Monday, April 29, 2013

Writing with a Toddler

As I write this, my 14 month old son is trying to yank the mouse pad out from under my mouse. He has also piled a few of his toys onto my lap. This is a typical day for me. I pound out a few words, maybe a sentence or two, if I'm lucky, then I'm trying to keep my son happy. Needless to say, not a lot of writing gets done during his waking hours.

Most of my writing is done late at night after my son and husband have already gone off to bed. In some ways, this arrangement is convenient because I am allowed a nice bit of quiet time. I also tend to write very fast, so when provided a few extra hours late at night, I can usually meet my daily quota. The downsides to this arrangement are: I rarely get to sleep next to my husband (he's usually getting up for work when I'm finally going to bed), I get maybe 6 hours of sleep every night, and I'm almost too exhausted to write at night because I've spent all day with my son.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to complain about my son. I love him to death and I enjoy spending time with him. It's just, when you've got bills to pay, being a stay-at-home working parent can stretch you pretty thin. Sometimes, during the weekends, my mom will volunteer to babysit so that I can get some writing in and also so my husband and I can spend a little time together. These have been blissful, but I also can't help but feeling like a bad mother at times. Sometimes it just feels wrong to crave those days off that my mother helps provide. I know, I shouldn't feel like this. Everyone deserves a break. But at the same time, I don't want my son thinking that my breaks are more important than spending time with him.

So, I suppose my real question is, how do other writers manage? I've heard of many writers who write and take care of their kids simultaneously. How do they do this? Do they just never sleep? Do their children resent them because they spend more time writing than with them?

Sorry this has turned more into a rant piece. I wish I had some real insight on how to make this work. So far, all that works for me is: little to no sleep, occasional help from Grandma, and rarely getting to see my husband. The occasional help from Grandma I don't mind, and I know she enjoys spending time with my son. However, it would be nice if I could change the other two. Or atleast, be able to spend more time with the hubby.

By the way, it took me about an hour and a half to write this due to trying to get the mouse pad back.

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