The Brick and Hopefully Crumbling Wall of Parenting and Writing

12:01 AM Posted by Donna McDine

The Brick and Hopefully Crumbling Wall of Parenting and Writing
by Donna M. McDine

You dream of the days of no commute to a 9-5 job and you finally give your writing aspirations the chance that they deserve. You have stocked your office or any small writing space that you designate in your home with all the essentials; computer, paper, pens, pencils, books and research resources, etc. However, the responsibilities of mother seem to intrude every moment of the day.
Now that you are home, everyone thinks that you are accessible all day long. The kids feel that since you are home that you aren’t “really working”. You’re not sure when it happened, but responsibilities that were normally delegated, somehow have become all your responsibility. A writer’s life can easily become frustrated when the creative juices are without fail interrupted by the most mundane questions or needs. You know how that goes. Cleaning the sticky keyboard. Mom where are my soccer cleats? What is there to eat? Can you put the movie in for me? The list is endless. When did my family become so helpless?
We all love our families, but how does one carve out that special and much desired writing time without the feeling of neglect on the family? It is important to reset boundaries as quickly as they disappear. Let your family know that writing is indeed work, but also a passion that you want to achieve. Teach your children the importance of uninterrupted writing time and that they will get your undivided attention once your writing session is completed. Hopefully they will come to understand that what is important to you should be respected. Just as you respect what is important to them.
Although there will be times and sometimes it will feel like many, where interruptions are a necessity. Such as, when the school nurse calls to say that you need to pick up your child that has a fever. Like any mother, we quickly grab our car keys and head to the school. If you attempt to balance your writing and the care of your sick little one it will tend to leave you both feeling frustrated and neglected. At this point, you are much better accepting the fact that your child needs you and that your writing can wait for another time. Even if that deadline is on the horizon, you will not do your best work, just leave it.
Grab any time thrown your way, especially when the little ones are asleep. When the house and telephone are quiet it tends to be a great time for creativity. These little pockets of time may not feel like much, but the time over a week to a month will accumulate and you can get quite a bit accomplished.
Keep a handy pocket notebook with you at all times, you never know when your next inspiration will come to mind. It could happen anywhere, such as that crowded doctors office you just brought your sick child to. Like anything in this life, this too shall pass, but we hope not too fast, since they do grow up quickly.

To learn more about Donna's writing career visit her at
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