SCHOOL VACATIONS CRAMP MY WRITING

First let me start off by saying that I love my son more than anything. But after two-and-a-half weeks off of school for winter vacation, I start wishing he was like our pool table in the middle of the living room: something to indulge in recreationally when I’m in the mood. Funny thing about kids is that they’re with you 24/7 whether you’re in the mood for them or not.

A break from the whole routine of school is fine; a break from the whole routine of writing is not. I start getting extremely antsy and cranky when I’m off my routine. If I were in Hawaii, a break from routine would be fine, but at home all I can think of is how much I’m not getting done. (Which led me to the realization that I lack the ability to relax, but that’s a whole ‘nother issue to deal with in therapy.)

I’ll admit I let my son play video games way more than he should. If it affords me the time to get a little writing done, then Gamestop here we come. Yes, I was one of those women who swore I’d never let my child rot his mind with video games, rot his gut with soda, or rot his teeth with candy. That was BK: Before Kids. All those held fast beliefs flew straight out the window in moments of weakness and/or insanity.

I’ve been known to bribe my son with soda to sleep in his own bed, and to ply him with lollipops while I’m trying on clothes in a dressing room. I’ve let him have things he otherwise shouldn’t if I’m in the middle of an important phone conversation. Or huffing and puffing on the treadmill at home. He has impeccable timing, that son of mine.

The writing thing is tough though, because I do it at home. And because I care more about sleep than I do my writing, I have never been one to able to get up at four a.m. or stay awake until the wee hours to write. So I have to squeeze it in when I can. During the vacations from school, it is usually in between a thousand interruptions from my son, as well as his friends.

Here’s how it usually goes…

(Powers up computer)

Once upon

“Mom, I’m hungry. Make me breakfast.”

a

“Your son won’t let me play his DSI.”

time

“The dog pooped in my room again, Mom.”

there was

“Mom, what’s for lunch?”

a woman who

“Hurry! Your son fell off his bike and he’s bleeding.”

dreamed of –

“Mom, I’m hungry. Can you make me dinner?”

going

“Can I have a sleepover at your house?”

to Hawaii

I’m still hungry, Mom. Can you make me some popcorn?”

.

Sigh. Well, at least I got some writing done today.

(Shuts down computer)

I’d really love to know how in the hell other people do it.

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10 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. jeff7salter
    Jan 02, 2012 @ 17:25:22

    “antsy & cranky” — that’s me as well.
    Though, the rest of it is diff. When I was parenting and working fulltime, I never attempted writing full-length fiction.
    I was a retired granddad before I began novels.

    Reply

  2. Angeline
    Jan 03, 2012 @ 02:35:50

    I have to admit it´s not only son´s school vacation that is my problem. After all he does have a Dad nearby who has to take him in one week over the holidays and give me peace. It´s my dear significant other. We don´t live together normally since he lives 2 hrs drive from my town, but over the holidays he´s been around a lot. A LOT. And even though he supports my writing fully, he has no idea how much time it takes…because usually he just reads the stuff after it´s published…and the thing is, even when he leaves me alone to write, I know he is there somewhere close by and it stops my mind from working properly. This will be a very good reason not to move in together…
    But lets be honest here Tiffany – any reason that we can blaim for the fact that we dont actually sit down and do the deed and hump and puff out those words can and will be used…as single moms we just have more reasons than most:)

    Reply

    • Tiffany N. York
      Jan 03, 2012 @ 13:43:05

      Oh Angeline, I hear you. That is one of the main reasons why I’m still single. It’s hard enough switching my focus over to my son when he needs it, esp. if I’m involved in a project, but a son AND a boyfriend? When I’m plotting and planning I tend to be in my own little world. I am also a procrastination princess, so you got that right when you say just getting one’s butt in the chair is hard enough.

      If only, when I needed a break from writing, I could pull out my part-time boyfriend from the closet…I suppose that would mean he’d have to be a blow-up doll though.

      Reply

      • Angeline
        Jan 03, 2012 @ 14:49:52

        Well, thankfully mine is soon back on his original schedule and will only turn up every four weeks or so when he´s free for a weekend. Make sure you get a part-time boyfriend with irregular hours if you ever change your mind about the guy in your closet:))

      • Tiffany N. York
        Jan 03, 2012 @ 16:04:22

        Hmmm, like a cop, fireman or ER doctor?

      • Dr. Katharine Pope
        Jan 03, 2012 @ 15:41:37

        Hey Angeline, I like the bit about the part-time boyfriend…

      • Angeline
        Jan 04, 2012 @ 08:55:33

        Or an airline-pilot.
        Or a plummer, an entrepreneur, an artist who tours a lot, a journalist who specialises in foreign affairs or a member of the European Parliament …..take your pick.
        The many pros of a part-time man includes permanent dating-habits (free meals can never be overrated), not getting bored too soon and no fights between new man and old son.
        The cons are that you have noone to share bills with and he only brings you coffee in bed (or to work-space) once every four weeks.
        I´m still struggling with if pros outnumbers cons, but Xmas holidays have set my records straight for the time being:)

  3. Dr. Katharine Pope
    Jan 03, 2012 @ 15:40:38

    This was so freakin’ funny, I laughed out loud. Sorry, I know it wasn’t meant to be funny, but still. I may not have kids, but sometimes, between work and patients and Adas and family, sometimes that’s the amount of writing I get out, too. XOXO

    Reply

    • Tiffany N. York
      Jan 03, 2012 @ 16:08:22

      No, it WAS meant to be funny. I blame my son for the lack of writing, but more times than I’m willing to admit, it’s the procrastination tactics that keep me from writing. “Oh, I just HAVE to cut my cuticles right now…re-grout the shower…bake a batch of brownies…”

      Reply

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