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Thursday, January 27, 2011

Can writing and being a mommy co-exist?

In my household there is always chaos. I have three boys ages 18, 14 and 3 and yet I have to find a way to carve out a little time for my writing every day. Some days it works and others it doesn’t. I have to say it was much easier to do this before I started working full time and now I have to be super mom, working in all kids activities, cleaning, cooking, homework and any personal time into just a few hours every night.

Somehow I’m managing to do it all but it’s been difficult. It’s much easier to keep the bigger boys busy than it is with my three-year-old. Needless to say, he commands most of my attention. I’ve had to be creative lately. So I thought I would share some of my ideas in how to carve out writing time with young children in the house during those times that you can’t afford a baby sitter or don’t have anyone else to watch them so you can write.

It can be done but it is challenging. So without further ado here’s a few tips for those of you in the same boat as I am:

First, I own a laptop and can carry it all over the house, so writing at my desk is not necessary. Quite often I will take my laptop into the living room, pile up on the couch with the little one and while he’s watching Toy Story Three, I can cram in some wordage. Movies and cartoons are a great way to get a few writing hours in. Although, they aren’t necessarily educational or recommended but sometimes you gotta do what you’ve gotta do.

Another great idea for us was puzzles. Three-year-olds love to do puzzles. So we sat at the kitchen table and while he worked on his puzzles to his little heart’s content, I managed to squeeze in about forty five minutes worth of writing time. And the best thing is, it really allows him to develop his cognitive skills.

We tend to get at least a half hour of coloring in as well. I print out several pages with numbers and letters on them for him and he has a blast coloring them (if you can call it that lol.)

Snack time is also a great source of quiet time for him. He loves to eat grapes or apples while watching some cartoons. Excellent source of energy and quiet time for mom.

Craft ideas for three-year-olds that he can do himself. I can place a table cloth across the kitchen table so I don’t have to worry about a mess and then toss it in the washer when we’re done. Puppet making is something he can do and loves to do by himself. I buy those paper lunch bags, some washable markers and let him go to town. We can’t always tell what the puppet is so we just call him a monster and make lots of roaring sounds. So fun.

I also staple together a “book” of blank pages and let him color in his own little story. It’s loads of fun when I ask him to “read” mommy the story he created. It’s always different every time he reads it back to me though lol.

“Bowling!” He has a blast with this one and it definitely holds his attention for a bit. Place two or three empty two liter bottles on the floor and let him roll a ball to “strike” them down. Of course, if you’re looking for real quiet time, forget this one. It’s loud with lots of squeals but it’ll definitely keep the little ones busy.

One last idea is to get out your plastic ware and let him sit at the table and “pretend” cook for you. Of course, you must have patience when you have to stop writing every five minutes or so to taste his newest creation but hey, I never said this would be easy lol.

There you go. Writing and being mommy can co-exist at least for a little while. Tell me what other ideas do you have that you could share with the rest of us mommy writers. Trust me I could definitely use more ideas!


  1. You're a wonder, Melissa. I didn't start writing seriously until my youngest was in school. All I can say is thank goodness for the public school system. My friend and I do childcare switches some weekends. She takes all of the kids one day and then I take them the next. That way we both get a big block of time to get things done.

  2. Thanks for stopping by Samatha, I wish I had someone close by I could do that with but most of my family lives out of town. It certainly would be so nice. And when Caiden goes to school I plan to put that time to good use

  3. Coke bottle bowling is one of my fav activities with a small child. Loud and energetic, it can help tucker out a small one so mommy time can be early in the night. Plan it for before dinner and the little one might fall asleep straight after the meal.

    My 8yr boy goes back to school Monday and I'm sooooo looking forward to him having other people to harrass. The word count during December/January (our summer) has been quite low. I wish I could think of other activities but I think you've found the main ones. :o)

  4. I love your insight and creativity! Believe me when I say I completely understand what your feeling. I love your blog, and can not wait for the next post. As one mommy to another, best wishes! Angela http://sheerglow.blogspot.com/

  5. Thanks for stopping by Heather and Angela, coke bottle bowling is the best! And we're so glad you enjoy the blog, we love to hear from our readers and appreciate all the comments.

  6. Melissa, I remember trying a lot of these activities when my kids were little. They're older now so I write while they're at school. And I try to get up at 4am to write, but sometimes they hear me and get up too. Then it's pointless.