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Writing while parenting

**I’m in the hospital, so this post was written in advance. Comment approval and response will be delayed. **

When people ask me what the biggest obstacle to writing is I tell them my children.

IMG_8690 Not my children, obviously.

Enjoy a picture of a humpback whale I took off the coast of Maui, early December 2015

 

When you are a parent, particularly when you are the primary caregiver, parenting takes up a lot of your bandwidth on a day-to-day basis. There’s the normal things-picking them up from school, overseeing homework, refereeing fights. There are the things I do during writing time instead of writing such as grocery shopping because it goes about six times faster without my kids than it does with them. Finally, there is the emotional toll–there are many night when, once they’re finally asleep (during the writing of my last post, I had to stop and put Ms 4 back to bed no less than five times) all you want to do is collapse in front of netflix and chill…and not in the #netflixandchill sense.

Part of this is the natural ebb and flow of parenting. My two are still quite young, so they need more from me. As they age, they’ll need less and will be able to do more for themselves.

go away

The thing I can solve, though, is that I often don’t honor the time I’ve designated as “writing time.” I use it to grocery shop or take a nap or spend an hour on twitter discussing whether I like the DC or Marvel tv shows better (MCU movies, DC tv shows, for the record). Once I’m out of the hospital (I know, again–no one is more over my being in here than me) I want to honor writing time better than I have in the past.

Fellow parents–how do you balance writing and kids?

2 Responses

  1. Delilah, I am so sorry that you are back in hospital. How frustrating it must be!

    Frankly, I find it hard to put aside time for writing even without small children around! I think the answer — one I’ve not mastered the trick of yet myself — is what Rachel Aaron refers to as “pay yourself first.” In other words, just what you’re saying: honor your time and make it come first. Of course, easier said than done, when grocery shopping IS six times faster without the kids!

    • It’s definitely a balancing act, even without kids. When I was in my first years of teaching, all my energy was sucked up by that. I was so drained when I came home it was off the table.

      I think I did the most writing I’ve ever done when I lived in NYC for grad school one year. I was broke, lonely, and the only people I knew were from Literotica, so in my free time I wrote erotica (especially when I was avoiding writing papers for classes I wasn’t enjoying). Erotica is an *awesome* way to procrastinate from doing school work.

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