It has been said a number of times that friends are impressed with the amount of writing work I can do, and raise two small children ((almost 3, and 7.5 months)) at the same time.
Even now as I write this, I am holding a sleeping baby in my arms.
On the one hand, there isn’t as much work happening behind the scenes as they might believe. This time last year I was publishing my first short story, The Precious Jewel for debute in Den of Thieves: A Den Of Quills Anthology, I was blitzing through episodes of The Ranger Of Severum, and I was writing my High Fantasy series.
Being able to write and blog are only two hobbies of like, five, I enjoy doing, and it’s becoming difficult to have to choose which one to do in my free time.
Do I read? Do I workout? Do I write? Do I paint? Or Draw?
Better yet, DO I SLEEP?!?!
The baby has now woken up and every few words or letters, I have to push away at her little smacking hands as they hit at the laptop keyboard. She giggles, finding it a game, I move the computer, and then she pulls on my clothes, to stand up and reach over my lap to try at it again.
What it all boils down to is time management.
Exercising is difficult to make time for with littles. Especially when they demand your attention all day long. But, what I have found is I can get in an hour of cardio by doing squats, and swinging the kids around, and dancing with them, doing jumping activities, all by including them in my fitness goals. Swinging a 26 pound child up in the air, and down through your legs while squatting really works your thighs, and you feel it for the next three days. Doing the various leg lifts lying down on the floor, planking, sumo-squatting, bridges, yoga positions, you suddenly become a bridge, or a mountain for cars to drive up and down, all the while you’re toning, slimming, trimming, and making your goals happen without having to duck off to the gym in time you really don’t have.
Painting and drawing can also be activities to do while in the living room. Set up the canvas on the counter, with all of your tools out of reach, and stand and paint while watching the kids. Boom, easy.
Reading and writing are the tricky ones, as both are full attention activities. So, when going to bed at night, or during naps in the afternoon…. I play games and scroll through Facebook, because I suck at time management. ((I have written 440+ words and it’s taken me roughly thirty minutes, because Facebook))
Usually I read myself to sleep, once my pocket game has been taken care of. I’m currently beta reading for an author friend of mine, and I find his book is best executed at night before going to sleep. My husband works nights, so I have from the time the kids go to bed, to when the baby wakes for midnight feeding, to myself. And again, I have to pick “Do I work, or do I sleep?” and in the end, socializing wins most times.
Mothers are secluded creatures who need to clear their headspace. Clearing headspace involves mindless activities and SOCIALIZING with other people. So, my writer friends on the internet are readily available to socialize with when I want to sit and do absolutely nothing when I’ve been going, going, going all day.
This, by no means, means I am inactive during the day. All the day long, I’ve been working through my writers block lately, to try and plan out the course for action in my High Fantasy series. One day, I hope to set the world of Eldegras in orbit for the world to see. I’ve just spent the last two years trying to clean it up and make it ready. This became an even slower process in bearing children. Along with the kids comes managing the household, doing laundry and dishes, and cooking and cleaning, and being wifely by spending time with the husband…. All of the responsibility! Nobody should be surprised when all a woman wants to do is mindless nothing on the internet.
My simple advice to mothers everywhere, workout with the kids, do your hobbies with them, and in the quiet moments you have to yourself do whatever the hell you want to. You deserve it.
Oh. And Coffee.