Monday, June 30, 2008

Kids and Writing

My son Mason has the week off from Pre-Kindergarten. We enrolled him in a year-round school here in Saint Paul, and the traditional "summer" vacation happens all throughout the year with a week of here and there and months off in the winter, spring, and summer.

I'm lucky in that a well-timed lay off allowed my family to consider the feasibility of me staying home full-time. So I don't have another job other than writing... and Mason. I'd had this great image of being a stay-at-home parent that involved lots of writing time, bon bons, and bubbly baths. The reality is that I feel like I had more time to write when I worked full-time at the Minnesota Historical Society.

When Mason's in half-day, I reserve those precious morning hours for checking e-mail, working out (every other day), and generally scurrying around doing things best done without a squirrely five year-old.

I STILL do most of my writing at night when the household is settled, everyone's been fed (including cats and fish), and he's asleep.

Not that I'm complaining, really, because I love being a home (I sometimes wonder how we managed to keep the house clean *before* and its not terribly clean now,) but it's surprising how little changed in terms of writing time. I keep thinking I'll have MORE, but the other things I need to do seem to find ways to fill the available space.

When people ask me if I'm a full-time writer, I usually say, "No, I'm a full-time parent, part-time writer."

The more things change, the more they stay the same.


Angie Fox said...

Great post, Tate. And, yes, I'm still waiting for the bubble baths and bon bons too. Maybe next year...

Natalie Hatch said...

My kids think if I go near the bath that it's a free for all and they toddle in with their toys and smiles... so bath time becomes fun time with mummy.
I write whenever they're settled into something, such as playing with their toys, watching Dora or Thomas the Tank Engine. Then when they go to bed. Oh and my hubby does a great job of helping out in the evening so I get more time there. It's hard to juggle but it's worth it.