200 Followers

index

Thank you all so much. You guys are beyond awesome! It’s been an incredible nine months since I hit my last milestone and so humbling to find myself at 200 followers. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for sticking with me.

I vowed back in June 2018 that I’d share more about my writing journey and my kids. I think I’ve succeeded in sharing more about my writing but not so much about my kids.

So, I thought I’d use this post to share a bit about the other side of my life, as a mum to four kids. Yep, four… crazy, right? It comes as a shock to some, actually. In fact, I’m asked a lot how I keep my sanity. Sometimes, I don’t. But sleep helps, that and copious amounts of coffee.

I love my kids to pieces, but they do at times drive me up the wall. My husband too, at times, but I guess that comes with the territory.

My eldest son is thirteen… a teenager, and it hasn’t sunk in yet. He’s outgrown me. (That hasn’t quite sunk in, either) I still find myself thinking of him as the same kid who surprised us all by reading at three and a half. He received Harry Potter at seven and devoured the books in quick succession. He’ll still pick them up and reread them to this day. He hates having to clean his room.

My daughter is quite a bit like me. She came into the world incredibly early, at not even a kilo and has left her mark every day since. At eleven she’s an absolute riot. Loves cats, horses and origami and hates the colour pink. Which according to her brother is the weirdest thing ever.

My next eldest son is ten and insanely smart and sometimes frustrating bundle of energy. I think he learnt to run before he learnt to walk, because he never stops. He loves Lego and minecraft and anything and everything space related and is slowly getting into fantasy books. He hates stir-fry and homework.

My youngest son is eight and has never quit trying to keep up with his older siblings. He loves trains, Peter Rabbit and Groot from the Marvel universe. His favourite colour is green. He’s broken bones and had stitches but I can’t think of a single thing he hates right now, when I do, I’ll be sure to share.

And that’s pretty much the snapshot into my kids and each of their very different personalities.

 

Advertisements

Finding Time to Write with Four Kids… Continued

315648CB-7C82-48E7-89C5-4E6009A747CBOne month ago, I posted about the trials and tribulations of writing with four kids and even shared some tips I employ to make it work. It’s not always easy, and I’m by no means an expert. I’d love to get paid more, but I do love what I do.

You can find that blog post here.

Since then, a conversation I had in a group on Facebook recently gave way to this post.

I’ve had a host of people tell me I can’t write with four kids. I have a significantly smaller number of people tell me, I can (and should) write with four kids.

Fact is, I ignore the host of people telling me what I shouldn’t do and listen to the one’s telling me what I should do. And, if I’m completely honest for a moment, my sanity depends on it. The momentary escape from reality. Yes, as cliched as it may be, the reason I write is to escape. It hasn’t changed in the twenty-one years I’ve been writing, and I doubt it ever will.

So, what’s an average day to a mum of four? Well you’re about to find out.

My kids for reference sake are twelve, eleven, nine and seven. My only girl is the eleven year old. That dynamic alone is hard enough. The amount of times she’s begged her dad and I for a sister… it’s only a little heartbreaking.

An average (week)day for me looks like this… note the lack of writing time. I do steal the odd minute here and there by writing on my phone. While waiting to pick my kids up, for instance. But solid blocks of time are hard to come by.

5:30am : First alarm goes off. I ignore it. For the simple fact that it feels like I’m getting to ‘sleep in’ when I do and I hit the snooze button.

6:30am: Second alarm goes off and I spent about two minutes debating whether or not I can afford to sneak an extra 15 minutes of sleep. I am not a morning person. I was before I had kids. Usually, I decide it’s not worth it and get up.

6:30am-6:45am: All four kids are woken and the kettle is switched on. Three of them are up, out of bed and eating cereal. My nine year old son, struggles to get up.

7am: I have coffee. Anyone with kids will tell you if they don’t have coffee in the morning, they simply can’t function. True story. My kids know I’m grumpy in the morning if I haven’t had coffee. And yes, they do remind me to have said coffee if I haven’t.

7:15am-7:45am: I make their lunches. It’s not fancy. I don’t bake half as much as I want to. But they don’t go hungry.

8am: This is the time I aim to have all four of them packed, ready and out the door. It doesn’t happen.

8:15am: Is when they’re typically out the door and heading for school.

9am-9:15am: I’m back home. The kettle goes back on for a second cup of coffee. Yes, I’m a coffee addict. Four cups a day is common.

9:15am-10am: Check Emails etc

10am-12pm: Housework. I do 1-2 small-medium loads of laundry a day. Wash/Hang out. Bring it in when dry. I try to sort the clean clothes weekly and put them away. Tidy main living areas/bathrooms/floors etc. Kids clean their own rooms.

12pm-12:45pm: Lunch. Yes, I’m only human and I do take lunch breaks.

12:45pm-2:15pm: Housework. See above. I have something of a roster happening.

2:15pm-2:30pm: Break.

2:30pm: Pick kids up.

3:20pm: Home from picking kids up.

3:20pm-4:30pm: Organise kids. Snacks/Homework etc

4pm-4:30pm: Wash dishes

6pm: Dinner prep

7pm: Dinner

7:30pm-8pm: Kids bed time

8:30pm-9pm: Kids settle/sleep finally.

9pm-11pm: Downtime/TV/Writing time

11pm-12am: Read in bed/Social media catch up

12am: Bedtime. I don’t usually stay up much past midnight, when I do I don’t function well the next day.

**It’s not a perfect representation as things do change from day to day but it is an accurate baseline.

So, for all those writers out there without kids, the ones who like to say that kids aren’t an excuse for not writing? I beg to differ. I’m by no means saying you can’t write with kids, because you can (and I do write around my kids) but there’s a completely different dynamic when you write around kids to that of writing when you don’t have kids. There’s more freedom. And it’s quieter. If I didn’t walk my kids to school, I wouldn’t leave the house. There’s just too much to do inside the house.