Single parenting and blogging – what works for me
I am lucky to have two beautiful young girls that keep me earthed. Just as I think I am in a creative flow, I hear screams of anger, excitement or playfulness coming from the other room. Suddenly, my trance like state is broken and like a broken bottle the creative juices start flowing away. It’s gone, all gone…
Well not really all gone, my writing is just going to briefer than I imagined. I asked for just one hour to get my stuff done and my girls nod as if to say “sure Dad, take all the time you need” but what they really meant was I’ll see you in 10 minutes. This happens each 10 minutes for the whole hour. Argh! I really should have taken up microblogging instead of striving for the elusive 2000-4000 word Google friendly mega post. Perhaps tomorrow.
Wait for it, your free time will come
Fortunately (and unfortunately) for me, my single parenting days come in blocks and I do get a chance to get into some deep work when my kids aren’t around. However, I am learning to adapt on those single parenting days. Essentially my plan is to get an early start and usually I start writing after drinking a glass of lemon water. The lemon water really does give you an instant boost and is a healthier alternative to waking up with coffee (although my dentist is not so sure). I’ll then continue to write until the kids wake up.
After the kids are awake, the opportunities become smaller and smaller and I use Google Keep to aid with the jotting down of notes and thoughts as Google Keep follows me from screen to screen including, mobile, laptop and desktop. I try to entertain the idea that Daddy has work to do until 8am which seems to be OK with them as cartoons are on anyway. Win-win.
Having two reasonably well behaved children means there are times they are playing together and even a promise of going to the park doesn’t interest them. This is when I strike because my creative juices have been bubbling away, just waiting for an opportunity for a release. When ‘Time’ reveals itself I don’t have time for mundane tasks like grabbing a coffee or doing a tidy up, I’ll do this when the kids are in nagging mode and need my constant attention. If ‘Time’ is on my side then I’ll be productive, because I know it disappears as quickly as it appears.
Generally, I try to be a fun Dad so we do things together during the day and I get back to serious writing/editing at night. If I have produced enough blogging juice during the day I might be able to publish something that night, but if I haven’t then it can wait until I have more time. I don’t get stressed over not blogging because quality time with the kids comes first. A good nights sleep is actually a close second. I know my free time will come. Perhaps in the morning, or maybe the night.