Writing while juggling other life aspects such as parenting or a job can be hard work, trust me, I know. For any writers out there who have jumped in at the deep end to write full time as a career, they have nothing but time on their hands to concentrate on their manuscripts. For a parent, we have to constantly juggle the childminding aspect of parenting and helping our children to develop, the household chores, and potentially a job. When you have children, you can plan as best you can to work around their schedule and routine, but there are days when they do the unexpected, maybe not taking their afternoon nap, and the plan you have made out to work you writing around their routine falls through.
Here’s how I plan my time:
I have a toddler who currently has one nap during the day. This can range anything from a short 45 minute nap, to a long 2 hour nap. I set my alarm to wake up early before she does and sometimes stay up late doing work too. I make use of the time she is asleep, before she wakes, after bedtime and during nap times. I try to catch up with household chores while she is awake, but sometimes I have to sacrifice my writing time to catch up on housework.
How do I plan what to do in that time?
It depends on what stage I am currently at. So far, I have completed my manuscript with using the aforementioned method. At present, I am currently running a final check for grammar and spelling on a printed copy of my manuscript. I’m highlighting and annotating on the printed copy so that I can proceed to edit the soft copy, prior to submitting to agents.
Help from others
Regardless of whether you are a single parent or in a couple, having someone to look after the kids to give you an opportunity can also help with time management. Some like to keep their writing endeavours to themselves, and this will make this option tricky, but not impossible. When my husband is having some one-to-one time with our daughter, it gives me a breather from daily parenting and an escape to do what I want. 99% of the time, I use this time to concentrate on my writing, blog posts, and planning my social media posts. I love interacting with others on social media, and at the end of the day that’s what it’s all about, but when you have a busy schedule, it’s great to plan ahead and schedule some posts in advance.
Hopefully the information above will give you some ideas as to how to work around a busy lifestyle, especially as a parent and writer, but don’t put pressure on yourself to meet deadlines, it will only stress you out. Our children come first regardless of what our dreams are and we must remember that life may get in the way sometimes, so, if like me, last week you forgot to publish that blog post you spent time writing, don’t worry about it and laugh it off.
Any tips you have to share for parenting and writing, feel free to share with us on social media.