Writing with limited time

Sundial

Being the parent of a small child can mean that time is a rare and valuable commodity. In my case, my daughter is now four years old, but we’ve had challenges finding adequate childcare. Part of the reason is because, in my heart, I’d rather not send her to school. My dream is to be a homeschooler. But I recognize that she loves being with other kids, and I’m pretty boring since I’m on the computer all of the time.

The other reason adequate childcare has been an issue is because I don’t have the most compliant child in the world. She prefers to do things her own way, which can be a challenge in the preschool setting. Her idea of fun is to do the opposite of what she’s told. Not usually in defiance (though sometimes), but usually because it’s just more interesting for her.

I refuse to “break” her and make her comply for the sake of complying. So I’ve changed schools a few times, and I recently changed teachers. I think this new teacher “gets” my daughter’s spirit, and so things are working out beautifully (for now). Unfortunately, this teacher only has an opening two days a week.

How do I find time to write/work/make money then? It’s tough! And with a child who wakes up at the crack of dawn, I am up early. And I’m not a night owl like I used to be in my younger days.

Here’s what I do.

I do what I can. And I try to push myself to do a little more than I think I can. My latest plan involves scheduling certain activities for each day. Not a rigid schedule, but I won’t try to write on my blog, cold call prospects, follow-up with prospects, write articles, edit articles, and go to the zoo all on the same day. Whenever I try to do that I often wind up doing absolutely nothing. It’s too overwhelming.

How’s it working for me? It’s still a bit overwhelming to try to make myself pare down my million-things list into smaller, more manageable chunks, but it’s a learning process and I’m trying. I think that’s what counts.

What about you? What are your strategies for writing with limited time?

21 Responses to “Writing with limited time”

  1. jublke says:

    Writing with limited time is hard. I used to have somewhat of a schedule set up before my third child was born. But now, nine months after her birth, I’m still struggling to find a rhythm. I think it’s important to accept help when it’s offered. I forget to do that sometimes. Glad to have met you through Momwriters. :) There are some amazing ladies on there who set a high bar for balancing writing with family. You might peek at the archives for ideas.
    .-= jublke´s last blog ..It’s time for a Green Halloween® =-.

  2. Raisins says:

    I appriciate your work. That’s right, with a small child you can’t even think of your own world. You have to give preference to him/her first and then if time left thinks upon you.

  3. Eren Mckay says:

    Hi Theda-
    I totally understand what you’re talking about. My middle son has ODD (oppositional defiant disorder) and ADD (attention deficit disorder). So I completely “get” what you’re saying. Even though I understand that it’s your dream to be with her most of the time I think you need to evaluate your current circumstances to make the best decision for you and her. It was very tough for me to stop spending hours teaching my boys everyday. But my current situation is that I just can’t.
    I plan on getting back to spending a lot more time with them. But for the moment I had to make adjustments and things are working out much better. Hope that helps ;-)
    Eren
    .-= Eren Mckay´s last blog ..How to cure severe anxiety & get rid of it =-.

  4. Sam says:

    Being a parent is really difficult especially when your child is still young. In your case, you have to make a living, so you need to have someone to take care of your baby when your working. Why not give it a try.
    .-= Sam´s last undefined ..If you register your site for free at =-.

  5. Lea says:

    Limited time is usually the problem of many writers. I do writing at dawn when my mind is fresh so I can think quickly.
    .-= Lea´s last blog ..Resellers =-.

  6. Kim Ramsey says:

    It’s so hard to become a parent. You automatically set a time for your kid/s. But, is it much difficult if you’re a working mom. You don’t have any choice, but to juggle your time doing your household chores, satisfying all the needs of your child/children and work.

  7. Raisins says:

    I think the information presented will be useful to many people a lot. I am also facing a problem after my first baby born. I have to manage my time but its not easy for me to do so..

  8. Thanks for your insight. Cherish the moments you can with her and keep working hard. Seems like you’re doing pretty good job at balancing work and family.

  9. Your site is very nice and you don’t have any choice, but to juggle your time doing your household chores, satisfying all the needs of your child/children and work.
    .-= durable power of attorney´s last blog ..Up to what extent the rule of law is applied to administrative law. In addition, please tell me the relationship between law and administrative law. =-.

  10. Jenny M. says:

    My husband had purchased a domain for me months ago but I never have time for it after my daytime job. So far, I’ve inputted 3 articles in it. Actually, it’s more of a motivation issue for me. It’s my husband who is really into blogging although he himself still holds on to his daytime job (which also limits his time for his blog).

    I appreciate your resolve to manage your time.
    .-= Jenny M.´s last blog ..Flower Shops That Deliver =-.

  11. Dear Mom:

    Take it from us, if you subject your daughter to the normal one size fits all school format, that is, children sitting in front of a teacher who has been given a curriculum to teach children segregated by age as if children are apples that mature at the same time in the same way, it won’t be too long before you lose this child’s natural affection.

    It is NOT natural for a teenager to display the disdain they generally have for parents in the US.

    It is only because the disease of the public schools have taken the children away from parents that it is AVERAGE for kids to look to each other for leadership.

    When you have one immature mind leading another immature mind, delinquency major or minor is in store.

    Your dream of homeschooling is the ONLY thing that will save your child’s natural affection for you.

    It is the only thing that will save her from joining all the other children of America who have been alienated from their parents by the schools.

    And of course, if that child goes on to a public university with their secular relativist professors, the picture is complete.

    Note the groups of drunken college students walking down the middle of the road in most public university communities.

    Ask them about their parents if you want to get a real laugh from them.

    Look at your little daughter and how she looks back at you.

    You’ll know if you’ve failed her if when she is seventeen she doesn’t look at you in the very same way.
    .-= Gaston and Marie´s last blog ..New Product: MRC Tech 2 Railpower 1400 Model Train Control Power Pack HO =-.

  12. tommy says:

    “writing in limited time”
    i usually use 30minutes to write each day, can be longer if the topic is interesting. :)
    .-= tommy´s last blog ..Quick Repair For Leaking Pipes =-.

  13. Tracey says:

    First off, I think it’s fantastic that even with a young child you make the time to write.

    I don’t have any children. I work full time, but have my own creative writing website. To be honest that has taken most of my time this past year.

    My real dream though is to write fiction full time. But like many I want to be able to make money from home so I can concentrate on writing.

    So for now I do write a bit during the week, but the bulk of my writing happens on the weekends when life doesn’t get in the way.

    Thanks for encouraging us to keep at it. :)
    .-= Tracey´s last blog ..Writer Interviews =-.

  14. We get up at the crack of dawn too. I have one boy in daycare and one in elementary school. By the time I help my wife get them ready and off the school I only have a few hours of writing time.

    I don’t know about you, but it takes me a few minutes to get going and just as I’m really getting productive it’s time to pick them up. Oh well wouldn’t have it any other way.

  15. On my part, I installed a word processor on my mobile phone so I can write whenever I’am when I have spare time. Ideas come and go,so in order to save them, I turn to my handy word processor and write everything I’m thinking of. Personally, writing the first paragraph is hardest part for me, so, having a lot of ideas on my record will make my writing faster and will help me manage my limited time.

  16. I know Limited time is a big problem of many writers .I really like your work. You are apsolutely right, with a small child your first preference is your kid only & other work is after that.

  17. Being a parent is difficult and it’s great to see that you’re really putting forth the effort that your child deserves in order to have the best outcome for her.

    Managing time can be difficult, but it’s a skill that you will most definitely master! Good luck in your future endeavors!

  18. Time seems to always be an issue doesn’t it. I find myself saying time and time again, “if I only had more time”! You are absolutely right though that you can only do what you can do.

  19. Your blog is really very impressive.It takes me a few minutes to get going and just as I’m really getting productive it’s time to pick them up. Oh well wouldn’t have it any other way.

  20. I think you need to evaluate your current circumstances to make the best decision for you and her. It was very tough for me to stop spending hours teaching my boys everyday. But my current situation is that I just can’t.
    I plan on getting back to spending a lot more time with them.

  21. Finding child care that works perfectly the first time can be difficult. I’m so happy to hear that you’ve found a teacher that works for your daughter