5 Writing Tips For The Stay at Home Mum
Finding time to write as a stay at home mum can feel like an uphill battle, which no one else seems to understand. There are the people out there that completely understand the chaotic life of a stay at home mum, and then there are those that think staying at home is much easier gig than going to work. I'm not saying being a working mum isn't hard, that comes with it's own minefield of stress and constant emotional pulls, but please don't underestimate the daily struggle of a stay at home mum. If you're interested in why I chose to be come a stay at home mum, please read my post: Becoming a Stay at Home Mum.
I could go on and on about this, but that isn't really the point of this post. Just quickly though, it sucks when your boss yells at you at work, imagine if your boss yells at you, throws a block in your face, and then five minutes later is desperate for you to give them a cuddle. It's a complete emotional roller coaster everyday. Toddlers are a little insane, that's why the universe made them so cute, it makes it much easier to tolerate their constant extremes of emotion in every direction, multiple times a day.
Back to the point of the post, following your passion to be a writer as a stay at home mum will feel like a rough slog. When my son was first born I couldn't even contemplate being able to fit in writing. Between the non-stop breastfeeding, the waking every two hours to breastfeed and sneaking in showering, cleaning and eating when he did sleep, writing was not at the forefront of my mind. That and I was so exhausted from lack of sleep and recovering from childbirth, it was months before I even thought about writing again.
But once life started to settle down and a resemblance of routine began to emerge, I started to find windows which allowed me to write. It wasn't easy and there are still some days where I can't manage any writing at all, but I've got a few tips which I've learned along the way which might help you find time to let your creativity flow.
Writing tips for the stay at home mum
Don't get hung up on needing a solid amounts of time to sit and write. As much as it would be lovely to set aside solid and consistent time, it's just not always feasible or reasonable. Some days the most you will get is five or ten minutes to write. So long as you actually write something, you are making progress. A lot of people can manage to write around 200 words in ten minutes, if you do this five days in a row you get to 1000 words and after a year you have 52,000 words in year and have weekends free too if you want. That's a long way towards having a novel. It might seem like a slow process, but all it cost you was ten minutes a day.
Use nap time to your advantage. If your child naps twice a day, use one for getting the house stuff done you need to do to help calm your mum anxiety, and use the second one for writing. Depending how long your child sleeps, you have a chance to get a decent chunk of writing done. My son only naps for half an hour so I never have huge amounts of time to do much but I chip away slowly at my blog posts and the novel I am working on and at least it feel like progress.
Use a spreadsheet to track your word count. I find this an extremely motivating technique. Currently I have an aim of 1000 words a week on my current work in progress. Every time I write, I put the starting and finishing word count for each session and then add up my word count for the week. I also have a running total at the bottom, it's very satisfying to see your progress move along and I also find it extremely motivating. It also makes me more accountable so I am more likely to write just that little bit more on a Sunday night to push me over the total so I don't have to feel guilty about it later.
Use the evenings after the tiny humans are all in bed. I'm not suggesting writing every night though, as a busy mum you need some down time too (maybe writing is down time enough for you though). It's also important to make sure you make time to spend with your partner as well and keep a healthy relationship going. But in the evenings you can try and use that time to get as much writing done as your brain will allow.
Be kind to yourself. You have one of the hardest jobs in the world and it's a 24/7 gig so if you're exhausted, it makes sense and it's OK. Don't put too much pressure on yourself, just do what you can, when you can. You'll have good weeks and then you'll have weeks where you felt like you did nothing towards your writing at all, but that is OK. You'll get there, it's a marathon, not a sprint.
Good luck with your writing journey, but don't forget to stop and appreciate your time with your tiny humans too. It's easy to get caught up in trying to do everything for everyone while slotting in a bit for you when you can and not taking a moment to just be in awe of the tiny growing people you created. They are wonderful and will probably inspire a great deal of your future writing.
Thanks for reading, I hope you found this useful whether you're a mum with tiny humans or just someone trying to find time to follow their passion, and I hope you continue to purse your dream of writing while balancing the joys of parenthood. If you want to read more, don't forget to subscribe to keep up to date on future posts.