First thing - get a GOOD vitamin (they tend to be expensive, but they are worth it). There has to be some "me" time - for you that will be writing. I disagree with all the people that say give up the writing - that's what makes you feel alive!

    Try writing shorter pieces - not short stories, but maybe mood pieces, written as blog posts. Go offline, then put the content online, when you can.

    But don't give up the writing. That's a sacrifice that you will regret all the days that you live.

  16. I have never been the kind of person to be great at multi-tasking in a lot of areas. Instead I cultivated patience "this too shall pass" and it worked for me. but wow, what an adjustment you're going through! So glad your family is supportive!

  17. Oh stop panicking. This kind of thing happens to all of us when we get a new job. Things will settle down after a month and you hit your stride. You just need to put in the time at the beginning to master your job and then free time will once again emerge a little later.

  18. Ho, man. The one about the kids would've freaked me out the most... :p But try to be brave. You're in the beginning stage of a new venture. Things'll settle down, you'll find your routine, and then you'll start catching up again. You will! :o) ((hugs))

  19. @ Jess, I didn't write when my children were that young. My daughter was 4 when I began. A much more manageable age! I'm impressed you're able to make the time, even if it's a struggle.

    @ Angela, I think you're right. It's not so much the teaching as it is the coursework. Maybe on my school breaks I can make up for lost time.

    @ Slamdunk, thanks for cheering! And thank you for sharing your story. I guess all parents have a story like that, right?

    @ Anne, thank you. Your advice is sound. I just hate to think how little progress I'm going to make in the next few years. It's a 36-credit M.A. degree.

    I don't want to quit blogging. But it's definitely slowed down.

    @ Joanne, that's a good idea. I can add them to the pile of words I've collected, waiting be given a voice.

    @ Old Kitty, sorry about that. Thanks for trying! I often sign in under my Facebook account because it's easier. But I know you don't have a FB account!

    My friends (like you) I've made through blogging are important to me, so I'm not going to do a blogging break. Just a blogger slow down. While it would make sense to write instead of blog, I'm more likely to have the frame of mind and energy to post and comment than to write a rough draft and edit.

    @ Jen, I definitely need to create some structure. But by the time I have time, I'm too drained to write. Maybe I should try to do it first thing in the morning.

    @ Miranda, no sleep is tough. You're more disciplined than me. I waste too much time watching TV near bedtime. And basketball will begin soon...

    @ Hilary, thanks. I'll still visit. I did a slow down last year when I worked full-time, and I don't think many noticed. It's the school work that's freaking me out!

    @ Judy, I know you've waited to write. I'm glad you have a chance now, even if the writing life is fraught with doubt and depression along with drudgery. Then there's the occasional euphoria. I don't want to walk away. It feels like giving up.

    @ Heather, too bad I just had summer vacation. No breaks for a bit! Thank you especially for the coffee.

    @ Meredith, thanks. I have to hope I'll have a little more time as I get a handle on the new schedule and workload.

    @ Sarah, thank you for the advice. I do need to eat healthy foods because I can't afford to get sick now!

    @ Ann, I know you contend with a lot too. Working full-time last year was a challenge. Adding the class feels overwhelming. But at least my day job is easier. I don't have to bring home papers to grade or plans lessons.

    @ LindaS, a vitamin is an excellent idea. I also like the idea of writing short bits. Maybe I can look at the manuscript I'm editing like that too. If I do a little at a time, it will add up. The thought of not writing for a long time is too depressing.

    @ KarenG, "this too shall pass" is a good way to look at it. That's how I felt about subbing.

    Yes, I'm lucky my kids and husband are helpful.

    @ Michael, thanks for being the voice of reason. I'm trying to do my school projects early so I can breath a little towards the end of the semester.

    @ LTM, thank you for the encouragement. Each week seems to feel a little better. I hope that continues.

  20. I think it will take you a little while to find your balance, and figure out where writing fits in, but you will find it.

    You're so easy to root for, Theresa! Because you're such a great blog friend. Know that I'm sending you good vibes.

  21. It's funny, Theresa, but I blogged about something similar last Friday. The beginning of the school year has sapped all the creativity out of me, but luckily I recognize the pattern from previous years and know it's temporary.

    It will take time for you to fall into a new rhythm, but your drive for writing will return. I promise!

    In fact, NOT being able to write all day while I'm at work, or while I'm driving to pick up the kids, or cooking dinner, etc will often end up focusing my attention so strongly that when I finally sit down to write in the late evening, I can get more done in 90 minutes than on a day when I had nothing to do!

    Good luck!

  22. Whew! I hear you...after 30, going back to school is TOUGH. Even before 30 lol.

    Are you sure you need to iron and clean? We won't tell if you don't.

  23. Oops and meant to say - visiting BlogHer!

  24. Of course you're tired. You're getting into a whole new rhythm. As others have said, you'll settle into things as you get used to them, and then more time will free up.

    When I have a period of time when I feel overwhelmed, I allow myself to take a break from writing.

    Don't worry about getting everything done. Just get done what you can today. For those things that you can't get to today, you may find time tomorrow (or next week or next month). It's okay.

    Take the pressure off. You'll feel so much better.

  25. Pertaining to your comment above: Finally! Someone else who doesn't procrastinate through school. I'm one of those people who likes to get long term projects done as soon as possible. I complete them, or large parts of them depending on the project, during the weekend after the project is assigned. Everyone else? They wait til the day before. And Lizzie wonders why she has to stay up 'til two. -.-

  26. Doing all that will help you to realise how much you want to write, which in turn will help you to keep writing and studying no matter the odds :)

  27. Hang in there! And I think it's great that you're having the kids help out more - that's benefitting them as much as it's benefitting you.

  28. first, i'm with you being wearier since school started! but once you are in a groove, some stress will go away and you will have a little more energy (i hope)

    as for time, i squeeze in blogging between everything, a little here & there. for writing i need bigger blocks of time. about 4 nights a week i get a few hours for it after kids go to bed.

    pick one thing and pick your block, writing will give you some peace too =)

  29. Finding time to write can be frustrating. But if I can write ten pages a week, after 35 weeks I've written 350 pages, or an entire book. Sometimes you gave to look at thins from this perspective.

  30. Wow, I'm hurting for you. That's so much to take on. I think the best advice I have is to think write while you're heading places. You may not have the ability to grab a pen, but work scenes over in your head and keep going over them so you won't forget them? It might work. Allll of the luck in the world is being wished to your direction :)

  31. I know exactly how you feel, and I don't even have kids as yet, but I hear you on the being so tired after work and having no energy (or time) to be able to write.

    It WILL get better though, and some days are easier than others. Maybe like others have suggested, put writing on hold for now until you settle into a routine and find your footing. Try to squeeze time in when you can, but don't beat yourself up if you find you can't.

    And you're so amazing, I know you can do it, and it will take no time at all :). Good luck with everything...we're all rooting for you!

  32. Sometimes I go through stages when I really don't have time to write and I start freaking out, questioning if I will ever have the time or energy write again. Of course you will. Just don't force it. You'll get your rhythm.

  33. Oh man. I feel for you. Don't forget to do things (even little ones) for yourself. You'll find a way to juggle everything. You will!

  34. I can relate a little (and I love the quote, btw!). My advice is to take one day at a time and try and not stress in advance. It helps me - when I remember to do it!

    Happy weekend!

  35. I guess everybody else has said it all but, anyway, just do what you can. :)

    Maybe hire someone for the ironing? (hate ironing)

  36. Hey Theresa! Hang in there. I really hope it gets better. I have the same worries, but so far I'm supposed to be subbing and haven't received a single call. Some days I feel rejected by school system strangers, but mostly I appreciate the extra time to write (while I still can).

    I love the name of your Muriel ms!

  37. I can so totally relate. There are just too many things to do and so little time. But we writers must never give up on writing--even if it means sneaking in 15 minutes of writing or writing related tasks a day. At least that's what I keep on telling myself. It's working so far. :)

  38. Totally relate to the Having it All syndrome. A few years ago, I decided I didn't want it all and re-prioritized my life. Things are now SO much better.

  39. Perhaps letting yourself get into the new routine of both teaching and taking classes without worrying about writing would help. Once you know what "routine" is, you may find yourself actually having "free time" (5 or so minutes at a time, likely) again. It just takes some practice to get used to change. Don't worry, you'll get there!

  40. We all understand. Believe me. You will get into it and I'm just glad the kids and hubby are helping you. You have to write. It's in you, my friend. Routine will be established and then you'll look back on this post and think, "What was that all about?"

    When things are different it causes us to worry.

    You rock! Now I'm wondering how to park our horses on that grassy knoll. ;-)

  41. Just after a 5 year break from school, when I went back for my Ph.D. it was an incredibly difficult transition. So I know exactly what you mean. Also: it gets better, you'll adjust. But there still are only so many hours in the day.

    Take care of yourself! :)

  42. I'm sorry for your exhaustion. We're cheering you on. I hope you find time to get everything done.

    I'll visit BlogHer.

  43. Hi Theresa! I'm sorry I haven't been here in quite some time. I love the new name of your blog, but I'm so sorry that you're so burnt out and stressed out. :( I can relate. I'm working full-time again this year as a TA and weekends are my only free time (and every other weekend seems to be booked with one thing or another.)

    I wouldn't put so much pressure on yourself to keep up with writing and editing. It's still the beginning of the year. I'd give it some time to get used to the rhythm of classes and work and all, and then slowly ease into writing once you've found the time.

    Best of luck with everything! Don't worry, things will calm down and work themselves out after time.

  44. As a grad student with two jobs, I can definitely sympathize. And you're even busier than I am because you have a family to take care of. As far as writing goes, I've accepted the fact that it's just not possible for me to write every day. I set aside time at least two or three times a week to blog and write fiction. It's not enough, but it's better than nothing. I think of it as taking "me" time, because the writing is for me and not for a grade or a paycheck. I also make to do lists, which motivate me to get things done. The lists also help me decide what I can realistically get done in one day, because it's not possible to get everything done every day.

  45. I'm so sorry - I've tried for ten minutes to leave a comment at BlogHer and it just keeps chucking me out! Argh...

  46. @ Jennifer, thank you. I appreciate your support. Yesterday, I did edits for my short story based on the editor's suggestions. I got me fired up to make it a novel. Now to find the time...

    @ Dianne, you're definitely in a similar situation. I'm glad you're recognizing a pattern and a solution. All my creative energy seemed zapped, especially because of the night class. But now I'm finally coming up for air. I hope.

    @ Sophia, I told myself I didn't want to be one of those people who got older and intimidated by doing new things. It pushes me (while I'm freaking out).

    My husband has taken over his ironing and I do mine. Thanks for offering to keep my secret, but I have to clean! Luckily, I have the kids to help me with that.

    Thanks for visiting BlogHer!

    @ Liz, I know you've been disciplined about writing, which impresses me. You're right, sometimes we need to step back. I was worried it was going to be a 4-year step back. But maybe I can accomplish more than I think. Thanks!

    @ Brooke, you have such an excellent work ethic. It will be great for you in college. I always planned ahead, so I never did an all nighter for school. Not even in graduate school.

    One of the projects is a group project, so I'm going to have to rely on the other students somewhat. I'll make sure my part is done early.

    @ Lynda, that's a very good way to look at it. If writing is important to me, I'll have to make the time.

    @ Susan, my kids have been great. They already have been good contributors so the house stays relatively clean. I'm just asking for a little bit more from each of them.

    If they could just drive themselves to all their activities...

    @ Tara, it's nice to know I'm not alone. The other teachers/full-time workers/students are finding ways to balance. I will too. All of these blogger comments are helping me put these obligations into perspective.

    @ Stephen, that's an excellent way to look at it. And what's 10 page a week? Less than 2 a day. My old method was to write fast and furious for 6 weeks, and then edit the heck out of it for the next year. Last time, I wrote slower and it was in great shape when I finished. It seems to take a year either way.

    Now to start those pages...

    @ Kelley, thanks for the advice. I did that with my last novel, which made me feel connected even when I didn't have the time to type. I haven't done that this time. I'm going to start!

  47. It IS HARD!! I don't get much writing done during the week, and I hope desperately for time on the weekend. But with kids around and a full time job which requires its own form of homework, it isn't easy. I've learned to 'fall into' my stories much more quickly. My brain is forced to move quickly - which it doesn't always like to do. As it all becomes routine, it does become easier. Keep plugging away! Good luck.

  48. Gosh that does all sound hectic and daunting! But things will settle down and you'll soon feel on top of everything!

  49. Oh my goodness I admire you. I would never have taken up blogging if I had children still at home, let alone return to studying in addition and you write. I feel exhausted just thinking about it. However busy people always find time for more so sure you will cope, but Take Care.

  50. Hey Theresa, slow down! You're taking so much on.

    My admiration and all the very best to you!

  51. Theresa, I don't envy your heavy schedule. Maybe, though, it will feel less stressful after you've been doing it for a while. Just make sure you have the time to do the things that make your heart happy!

  52. You've got a lot going on. Take a deep breath and give yourself a break.

  53. Sending you tons of energy your way.

    I know what you mean about the querying. That sucks the energy right out of me. Who knew sending querys out could be so draining?

  54. In Japan, there is a saying, "Otsukaresama deshita", which roughly translates to an extremely formal and respectful, "You must be very tired." I say that to you in respect to all the wonderful things you are doing.
    The world needs children who are raised by dedicated parents, good new books, and amazing special ed teachers. It will all happen.
    I'm a grad student with no kids and am constantly in awe of what mothers can do.
    Sending you energy...

  55. Good luck with all of it, Theresa!! Don't worry, you'll get back to the writing when you have time later on. I'll be here waiting for you. :)

  56. Wow, Theresa! You have a lot to be freaked about! I can't imagine being that busy. I don't always find the time to write everyday, but I mull over my projects almost constantly. (I'm a weird obsessive-compulsive writer, I know.)

  57. Ooh shame!

    I went back to class after six months and that alone was a pain to adapt to. I totally sympathize with you.

    Good luck!

  58. Today's the 27th. I'll try to tweet the contest again before midnight.

    I hope things are getting better.

  59. I got tired just reading this--but I tend to get tired easily anyway anymore. I currently don't have a job, have no kids at home, and don't have all that much to distract me, but I still find it difficult to find quality time for writing on my literary pursuits. I probably blog too much. Also, researching income producing opportunities absorbs time and energy and the frustration and energy devoted to that is draining.
    Good luck to you. I can understand what you are dealing with.

    Tossing It Out

  60. I feel for your Theresa!! I did this a couple of years ago when I was taking a Continuing Education certificate in Editing. So I had my full time job, then school and homework, plus writing and social media. And, you know, real life and family.
    I don't know how I did it!!! I'm still doing it (minus school but with lots of writing forum exercises and beta reads).
    I'd say... follow Kait Nolan's tips for keeping your life and meal planning etc organised. Nap when you can but try to live on 6-7 hours of sleep. Draw up lists and schedules, if that sort of thing helps you. It helps me, because the more I have written on paper, the less clouds my head and gets me stressed.
    Avoid the lure of Facebook games!!! Tetris is just as easy to play and takes way less time!!!
    Try to scale back things in order of importance. FB is the first to go. Change your blogging schedule if you can. And so on.
    What also helped me is my tendency to draft stories on paper (I never start stories on the computer). So I could sit in class or before class or on the train home and scribble if something came to me. At least the idea was there, and I wouldn't lose it, even if I had on time to type.
    Good luck! You can do it!

  61. Wow, I think about going back to school but it doesnt quite go father than that. I did try to go back once to get my Pharm D when I lived in MA. It wasn't too bad since school was every other weekend, but getting homework and working was an adjustment.
    With your home support group, I'm sure you'll settle into a routine in no time. :-)

  62. I work just short of full time with 5 kids, so I know exactly what you are talking about. I have to store up my energy and write in fits and spurts, I don't have the energy and mental frame to make a regular daily writing scehdule. What helps me a lot is getting together with a writing friend at a coffee shop and doing "word wars" on the laptop for 15 minute increments, with 10 minutes breaks in between to chat! (except that doesn't work so well for editing)

  63. @ Writing Nut, thank you for the encouragement. I've been trying to give myself a break little more. I hope I hit a routine/stride soon.

    @ Missed Periods, thanks for letting me know you've experienced the same thing. Even better to know you've gotten past it.

    @ Samantha, thank you. I plan to work hard for the next few days. Maybe if I make some decent progress in my schoolwork, I can let myself write a little.

    @ Karen, great advice. I'll have to be better about following. I'm the queen at stressing in advance!

    @ LR, my husband has taken over his ironing. I'm just doing my few clothes. I actually can't complain about that!

    @ Vicki, I'm so sorry you haven't received any calls. I went through two Septembers with almost no calls. So demoralizing. After that, I hardly had a day off. Good luck!

    @ Nutschell, 15 minutes a day or a few days a week should be manageable. I'm waiting for edits back and then I plan to make a schedule in order to keep my sanity.

    @ Carol, what did you keep and what did you let go?

    @ caseykay1, the advice from you and everyone else is giving me confidence that I can find some sort of balance... eventually.

    @ Robyn, I can't wait to be in a place where I can say, "What was all that fuss about?!" Thanks for your support.

    @ Susan, it's great to hear from someone who's been through it. I've never tried work, school, writing, and family. I've done 3 at once, but never 4. I hope I figure it out soon.

    @ Medeia, thank you. I appreciate it! And thanks for visiting BlogHer.

  64. @ Shelley, you sound awfully busy too. Don't apologize. I can barely keep up either. Look how long it's taken me to comment. I plan to visit your blog soon.

    I wish you a good year.

    @ Neurotic Workaholic, since you're writing a dissertation and work extra jobs, I know you're busy too.

    I'm a huge fan of lists. In fact, I just took this test, which confirmed my organization needs. On the flip side, the other side of my brain scored high in fantasy. Good for a fantasy writer:

    @ Sharon, thanks for your support!

    @ Talli, thank you for trying. Old Kitty had problems too. Maybe it's a problem with bloggers from Britain...

    @ Jemi, I know what you mean! I recently had to do edits and send them to my editor for a short story. I did round 1 on one weekend and round 2 on another. It was better than during the week, but not easy.

    @ Sangu, thanks for the pep talk!

    @ LindyLouMac, my children weren't that young when I began blogging and I subbed, so I had days off. The full-time work and school came later. Thanks for commenting!

    @ Nas, thank you. I appreciate it.

    @ Katie, I hope things settle soon. Writing certainly makes my heart happy.

  65. @ Ciara, sound advice. Thank you.

    @ Stina, thanks for the energy. I can use it!

    I sent 1 query the other day. I think that's the max I can handle now.

    @ Miss K, thank you for your nice comment. I used to be a graduate student before I had kids. I was a ball of stress then too. We just have different stresses.

    @ Aubrie, you've been a great friend. Thank you!

    @ Roxy, I mull over projects too. Are you a panster? Maybe what we are are mullers.

    @ Misha, thanks! Being a student is never easy. There's always a cloud walking around with you. (The cloud of assignments.)

    @ Arlee, thank you. I think the less I do (like summer), the harder it is the readjust, especially with the added responsibility of school. It's like coming out of a short retirement!

    @ Deniz, thanks for all of the advice. I may turn your comment into a list to follow.

    Tetris was my weakness when I was an undergraduate. Ask my now-husband. He'd make me feel guilty so I'd get back to work! There was barely an internet then...

    @ Jennifer, I talked about going back for a couple of years, but I wasn't sure what I wanted to do. And in truth, I just wanted someone to give me a job so I wouldn't have to do it.

    I'm lucky to have the home support.

    @ Margo, it sounds like you have a few good strategies. Thanks for sharing them!

  66. Dear Theresa:

    You never cease to amaze me, dear. I don't know how you do it. Graduate school.

    I wish I could go. It took me ten years to accomplish my B.A. with five children in tow. And now I have four in college and one getting married in June 2012.

    Congratulations on your stories.
    ~Victoria Marie Lees

  67. Girl, you have a lot on your plate! I understand why you're frustrated. I find this time of year maddening. The back to school rush lasts a few weeks, but it will calm down soon enough (just in time for the holidays, ha!). It's always a shock to go from lazy summer days to jam-packed fall days.
    I'm wishing you lots of luck, and hopefully a solution for your time management!

  68. I work full time, but I'm lucky to be able to get all my blogging done at work, so that I can write during any other free time I have at home, which is usually very little.

  69. Jeez, I LOVE that Kasdan quote. So true...

  70. I write 1 1/2 hours each day. It's all I can squeeze into my busy schedule. I know writers that will write in increments of 10 minutes. I guess we have to do whatever works. :)

  71. Hang in there Theresa! You'll figure it out. One step at a time.

  72. Theresa, you WILL figure it out!!! Just take a break and when you miss it, it'll call to you! You'll squeeze it in!

  73. This is the question of the hour, isn't it? I work from home and have kids, and it is HARD to find time. Well, there is that time before bed, but I'm usually so tired, it's hard to make myself work.

    I guess it's about will power and doing stuff you love. :)

    Best of luck with everything you have going on!

  74. @ Victoria Marie, I amaze myself. How the heck am I going to do it? One class at a time. I can't even think about the state tests.

    I think it's great you were able to complete you degree with 5 kids at home. Not easy.

    @ E.R. King, now that it's October, the routine has made life seem easier. Though now I'm feeling the pressure of the school projects.

    That's exactly it - to go from nothing in the summer to filled days is a big adjustment.

    @ Matthew, when I was a daily sub, I could blog during preps. Now I have less time.

    @ Liz, I was glad to find the quote since it worked on a couple of levels with this post.

    @ Laila, that's an impressive amount of time. I'm going to try to write in the mornings, which should give me about 30 minutes.

    @ Shari, thanks. I do need to look at school one step at a time or it gets overwhelming.

    @ Christina, I'm really missing it now. I can't wait to write again.

    @ Janet, I find it difficult to write at night too. I'm going to try to tackle it in the morning.

  75. When you're that busy, there's no way you can sucessfully balance your schedule and fit everything in. There are simply not enough hours in the day!

    What I'm finding is that you have to start paring things back. Be realistic. Don't beat yourself up over what you can't do. It doesn't help. Do the most important things first and accept that some other things won't get done, or will need to be put away for a later date.

    You may have to let some things go...even though some folks tell you you absolutely have to do those things.

    The trick is in noticing the difference between being stressed because you're tired, and being stressed because you're doing something you really don't want to do. Keep what's most important to you and let the rest go.

  76. @ Mary Anne, thanks for the advice. You're right. I just have to figure out what I can live with and what I can let go. There may even need to be a rotation.