Writing With Kids
Being a writer is hard. Being a writer with kids is harder. When your day is basically run by these little goobers who demand your attention and destroy everything they put their hands on, writing is forced on the back burner. You tell yourself you’ll get to it in your “free time,” but oh you dear, sweet reader, a parent doesn’t actually have any free time… until they create it.
Here’s the part that even parents forget: you will never just find free time. It won’t be given to you or be readily available until the spawn are out of the house and you have no one’s bottom to wipe or mouth to feed but your own.
Then how is anyone supposed to do it all? When kids are involved, you’re not just doing things for yourself. You:
- Feed children, feed oneself.
- Dress children, dress oneself.
- Entertain children, entertain oneself.
- Teach life lessons to children. Try to figure life out yourself.
What some parents tend to forget is that kids sleep. My only free time to write — as a mom who works from home — is:
- Early in the morning, before kids wake. The sweet sound of silence is blissful and might even inspire you.
- Late at night, after the kids have gone to sleep. The chances of your kids waking in the middle of an exciting scene is greatly lessened.
- During nap times, since I have been so blessed to have children who rely on afternoon naps to function throughout their day.
- When the kids’ friends are over. They’ll be too busy to bug you as they’re ransacking the place or running around to their heart’s content. Then, they can do the cleanup. At least most of it.
- When the kids are sitting down for a movie. Just make sure it’s a movie that you won’t get sucked into yourself.
That doesn’t sound too bad, right? Unless you don’t sleep well at night and you need to get to bed earlier. There goes that writing time. If that would be the case, then you would need to figure out why you’re not sleeping and fix the problem. Easier said then done, I’m sure.
On the other hand, I can hear some people wondering when all the cooking and cleaning happens. Well, while the kids are up and running, of course! Or, even better, you have the kids help!
The point I’m stressing is that a writing parent needs to write on a schedule if they ever want to get any actual writing done. Sit down, jot down any part of your day where the kids are sleeping or left to their own devices, and see what can be changed. If we don’t take the initiative and make change in our own day-to-day routine, we’ll never make it until we’re old, wrinkly, and haggish. And who wants that?
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