when the kids are asleep

Many people suggested ways I could carve out more time for my writing, but none of their suggestions involved the care and consideration of the small children who live in my house. I find lots of discussion online about “waiting for the muse” but not enough about having to write in between T-ball games. I want more honesty from people who write books while they have small children. I want to hear from people who feel like they have no time.
~ “Yes Please” preface by Amy Poehler

Preach, girl: preach. I often kick myself for not starting this book ten years ago, five years ago, hell, even two years ago. Really anytime before I had two kids would have been ideal. I try to write something every day: sometimes that’s just a blog or a journal entry (OK, who am I kidding, that’s what it usually is). But the fact is, I am always with my kids, and I don’t want to be one of those moms who sets her children in another room and goes and does her thing. I mean, OK, sometimes that sounds pretty nice, really, but then when I think of my kids instead of me I decide not to. 

So that gorgeous time each night after both the kids have fallen asleep and after I’ve cleaned up countless Cheerios and Goldfish is all I’ve got. The time between their bedtime and mine has grown and grown and now I find myself up until about 1 each morning, trying to get in some workout time, a shower, some relaxation, some reading, some writing. I am always tired. I operate on coffee and distractions.

What I really need is someone who gives as much of a shit about my children as I do to come over in the mornings, let me sleep until about ten, then give me two hours to write. I’m not talking about a babysitter who turns on the TV and then sits on the couch with her phone. That’s the problem – those peeps are a dime a dozen, I’m sure. I remember babysitting and trying to avoid turning on the TV at all cost. We went on walks, played games, cooked, jumped on trampolines, ran through sprinklers. I am a firm believer that children should be interacted with, spoken to, treated like the growing people they are.

I have this small window of time when my children haven’t yet learned to Google and look to me for all their knowledge. I know everything to them, and I will teach them all of it. They want to be with me? Then of course I will be with them! These days are fleeting. Some days I tell myself, just push back this book and work on it once the kids are in school. But the fact is, there will always be an excuse, a reason to procrastinate and the book is in me now. I don’t know what kind of book will be in me then, but I have a story to tell today. I don’t have writer’s block or lack of inspiration, I just have a lack of time. But Amy Poehler did it, other parents did it, and I can do it too. I will just buy more coffee. A lot more.

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