How do parents do everything? Can you be a parent and do it all?

How do parents do everything? Can you be a parent and do it all?

I was rummaging around my author website the other day and found an old post I wrote early 2016, when I was desperately trying to write the third book in my Sophie Morgan Vampire Series . I remember I thought it was so hard having a baby. How did parents do anything?  How are parents managing date nights and bloggers and authors finding time to write. It’s another 18 months on and I have a two year old. I haven’t fully mastered the art of adulting but I’m getting better organised, that’s for sure – at least when it comes to keeping us all solvent, fed and vaguely healthy. I could still do better at finding some time for me, time that isn’t spent blogging or thinking about blogging that is!

So this is my blast from the past, if you’ve any tips or tricks, let me know…

This week I have written exactly two things and this is one of them, the other was a post for my “mommy blog”. The third book in the Sophie Morgan series is currently an outline, a detailed one, but an outline nonetheless. Since I had my baby three and a half months ago I’ve added around two pages of actual text to it – by that I mean words which mean things, that include hard thought and craft, rather than “Sophie goes here and picks up a thing and then wotshername comes in and says this… must think of name for wotshername… but she should definitely be a brunette….”. 

I have ideas for books and short stories coming out of my proverbial ears but no time. No time I tell you! My “to be read” list is growing at a rate that I should be ashamed of. I open my kindle in bed and within seconds I’ve dozed off until the sound of the little one wakes me for his feed.

I have really good intentions. People say “sleep when baby sleeps” but I think “write when baby sleeps.” Yet for all my good intentions it doesn’t happen. What happens instead is baby clothes get laundered, online shopping gets done, I shower and if I’m very lucky I get to have a drink that’s hot.  I can’t very well iron when baby irons can I?

Now and again I’ll log in and check my social media to keep thing ticking over.  I’ve a book launch and  virtual Facebook parties and all sorts to promote or prep for.

When I get up at 1am to do a night feed, I check my emails from my publisher and check in on the marketing plan for the republication of the first two “Sophie Morgan” books. There is no time for creative thinking.

It feels relentless. Impossible.

Looking at what I’ve written so far, I suspect that my brain has largely stopped working. I’m an extra from the Walking Dead, dialing in my writing so I can say I’ve done something,  but I suspect I’m forgetting how to spell.

I’m enjoying my time with my amazing baby boy. We have lots of fun and play and have met some wonderful mums and do lots of activities. At two months old he even started swimming. I wouldn’t swap it for ANYTHING. But at the same time I find myself chastising myself for watching that 40 minute TV show as I should be writing (albeit I watch in it numerous 5-10 minute chunks, often the same chunk multiple times).

Thankfully I’ve pushed back my ridiculously short, self imposed deadline for a draft to be with my editor. I thought I’d manage to at least write a couple of pages a day – that’s realistic I thought. Is it heck! What am I doing wrong?

The way I look at it, there are simply too few hours in the day and I’m barely doing the basics of things not directly baby related eg. cooking, cleaning, personal hygiene (okay the last one was a joke but you get my drift).

So my question is how do you do it? How do you manage to fit in writing with a new baby? I’m lucky that I’m on maternity leave at the moment from the “day job” but when I go back I have no idea how I’ll fit it in at all! Now I know you guys have done it, or at least some of you have. What’s the secret? I know there must be one.

Helen Treharne, June 2016.

 

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