It’s the school holidays – yeah!
Love them or hate them, if you have school aged kids you can’t avoid the six-week stretch. I love the kind of parent I am during the holidays. The tension lifts. The constant need to check on homework status, remembering signed forms, and packed lunches disappear.
For the last few years, I have been privileged enough to be able to work from home, which means, that even if I’m juggling and distracted – I am around. Many writers’ friends are stressed at the thought of losing their few precious writing hours when their kids are at home. Now my kids are teens I would say ‘be kind to yourself.’ It’s six weeks, and as children get older, they may learn to understand your need to have a laptop on their knee or pen and paper in their hands and will give you that time. In fact, you may find that they need their own quiet time to work on their projects.
But if you can’t face the summer without a creative fix there are a few things you can do.
- Sign your kids up for an activity in a place which as a café. That way while you kids have a go archery, you can write a few words with coffee.
- When my kids were younger, I would walk them. In fact, my dear friend Raymond often asked if I had children or dogs. Long walk around the park. Picnic. Another walk around the park. Then home, early bath, pj’s Disney film, and while the kids watch Belle, I enjoyed a bit of novel planning.
- Play dates. The theory is that you have a friend’s child round to play at your house, and then they have yours. Watch out, I’ve had my fingers burnt. Lots of friend coming here and no invites back. In fact, my youngest daughter is 14 and on Tuesday she had eight, yes EIGHT, friends round to make a Youtube video. The problem is if you have several children of different ages. Still, I know some who swear by it.
- Get the kids writing too! This one was a success for me. For the last few years, each summer has started with the kids starting their novels. Then you can all write together quietly. Top tip, give them your smart phone and get them to ask Siri.
- Use this time for plotting. Just jot down your ideas, and don’t worry about getting all the words down.
I didn’t get much done when my kids were small, and I did find it frustrating. But hang in their writers with young kids, your time will return.