One 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.
2:30pm: 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
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.