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  • Robin

Writing with children at home

If you've stumbled upon this post, you are likely trying to find the time to write with children around. I've done my share of procrastination researching for that very topic and you know what I most often come across? Posts about getting someone to watch your kids while you work. That's all well and good, but not all of us have that option (and some of us homeschool). So, what can we do?

First off, give yourself grace. There are going to be days that go so smoothly that you'll wonder why you were apprehensive about tackling such a project. Then there are those other days. The days where the combination of the reality of your existence and the fatigue that has set into your brain refuse to allow you into the moment of creation. Just remember, neither situation, nor anything in between, will last forever. Always try to get a few words on the page (or move forward on a project in some small way) but if it doesn't happen, start again tomorrow.

That being said, the advice on setting boundaries is a great one. Does it always work? I have tried many things to get my children (and sometimes my husband) to understand that when I am writing I am not to be disturbed. I have tried verbal cues, visual cues, keeping a consistent schedule. In this house, non of that has worked. Even the advice of "get up before the kids" has failed me. My children are early risers. These days I get up at do 2 of my children. Children wake with me, children go to bed at the same time as me. That's just my reality. Sleep is important and frankly, I need the 5 to 7 hours of sleep I am lucky enough to get.

On to the "controversial" topic of screens. My children have tablets. They have a cut-off for screens but not a start time. Obviously, there are moments throughout the day when they do not have their screens (such as meals and school) but I do not consider them problematic. That being said, finding activities that your children can do with minimal supervision is key to writing with them around. When he was younger, one of my sons was enamoured with kinetic sand and would happily play for hours on end. My other son currently undertakes large builds in Minecraft while my daughter builds towers with Legos.

It's all about striking a balance between creation and reality. It's easy, and incredibly hard, but you can do it.


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