Roundtable: Writing and Parenthood – Writing with School-Aged Kids (2019)
We invited Christopher Healy, Diane Magras, Kelly Coon, Lydia Kang, Rosalyn Eves, Sally J. Pla, and Tina Cho to share some of their experiences and advice on being a writer with school-aged kids. Children are demanding of both time and energy, and sometimes it can feel like an uphill battle just to get words on the page. In reading through our participants’ answers we hope you gather some tips to help make your writing efforts more productive, and find advice to either help motivate you or ease the pressure we all put on ourselves.
1. Where do you find or make time in your day to write? How do you manage your limited writing time?
Christopher – I actually credit my kids’ school day with making me a more disciplined writer. Because distractions and interruptions are the kryptonite to my creative brain, and I know that the entire concept of focus becomes a pipe dream after 2:30. Knowing my solo work time is limited each day forces me to be as productive as possible during those hours. Of course, a writer has to do more in their day than just write, though. So I give myself a procrastination pass on the non-creative parts of the job — emails, posts, finances, etc. — until after I’ve gotten in some decent writing time. And if some of that stuff spills over into the after school hours, so be it. Those kinds of chores are easy enough to get back to if I have to step away from the computer to make a sandwich, clean a spill, or tell my kids I have no idea what their math homework means.
Diane – I have a full-time job as well, so I need to really squeeze in my writing. I get up early to write before I get ready for work and wake up my son for school, then write in the evening before bed. On weekends, I’ve learned to write whenever I can grab a moment. The trick, for me, is keeping to this rigid schedule and forcing myself to sit down and write no matter how tired I am. It was hard at first, and sometimes still is hard, but with a nice cup of strong tea in the morning, I can accomplish a lot.
Kelly – I have three sons: 11, 9, and 5. The oldest is in 6th grade, the middle in 4th, and the youngest is in preschool. As an editor and business writer who works from home, I set aside a couple hours each day when I’m in drafting mode to focus on novels. The times change based on my schedule. It could be at night after the kids go to bed, during the day when they’re at school, before the kids wake up, or when they’re in the background playing! But, if I’m drafting, I do not let myself go to bed unless I’ve hit my writing goal for the day, even if what I end up with is utter drivel. You can edit garbage, but you can’t edit a blank page.
Lydia – I have two jobs, writing and working in healthcare. I work part time in healthcare, so the other days I’m writing at home. That being said — my writing time is often consumed by household related tasks, so I still have to fit in writing on weekends and evenings at times.
Rosalyn – When my kids were little, I wrote while they napped or at night. Now that they’re older and I’m working more at non-writing jobs, I find that I do best to set aside a specific time each day to write. For me, because my oldest is doing part home-school/part middle school, it’s the two hours when he is at school. I try not to make appointments during that time or do housework — that’s my writing time and I try to protect it.
Sally – I tend to wake super early, and so the wee hours (4:30 a.m. on) are my best writing time. The house is still and dark, and I sit with tea and a journal until dawn tinges the sky (and everyone else wakes up and chaos erupts). Sometimes I don’t even write anything — I just look out the window and think. But thinking is writing, too.
Tina – Since I also work full time, I write in the evenings and Saturdays. I write a list of things that I have to work on and keep them prioritized.
2. How do you switch out of parenting mode and into creative mode? Are you able to write with distractions or do you need uninterrupted writing time?
Christopher – It takes time to make that switch. I can’t go directly from dropping the kids off to pumping awesome dialogue onto the page. So I allow myself the first hour of the “work day” to exercise, walk the dog, shower, and catch up on the latest news and/or cat videos. Usually, by ten or so, I’m in a good mental place to start writing and that still leaves me a solid four-plus hours to hit my desired word count.
Diane – Having periods of writing time when my son is asleep (or busy) allows me to write without distractions. These days, he often hangs out with me in the evening, building in Minecraft while I’m writing, so we have a great vibe going. Sometimes we’ll interrupt each other — me to ask him what he thinks of a sentence, or if he knows what a certain word means; him to ask me what kind of building material I think he should use for a castle — but usually we’re each just working away in silence. It helps me a lot that he reads the kinds of things I write, so in sharing my writing with him (I read all my drafts to him and get his input), we’re actually having a wonderful parent/child moment of connection. (He’s also helped me a lot with plotting!)
Kelly – I write with distractions, or I wouldn’t get to write. I’ve written while breastfeeding babies. I’ve written on my phone in the car line to pick up my kids from school, or on my laptop sitting outside of piano lessons or baseball practices. I don’t really switch out of parenting mode, because they are my first priority. But I’ve found a way to be creative, even when they’re wrestling in the background.
Lydia – It’s frankly not easy to switch back and forth. It’s easier for me when I make very obvious boundaries, like when I’m on vacation with my family, no writing. Or on a certain day, I’ll carve out three hours to write, and the rest of the time goes to my family.
Rosalyn – Before I had kids, I needed uninterrupted writing time. My first was born when I was working on my dissertation in grad school and I learned pretty quickly that I could write in 30-40 minute segments while he napped. I don’t need long chunks of time, but if I know I’m going to be interrupted frequently, I also can’t work on anything that requires a lot of attention (drafting/revising). I can do research or work on marketing stuff. I often work in the main family room, so if the kids are particularly disruptive or I’m on deadline, I have to go hide. I don’t have any rituals or anything to switch — I just do what I have to do. It’s harder for me to switch from being creative to parenting than the other way around — often, my kids demand my attention before I’m ready to be done and my head is still in another world.
Sally – I’m terrible at handling distractions. I need — crave — that uninterrupted flow. But when life is 90% distraction, I’ll keep a small notebook to jot down fragments of ideas and thoughts I’ll pursue when I get to be back in the 10% creative-flow time. Also, I’ve always talked about my writing ideas with my kids. Sometimes they laugh, sometimes they contribute thoughts, and sometimes they just groan at me to stop! But it helps me to hang onto my ideas and goals and makes them feel more real to me — and to them, too. They know this is important stuff to me, and part of my brain/life/identity.
Tina – When my kids were much younger, my husband would take them out to the park or somewhere to play if I had a big writing assignment (work-for-hire). I’m able to write in my little office which has a door I can close, if need be! I do need a long period of uninterrupted writing time, so I feed my family their meal and make sure everyone is comfortable, and then I hide in my little office and write. I can switch from parent to writer very easily. If I need to, I read a little first, pray, and then start writing.
3. How do you handle days or periods where parenting (and the day job, if you have one) has left you mentally and creatively sapped?
Christopher – I do other stuff. It’s too hard to force creativity. When I’m in one of those slumps, the words I manage to force out — if there are any — never end up being any good. So if it’s just not happening, rather than waste the time staring at a blank screen or spewing out something that will inevitably have to be rewritten, I switch gears and do some of the non-book work I’ve been saving for when the kids come home. If it’s non-book work that still happens to be somewhat creative, that can actually help get the brain juices flowing so I can shift back. I am writing this, for example, during winter break, with the entire family home all day. I’m on deadline and really should be working on my book, but it’s just not happening with so much activity in the next room. But this is helping. With luck, I’ll still get a few pages out before the day is over.
Diane – If I’m really exhausted, I take a writing session off, but usually I just plow through. Even if I end up writing only a paragraph that I’ll rewrite the next day, at least I’ve written something. The trick is to always remember that writing is a long process and that sometimes giving yourself time off is essential. You need to be able to refresh yourself. And forgive yourself for doing that.
Kelly – I personally find fiction writing to be a welcome respite from my day job and parenting, which can both leave me completely drained. I’ve rarely felt a lack of creative “oomph” when I sit down to write fiction, and maybe that’s because I write so much nonfiction for my job. But on the rare day I can’t muster up the courage to open up Scrivener, then I just forgive myself for not being able to handle it that day, and move on.
Lydia – My body and mind end up driving me to do what I need to do. If I’m exhausted, then sleep and rest become priority. It’s a no-brainer, because I literally have no brain to use. I can’t write, and I can’t parent well. I’m lucky to have a partner in life who will recognize when I’m totally sapped (or sick) and take over so I can recover. I make up for lost work the next day or so, and I’m careful not to waste time on social media or online browsing, to catch up.
Rosalyn – Writing is hard. Parenting is hard. I try to be gentle with myself and not beat myself up on days when I don’t have the energy (or time) to write. If too many days go by like that I’ll make an effort to write whether I feel like it or not — often I find that once I start, I enjoy it. But if I try to write and nothing comes because I’m sapped, I’ll put it aside and do something to refill my creative well instead. In the long run, that usually makes me more productive.
Sally – I was very sapped when my three boys were young, especially because one was special-needs and it took extra love, time, and care. So I kept my goals small. I wrote short parenting articles for family magazines, and on the side I chipped away at teaching myself how to write a novel, and bided my time, thinking maybe, someday, when they are grown…
I wasn’t very confident and felt guilty all the time. Guilty when not writing (ignoring my dreams and myself); guilty when writing (ignoring my boys’ needs).
But you can’t ignore yourself forever. It’s not tenable. You have to give yourself enough “me time” so that you don’t forget who you are. You can’t lose sight of yourself, in all that parenting. But here’s the thing: when you are doing what you care passionately about, it’s a great thing for kids to see. Your kids will notice that. And it will be a life lesson to them that will last far longer than the fact that the laundry was always clean or dinner was always nutritious or whatever. You’ll have shown them what it means to do and to love important work. To care about work that carves something meaningful out of life.
Tina – Currently I teach full time, so some nights I’m extremely tired and do not want to write. If I’m on a work-for-hire assignment, we either go out to eat or order take-in. Exercise, chocolate, even Gatorade or Dr. Pepper helps me get energized if I need to.
4. Have you ever taken an extended time off from writing due to parenthood? If so, for how long and how did you make this decision?
Christopher – I lost a big chunk of 2013 because my daughter had a serious health condition and was in the hospital for months. I couldn’t have done any good work on my books even if I’d wanted to at the time — and I didn’t want to. All of my focus and energy was needed elsewhere. I was very grateful to have an understanding editor who worked with me to fix schedules and deadlines when I was ready to get back to it. (FYI — my daughter is doing a billion times better now.)
Diane – No, I’ve never done this. I think if I ever did, it would be due to a crisis, and that in itself would justify the break (just as a serious event in your life might require you to take extended time off from a day job). I’d advise people not to feel bad about it if they ever have to take an extended time off from writing due to parenthood; remind yourself to see your writing as a business, a job, and sometimes time off is just necessary.
Kelly – Right after I had all three of my sons, I took time off from writing because my brain was so fried from a lack of sleep. Any spare time I had, I tried to nap or exercise or focus on my “work” work. At that point in my life (when I didn’t have an agent or publishing contract), I still considered it recreation. Now, it IS part of my job, so I must schedule time for it. (Also, the sleep part has gotten so much better since the kids have grown!)
Lydia – Generally when I’m between projects and my deadlines allow it, I’ll take off a week or several weeks to do only family-related stuff, catch up on organizing, and read a ton of books.
Rosalyn – I didn’t start writing seriously until after I had kids, so I haven’t really taken a long time off writing (at most a few weeks, and that has usually been more to exigencies of work deadlines than to kids). I did take a couple of months off when my youngest was born — but that’s primarily because he was in the NICU for almost two months (and the hospital was forty-five minutes from our home) and I couldn’t juggle my other kids and daily hospital visits and writing. It’s okay. Life happens. The writing has always been there when I was ready to come back to it.
Sally – I never stopped writing completely while parenting, but the type of writing has varied pragmatically. When my boys were really small, I could barely handle the rare occasional freelance assignment. Once they got a little bigger, I wrote monthly articles for a parenting mag, and did business writing/marketing on the side (purely for the pay). Only once my boys became self-sufficient enough, did I “give myself permission” to turn to book-length fiction, which is what I wanted to do all along.
Tina – No.
5. How do you deal with the frustration that inevitably comes when sick kids or other life circumstances “steal” your window of writing time?
Christopher – It doesn’t always work out, but I often try to make the most of a frustrating situation. As writers, we are lucky that a big percentage of our job is mental. And you don’t have to be sitting in front of your computer in order to brainstorm ideas. I’ve frequently taken notebooks with me to doctors’ offices, just so I’m prepared to jot down any brilliant plot twists or scene ideas that occur to me while I’m waiting around. Every now and again, I’ve actually come up with a decent one. It doesn’t happen very often, but even if I write nothing in that notebook, having it with me makes me feel like I’m still “working” while I’m making sure the kids get the care they need.
Diane – It’s hard, but I’ve learned to get over it. That’s really all you can do. Be patient with your child and with yourself — and try to sneak in a window of writing if you can. But overall, just don’t be too hard on yourself when this happens.
Kelly – This is hard, but I’ve learned that using a tool like Pacemaker.press can ease my mind a bit. It adjusts your word count goals for the day, so taking a day off here or there doesn’t make me feel like I’m going to be in a panic, because it just adds a few words onto each day for the rest of my time frame. It doesn’t totally throw me like it may have in the past before I used a tool like this.
Lydia – It’s very frustrating. I usually end up venting to writing friends or other working moms who totally get me. You have to lean on support when you can, when the times are tough. Often my partner ends up making some room for me to catch up later in the week for lost writing time.
Rosalyn – I try to remember that it’s part of life — and also that this is a particular phase of my life. My kids won’t always be at home, and I’ll miss them when they’re gone. (Even without kids, I think life circumstances interfere with most writers from time to time.) Also — it helps having writing friends that I can vent to! And honestly, I think some of those “life” moments are what make our writing richer and more real.
Sally – Your time WILL get sapped and stolen. It’s going to happen. It happens to everyone. That’s life. I think resentment sets in when our expectations are too rigid, or we get certain delusions that we have a right to x-amount of free time. So: Let go of expectations. My Grandma would always say, “never expect.”
We have to be slippery and flexible, and keep a sense of humor. But it really is important to carve out ways to nourish your writing-self, in however it works for you. If not this week, next week. Take solace in wee rewards — get a sitter or a friend to cover you for one gosh-darned hour of silence in your kitchen so you can hear yourself think — or maybe your spouse can give you a peaceful writing-Saturday, if you give them a peaceful softball-Sunday. Whatever it takes. Whatever works.
Tina – Family things come first. So if I know my kids have a game that I have to be at, or we have to go to the in-laws, I try to work ahead with my writing so I don’t get behind and use my time very faithfully and wisely.
6. How do you set realistic goals for yourself with the unpredictability of parenthood?
Christopher – I’m not sure I do. I think I set idealistic goals and have just learned to forgive myself when I don’t meet them. I’ve never really thought about it until now, but I think I do this because, with more realistic goals, I’m more tempted to stop the moment I’ve achieved them. For instance, if I know that 400 words is the minimum I need to write today in order to stay on track for my deadline, and I tell myself I’m going to write 400 words today, then I’m most likely going to stop working the moment I hit that 400 words, even if it was in the first hour of work. I’ll clap my hands, give myself a “job well done,” and move on to something else. But if I tell myself I’m going to write 1,000 words today and then only end up hitting 600, I tell myself, “Oh, well. Didn’t quite make it. But that’s okay, because I like these 600 words a lot. And technically, I only needed about 400 to stay on track, anyway.” So, yeah, I think I might be using psychological warfare on myself.
Diane – I write as much as I can without setting word goals. Having my morning writing session before anyone wakes up is essential in helping me feel that I’m accomplish what I need. If you have young children, evening writing sessions also work well in this way. If you can write while they’re asleep, you’ll get a lot done.
Kelly – I pad my dates. I schedule myself more time than I think I’ll need. ALWAYS. I usually come in under my deadlines because I overestimate my required time to my editor and agent.
Lydia – When I create a writing schedule, I’ll put in an extra week or two to accommodate a schedule that’s gone haywire. I also find that, in general, I waste a few hours a day reading the news online or browsing social media. On days where every minute counts, I’ll write out a schedule that goes in fifteen-minute increments (you can download these blank ones) and there is zero room for messing around. I get a ton done that way.
Rosalyn – I try to be flexible. When I’m juggling a bunch of stuff, there are things that are going to take precedent at any given moment. Sometimes it’s work. Sometimes it’s writing. Sometimes it’s kids. At this stage, I’m pretty aware of what I’m capable of and try to set goals that are still achievable even with interruptions. I don’t write as fast as some friends without kids, or friends with kids who don’t work. But this is a choice I’ve made, and most of the time I wouldn’t change it. That said, having a writing group with regular meetings also helps me stay accountable to my writing (most of my CPs are also moms who work and have kids, so that helps too — it gives me a more realistic benchmark of what I can accomplish).
Sally – The answer, for me, was not to get all specific. I kept it loose. Forgave myself. When my boys were small, the goal was basically: “Writing matters to me, so every day, I’ll think about writing, and some days (most days), I will actually write! And I will bide my time…and some day, SOME DAY, I will finish a book-length manuscript!” My Someday Book was a vague fuzzy dream, surrounded by rainbows and unicorns.
It took me until they were in high school/college to finish a manuscript. Is that a bad thing? Looking back, do I wish my goal had been stricter? What if I’d said: “My goal is two hours a day, and by the time my oldest is in first (or fifth) grade, I’ll finish that manuscript?” It would never have worked. I was still in the heat of the parenting battle — raising three boys virtually alone, one with special needs. I didn’t have enough bandwidth for serious writing, and that had to be okay.
For my type of personality and my life-reality, I made the right decision: vague goals. Your decision may look vastly different, and that’s awesome. There is no objective correct answer to this.
Tina – I can estimate how many hours a day I can write, and if something doesn’t get done, I make it up on the weekends. I could wake up early and write if need be…
7. With book deals come deadlines — how do you manage these?
Christopher – I set myself a schedule, based on the assumed word count for the completed manuscript. I plot out how many words I need to write each day in order to stay on track for my deadline. And I almost always overestimate what I’m capable of doing in one day. But that’s okay, because I make my schedules with the goal of turning in my book several weeks early (something I’ve never yet done). You can see how this relates to my answer on the previous question.
Diane – This is always tough. Keeping to my morning and evening writing sessions helps me meet my deadlines. I also go over revision ideas during things like my commuting time to and from my day job, or waiting time in doctors’ offices.
Kelly – I figure out how many words I can realistically accomplish in a day for my writing days, then do the math and calculate how long it will take me. If that length of time is over the period I’ve been given, then I’ll boost my word count goals per day and be disciplined to hit them, even under wild circumstances. For instance, I’d told my agent I’d have my YA SFF to her by a certain date, and that meant I needed to hit 2,000 words per day on a vacation. I ended up writing about 2,500 words per day by writing in the car on my laptop while the kids watched a movie, and typing away [as] everyone fell asleep each night.
Lydia – Same as usual, but my family usually knows things are more hectic. On those days, we order in food more; we eat a lot of leftovers; my partner cooks and cleans, and generally the house is a mess. It’s just how it goes.
Rosalyn – I’m a planner — when I have a deadline I usually figure out how much I need to do in a given week to meet the deadline and work with that. It nearly always takes me longer to do things than I think, so I usually run into a crunch near the deadline and that’s when it helps to have a good partner. My kids and my husband know that when I have a deadline, it might mean that they don’t see me for a few days at the end of the deadline, but I always emerge and try to make it up to them. My husband will pick up the slack and do more than his share of taking kids to appointments, making dinner, etc. Sometimes the laundry doesn’t get done and the house doesn’t get cleaned, but the kids are always taken care of.
Sally – Aargh, deadlines! But don’t panic! Confide in your agent about your time needs. Your agent is probably your best ally, here…have them help you negotiate with your publisher for as realistic a deadline as you can. Then get serious and plot out your work timeline. Engage help, if you can — family, caregivers, sitters, friends. Marshal those troops — get your support team on board. Make sure they all realize how important work-time is to you!
Tina – Like I said before, I write a list and prioritize what needs to be done first and estimate how I can manage my time. Most of my writing is done on Saturdays, ALL DAY.
8. Were you a writer before kids? If so, how did your process change after having kids?
Christopher – I was a freelance writer before having kids, writing articles for websites, magazines, and newspapers. It was very different from writing novels, but I think even if I’d been a novelist back then, my process would have changed when I became a parent. For one thing, I used to write whenever I felt like it — morning, afternoon, evening; it didn’t matter. Now, I’m very specifically focused on writing during school hours. And probably still will be even after my kids are out of school. They’re old enough now that they don’t need me to do a ton for them after school, but I still organize my day around their schedule, because it works for me. Plus, I get some of my best ideas from my kids. I don’t know if I’d be writing kid-lit if not for them. So that’s a biggie. And one I’m very grateful for.
Diane – I was a writer before having my son, but I wasn’t as serious a writer; I wrote for fun, and often, but not with as tight a schedule as I follow now.
Kelly – Yes! I wrote my first novel (utter trash fire) while I was a high school English teacher before I had kids. If anything, having children made me more disciplined with my time. I think you kind of shrink or expand to fill the time you have, so when I had more time before I had kids, I took more time to do everything. Now that I have less time in my life, I simply work faster. (I can get ready for the day including shower, hair, and makeup in fifteen minutes! It’s a talent!)
Lydia – No, I only started writing after I already had three kids and my youngest was probably one year old.
Rosalyn – I wrote a lot as a teenager, but not as much after college or in grad school, so my adult process has always involved writing around kids.
Sally – I’ve molted through so many writer-identities. Before kids, I was a poet. Creative short-story-writer. Business journalist. Magazine editor. After kids, I had to get pragmatic. I was a freelance corporate marketing copywriter. A writer of pieces on family, for a family magazine. There were long fallow periods…Only, once the kids were mainly grown, and I was old, :), did I finally become what I’ve always wanted to be: a novelist.
Maybe my lesson is that it is never too late to accomplish a goal. And whatever type of writing you are doing along the way, in whatever quantity, don’t be hard on yourself. Life is about trade-offs. Keep your important long-term goals in mind, but enjoy the short-term phases as well. It’s all good. You’ll get there. Your kids are important. A well-balanced, happy family life and serene inner daily life are important. The balance is different for everyone. Find what works for you.
Tina – No.
9. Any tips or advice for parents who have newly come to writing after their kids were grown some?
Christopher – Kids can take up a lot of your time and pull a lot of your focus away from your work, but kids are also incredible sources of inspiration and material. As writers, we never really stop working, right? Our minds are always churning up ideas for new stories, working out plot problems, dreaming up new characters. And as parents, you’ve got, in your house, people who are representative of both your protagonists and your audience. That’s a gold mine! So many things my kids have said or done have inspired lines or scenes in my books. So play with your kids, talk with them, listen to them, read to them (including your own work). Don’t be afraid to use your “work time” to have fun with your kids, because it all goes toward bettering your work. And, as a nice bonus, it’s also good parenting. So, win-win! My children have absolutely gotten in the way of my work — in more times and ways than I can count — but I also truly believe that, as a kid-lit writer, I have no greater asset than my kids.
Diane – Don’t feel bad about writing while your child is busy watching television or playing video games. I encourage my son to be in my writing room so we can hang out together while we’re each doing our thing (sometimes — often, actually — he’s sitting [there] engrossed in a book). And take advantage of when your child goes to bed and gets up, and write on at least one corner of that. It really works! You just have to get used to it.
Kelly – You’re probably incredibly busy with work, after-school sports and activities, and the general mayhem that comes with parenting, but for me, writing is a priority and must be scheduled in. I may not know my schedule even the night before, but as soon as I figure out what I’m doing for the day, I write down a “MUST DO” list, and then make sure I hit every item, even if I have to write at the ballpark or basketball court to do it.
Lydia – Use every minute you can. When they’re at soccer practice, put your headphones on and write. When you’re driving around all the time, put in audiobooks in the car so you can catch up on your TBR list. (The library has great ones.) Let them see you working. I think it’s important for kids to see that parents have to be careful about making sure they get work done, and also manage the house, and sometimes need a break from everything! It’s okay to show them you’re human. But try to manage it so you’re not blowing up in front of them either. That last part takes work, and time, and diligence so there is more balance and flexibility.
Rosalyn – Don’t feel bad if sometimes you ignore your kids to write. I think it’s good for kids to see their parents working hard in pursuit of a goal — you’re modelling for your kids the kinds of things you hope they’ll do eventually. Set deadlines for yourself and set aside a regular time to write, then keep it. But also don’t beat yourself up if your kids end up taking your writing time — sometimes they need that, and as wonderful and important as books are, your kids are more important.
Tina – Make sure your family is settled (fed, have toys or entertainment) so that you can have uninterrupted time. Make sure they know you’re working and not to be bothered unless [it’s] an emergency.
BONUS ANSWERS FROM OUR PARTICIPANTS IN “WRITING AND PARENTHOOD: Pre-schoolaged Children”
Kim Chance – Yes! I think it’s important to share what you do and what you love with your kids. Tell them about your book, show them the cover, take them to the bookstore to see it on the shelf, etc. Sharing the process with them allows them to be a part of your journey. It allows them to share in the joy that writing brings you.
Lindsay Ward – Now that my oldest son is in preschool that has helped me carve out more time. I have two days a week where I get extra time which is nice. I imagine that will only expand as they get older and are in school longer. That being said, I try to live in the moment with my kiddos, as they are only little once.
Matthew Landis – Hmmm, great question. I honestly don’t know, as I’m in the younger boat here. But I would say much of the same as I did above — don’t let this new thing supplant their importance. But also it could be really cool to let them in on your dream, to have them see Mom or Dad try and maybe fail at a creative endeavor. Use this goal to model healthy boundaries, correctly ordered priorities, and all the other cool lessons that come with writing. I’m actually excited to do this with my kids as they get older, now that you mention it!