“I’m A Mommy Author,” by Samantha Stroh Bailey

“I’m A Mommy Author,” by Samantha Stroh Bailey

samheadshotauthorcentralI used to have this kickass job where I worked from 12:30 p.m. until 6:30 p.m. and had six weeks’ paid vacation. I spent my nights and mornings (though morning might be pushing it because I would get up at 10:00 a.m. after going to bed at 2:00 a.m.) and write. I knew I had it good, but didn’t realize how good until I had kids. And I had that incredible, leisurely schedule  for almost eight years until my son was born. The wee hours of the night no longer meant writing; now, they were about breastfeeding and watching Millionaire Matchmaker. I had to arrange my work schedule to suit my new life as a mom and suddenly had to be at work at 7:30 a.m. My writing took a backseat, but though I missed it, I was so happy being a mom.

I started writing again until I got pregnant with my daughter, and nausea, exhaustion and a toddler took precedence over my characters. In Canada, we get one year’s maternity leave (we’re so lucky, I know), and when my mat leave was almost up, I had to take a good look at the kind of life I envisioned for my family. The idea of being jolted awake by a screeching alarm, racing around the house like a crazy person and shuttling the kids to two different places before I’d even had my second cup of coffee didn’t sound like a recipe for happiness. And with the inevitable sicknesses my kids would pass back and forth because they’re always on top of each other, how was I going to take that much time off work? And join parents’ council and really be there for my kids the way I wanted to? Oh, and pay the bills?

Well, I was actually tired of teaching after over 15 years and had always wanted to start my own business so when my daughter was a year old, I opened Perfect Pen Communications, my freelance writing/editing company. Having my own business and being able to work from home and write and edit all day was something I had only dreamed about. And when clients started pouring in, I was quite stunned. I’d never been up on the latest technology and hadn’t realized that working virtually was going to be the success it is. I now had exactly what I wanted—my own business, I could stay home with my daughter for another year and a half and was able to pick my son up early and spend serious quality time with my kids. What I hadn’t realized was how hard it was going to be to juggle being a mom and a business owner.

And then there was my writing. I’ve been writing for thirty years, and the time had come for me to put myself out there again. I was terrified and excited and when I looked at my kids’ beautiful faces, I knew that I wanted to show them that you have to follow your dreams. So, in 2011, I wrote up an article about my unfortunate identify theft and sent it off to one of Toronto’s most read newspapers. Shockingly, they accepted it and so began my career as a journalist. I was writing for magazines, websites and newspapers and the editing jobs were coming fast and furious. All of which made me so happy, but I had to do it while being a stay-at-home mom. I worked during my daughter’s naps and at night, running around until the last bit of weight fell off my boobs, and I looked like a strangled chicken.

I loved having the time for my kids and doing my own thing, but if I kept up the pace I was working at, I would surely have tossed myself out of a window. So, we hired a caregiver to help us two days a week, and I took on more jobs. At the same time, I decided to finally publish Finding Lucas, a novel that I’d been working on for a long time and was very proud of.

Fast forward a couple of years, and now both of my kids are in school and daycare. I have my days to work and write, though I never quite seem to be able to get enough writing done. My time consists of answering emails and promoting Finding Lucas, connecting with my beloved Twitter and Facebook friends, working on my clients’ projects (many of which are manuscripts, which I love to edit) and writing blog posts, articles and revising Everything But, my second novel. I also clean the house, make dinner, do the laundry, arrange doctor, dentist and eye appointments, schedule birthday parties and playdates, all with my phone at my side at all times lest the school call.

I love every bit of it. But, I am, of course, exhausted and you can hide snacks in the circles under my eyes. I’m a night owl so even though I wake up early to get the kids ready for school, make breakfasts and lunches and do some dishes, it is rare to find me in bed before midnight. I want my relaxation and reading time and to cuddle up with my husband, too. As more people read Finding Lucas, I’m invited to evening events and have a trip planned to New York City (where I will finally get to meet my amazing friend, Francine LaSala!), which will be the longest I have ever been away from my kids. As happy as I am to have my own thing, my kids will always come first. I am a mom, an author and a business owner, and it is all I ever wanted. More coffee, please!

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Keep Up With Samantha on the Web!

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Can you ever really go back to the past? After five long years of living with Derek, her former bad-boy-turned-metrosexual boyfriend, Jamie Ross finally reaches her breaking point. She’s had enough of his sneering disdain for her second hand wardrobe, unusual family and low-paying job as the associate producer of Chicago’s sleaziest daytime talk show. When her new boss plans a segment on reuniting lost loves, Jamie remembers Lucas, her first love and the boy she’d lost ten years earlier. Spurred on by her gang of quirky friends, Jamie goes on a hilarious, disastrous and life changing hunt to track Lucas down. But are some loves best left behind?

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Samantha Stroh Bailey has been a writer ever since she could pick up a pen. In fact, she even sent her first manuscript, Freddy the Flame, to publishers when she was ten years old. After 15 years of teaching ESL to adults, including at the University of Toronto, she decided to live her dreams of being a ful-ltime writer and editor. Now the owner of Perfect Pen Communications, she not only gets to write novels, but also writes and edits for magazines, websites, businesses, students and other authors. Her work has appeared in Now Magazine, The Village Post, Oxford University Press, Abilities Magazine, on mommyish.com and many other publications. Samantha also has a Masters of Education in Applied Linguistics. She lives in Toronto with her husband and two children. Finding Lucas is her first novel.

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Let’s connect! Find me on Twitter and Facebook, and email me: francine@francinelasala.com

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24 thoughts on ““I’m A Mommy Author,” by Samantha Stroh Bailey

  1. Great post, Sam!! I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again… I don’t know how you do it! You are definitely Superwoman! 🙂 Your kids are lucky to have such a wonderful mom and we (the readers) are lucky that you still have time to write novels!

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  2. I can barely get myself, the dog and the hubs through life and still find time to write/market so I don’t know how moms of young kids do it! The lack of sleep would kill me! You are definitely a Super Mom!

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  3. Loved reading this and getting to know more about your story, Sam! The fact that you finished and published an incredible book like Finding Lucas, started a business, and are almost finished with your second novel while caring for two young kids is beyond inspiring! No more excuses for me! 🙂

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  4. I loved this post, Sam! It is so hard to balance working from home, writing, and being a mom. I enjoyed reading some of your background. Now, pass over the coffee–just kidding, it’s almost midnight here! 😉

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  5. Samantha, you are like my Canadian Twin on the mummy author front. I feel like I know you ~ I feel like you’re living my life, at least where balancing writing and mummyhood are concered! Thank for this fabulous feature and I absolutely ADORED Finding Lucas ~ hurry on with the next book because I want to read more of your work!!! You are a fabulous author and a great mummy and it’s lovely to see you here today! XXXX

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    1. Nicky, is it weird that I feel actual love for you? I LOVED “Sophie’s Turn”!!!! I’m glad I have another Sophie book to read once I get the moment to buy it. 🙂 Thank you! I’m so happy you liked Finding Lucas!

      Samantha Stroh Bailey

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  6. What a fantastic post. As a friend of yours, I must say that you handle it all in stride – you are fabulous and engaging and everything amazing and I would never know how much you have on your plate. You’re an inspiration! I loved Finding Lucas and I also loved Everything But (in progress)… XOXO

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    1. Meredith, you just made me cry. Ha! If you lived with me, you would know how crazy I am. 🙂 I repeat my to-do list to anyone who will listen. But, thank you so much. You are a friend I adore.

      Samantha Stroh Bailey

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  7. Brilliant post. Very inspirational. Now that I am in your shoes (new mommy) I have to do the soul-searching thing too. I was exhausted just reading your list of things to do. And yes, I now realise how easy I had it, from a writing perspective, before I had the baby! Loved Finding Lucas, look forward to Everything But and who knows you may have inspired me to write articles for magazines! Sooz x

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  8. I absolutely love this post and can relate on so many levels! You are so lucky to be able to stay home and do what you love! And as a mom myself, I know what it is like to be a juggler…there just aren’t enough hours in the day! It looks like you get everything (and then some) done so seamlessly though and I am so glad that I’ve become acquainted with you! You truly are an inspiration!

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  9. Samantha, I loved this post and the picture it gave me of your daily life as a mommy to two very special little ones. You are a gift in my life and I value your friendship. From those first DMs where we cursed housework to the accidental zebra belly tweet (OMG) I leave you with this thought about the struggle to find time to write and still be home for your family:

    Ahhhhhh!!!! AHHHHHH!!! AHHHH!!!!

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