No Time to Write?

Creativi-teaAs you may have noticed, I have hit a stalemate when it comes to my writings.  Many have asked for new materials, and I continue to ask for more sleep.  Seriously, how do mothers maintain a writing career while raising children?  They are either brilliant individuals or seriously lacking in some other area as a wife and mother.

Day in and day out it is the same old routine; up with the kids at six o’clock.  They are teenagers now and one would hope that they had evolved into self-sufficient human beings.  Not the case with my two.  They need to be reminded to get out of bed, eat breakfast, and to brush their hair and teeth before they scurry off to school.  Sometimes a swift kick in the rear (or in my case, raising my voice) is needed to get them out the door on time to meet their bus.

Once they are out the door, I have one hour before hubby arrives from his midnight shift job.  What do I do with this hour?  Dishes, laundry, self-employment work, and the occasional extra hour of sleep from my insomniac nights!  Very rarely am I inspired enough to write at this hour.

A friend of mine proclaims that I have three children and not two.  After some consideration, I must concur.  Hubby demands 100% of my attention.  His ADHD commands me to pay attention to every single thing he says.  If I do not, nor ask any questions like the good active-listening wife that I am, he then will get upset because I am not following his train of thought.  This, in turn, gets me upset because he is upset.  Ugh!

So, to keep the peace, I must listen and actively participate in the conversation for an indeterminate amount of time.  Or, I continue to sleep until he crawls into bed.

That said, when the nine o’clock hour rolls in, most of my morning is gone.  I still have plenty of self-employment work to look forward to.  After all, a family of four cannot survive on a writer’s salary and a factory worker’s income alone these days.  I have from nine until three to squeeze in every item on my agenda and any additional housework.  In addition to the credentialing work and clients, I am still developing all of my documents, databases, and cheat sheets.  Who knew there would be this much work behind the scenes?

Somehow, I have to figure in breakfast and lunch into the mix.  This is probably the main reason why I haven’t been losing weight.  Where is the time to consider healthy food choices and exercising; let alone writing?  Simply put, when my mind is so full of other priorities in my life, I tend to put the healthy lifestyle on the back burner.  Big no, no!

The rest of my afternoons and evenings play out as follows:

Keyboard3:00 pm
Pick up nephew from school and take him home (or a doctor’s appointment for one of the girls).  I double-check that I have my cell phone with me in case clients call.

3:05 pm
Thinking about the prescription I have to pick up and the bills I have to pay, I take the wrong turn and must turn the car around to pick up nephew.

3:45 pm
Nephew takes his time exiting my car; his excuse is to continue to talk to me about his games.  When, in fact, I know it’s because he wants to spend more time with his Aunt Stacy.  Finally, watching him walk into his home, I exit the driveway to get my errands done only to find that he left a token of his presence behind.

4:00 pm
Stop at grocery store, post office, gas station, or any other necessary errand that needs to get done (also the time is utilized for doctor appointments).

5:00 pm
Pick up eldest child from after school program.

5:30 pm
I am officially off the clock from self-employment and proceed in family talk time as soon as I arrive home.  Youngest insist that I ask about her day EVERY day after school; this also involves the oldest.  I, then, nudge the girls to get their chores done; stating T.V. as their reward when finished.

6:30 pm
Cook dinner.  I get a break on Mondays and Tuesdays when the girls cook, but I still have to be present since their cooking skills have not yet been evolved.

Fruit and Cheese7:00 pm         
Dinner time.

8:00 pm         
Family time (insisted by oldest daughter and approved by our therapist).

9:00 pm         
Bedtime ritual begins.  Hubby scrambles to get ready for work, youngest procrastinates her bed time, and oldest insist that she is not tired and wants to stay up until her given hour.  Even though her eyes are bloodshot, and she is falling asleep on the floor.

10:00 pm       
Oldest finally starts for bed, and Hubby has not left for work.

10:10 pm       
Hubby’s ADHD kicks in, and he starts pacing while complaining about his ride never being on time.  I ask him why he bothers, but he never seems to have an answer (this happens EVERY SINGLE night)

10:20 pm       
Hubby’s ride finally arrives and I finally have peace and quiet…***Breathe***

10:30 pm       
Me time, and I get to catch up on Facebook; maybe enjoy a game and hope inspiration strikes.

11:30 pm       
I begin to consider writing something… anything… I need to write!

11:45 pm       
I finally punch out the first sentence and the cats begin to wrestle and play downstairs.

12:00 am        
Cats have taken their game to the stairs and just outside the girls’ bedroom door.  And, one of the cats is a screamer!

12:01 am        
Girls are woken by the cats, and screaming ensues behind their door; must calm down girls.

1:00 am          
After running around with the squirt bottle, chasing the cats back down the stairs, and turning on night-lights to help the teenagers get back to sleep, I resume my position at the keyboard.  I can finally continue writing.

My 3 cats

1:02 am          
I begin to feel sleepy.

1:05 am          
I start nodding off.

1:08 am          
I finally concede and turn off the computer.

1:15 am          
The exertion it took to get up from the computer, get dressed in my pajamas, and walk to my bed has given me a boost of energy, and I feel wide awake.

1:16 am          
I grab book and begin to read.

2:38 am          
Finally, I begin to nod off.  Sweet peaceful sleep!

Most every day looks like this, and I wonder.  How in the world do I manage on only 3 ½ hours of sleep?  Apparently, there is five hours allotted to spend time with the family each and every night!  I could juggle the schedule around a bit to include valuable writing time, but wouldn’t that entail sacrificing family time or my own personal quality time?    How can I possibly say no to a child in need of a mother?

I am not sure how to answer these questions.  I do know that my passion to write still exists, and every so often I write My Beautiful Letters to My Beautiful Daughters.  I think about my novel that needs critiquing and submission letters that need to be drafted.  I even considered another periodical for ThumbPrint News, but my thoughts are consumed with family activities and obligations that no ideas are gracing my keyboard.  For once, I would just like to shuck my responsibilities and let my inner child run free… naked!

Eww… me, naked?  Jiggley flesh?  Maybe not.

All in all, I am not giving up.  I love to write, and I will write.  It just may take me a bit longer than I had hoped for.  Soon, summer will be here, and the children will be out of school; bickering with each other and getting on my nerves.  I am planning a new schedule, and I’m hoping for less time running around and more time writing.  In fact, Mommy will have a new “Do Not Disturb – Writing in Progress” sign on her door.  Let’s hope the natives will comply!

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