or Connect
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Archives › Miscellaneous › Mothers' Writing Group › Realistic to plan on writing in the 1st year after birth?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Realistic to plan on writing in the 1st year after birth?

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
I'm planning to SAH at least a year after our first DC is born. I'm working on a novel now, and I hope to have it ready to start submitting before the birth or as soon as I'm up for it afterwards. At the same time as waiting for responses from submissions and resubmitting as necessary, I hope to work on another novel project and/or some picture books I've already written and need to revise.

So my question for you writing mamas is this: Is it realistic to plan on spending time writing/revising in the first year after birth? Or are you so consumed with taking care of your DC that there's no time for something like that?

TIA for your help!
post #2 of 21
I'm by no means a "professional" writer, but I would say that writing in the first three months post partum isn't really going to happen. For the first while, baby will most likely nurse every two hours around the clock, and sleep will be a priority. You might be able to get some things done, but I found anything requiring concentration and memory a major challenge.

After that your mileage will vary according to the babe you've been blessed with. The hardest thing to come by, for me, is large blocks of uninterrupted time. But gradually regular naptimes and bedtimes will develop and it gets easier to find time for writing. If you have supportive family or a trusted babysitter available that would make writing much easier.

good luck!
post #3 of 21
Thread Starter 
That makes sense about the first 3 months. Thanks for the info!

We don't have family in town, but DH is very supportive. We've already talked about when he gets home from work that he could take DC for a bit so I can exercise. Maybe that could be a time to fit in some writing too.

After the first 3 months, what did your day look like, like when/how often did you get to write?
post #4 of 21
You can write, but you'll need childcare help to do it. Or at least that's my perspective as a professional (nonfiction) writer. DD is 5 and a half months old now, and while I work from home a lot, I have a lot of trouble concentrating enough to write if she is in the same room with me. It was actually easiest when she was a bit younger, before she got mobile.
post #5 of 21
I wrote my first book the year after my second child was born. I look back now and think, "what the heck was I thinking taking that on." But I managed it somehow though my dh remembers this as a seriously stressed out time for me. I did have a neighbor that watched my toddler 2 mornings a week so I could write while the baby napped. I'd write again in the evening when my dh was home and could take care of my toddler.

With a newborn and not another child, I think it's more feasible (once the baby is sleeping through the night - until then, you need to nap while baby naps). THen use those nap times. Don't do housework or all those other things that distract (emails, phone calls, etc.) while your newborn is napping - just write. Do chores while your baby is awake and in your sling, or laying on a blanket next to you while you fold laundry, etc.

I'd also say, don't be unrealistic about setting goals for how much you will work. Maybe plan for 1 hour in morning and 1 in evening. Maybe just 1 hour total. If you set the bar too high, you'll get stressed if you think you're not working enough (at least I do).

Even now, with my kids 5 and 8, I realize I can't do as much writing as I would like. But at least writing is not something I'll ever be too old to do.
post #6 of 21
I was a mess the first year after the birth, so I can't say with any experience because I could barely caretake.

However, I would think it totally depends on your own circumstances, and would be very realistic for some people. I've known women who were Master Mums, who just slung on the tot and carried on with their life almost as before. I would think it depends on your baby's sleep schedule, how much sleep you need, and things like that.

If your question was about the first three months, I'd say it was a very high goal... but the first year, very achievable. The child is never going to sleep as much again, for instance.

I wouldn't pin something important on it, I'd wait and see how it feels for you at the time.
post #7 of 21
I think it totally depends upon you and your child. You could have a babe that sleeps great, will self entertain for some periods and just be an overall joy and let you have plenty of time to get some writing in. Or you could have a horrible sleeper who is colicy and needy and you wont get anything done without help.

Either way you look at it, it depends upon how much motivation you have. If you really want to write and if its a good outlet for you, you will find the time. Good luck
post #8 of 21
Hi!

I've written a lot of different things over the years - books, articles, etc. and all of it has been done with children - most recently, I completed my novel while my fifth newborn slept in my lap. It's totally possible, but you have to be willing to not care so much about the housework!

Mish
post #9 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by cathe View Post
I wrote my first book the year after my second child was born. I look back now and think, "what the heck was I thinking taking that on." But I managed it somehow though my dh remembers this as a seriously stressed out time for me. I did have a neighbor that watched my toddler 2 mornings a week so I could write while the baby napped. I'd write again in the evening when my dh was home and could take care of my toddler.

With a newborn and not another child, I think it's more feasible (once the baby is sleeping through the night - until then, you need to nap while baby naps). THen use those nap times. Don't do housework or all those other things that distract (emails, phone calls, etc.) while your newborn is napping - just write. Do chores while your baby is awake and in your sling, or laying on a blanket next to you while you fold laundry, etc.

I'd also say, don't be unrealistic about setting goals for how much you will work. Maybe plan for 1 hour in morning and 1 in evening. Maybe just 1 hour total. If you set the bar too high, you'll get stressed if you think you're not working enough (at least I do).

Even now, with my kids 5 and 8, I realize I can't do as much writing as I would like. But at least writing is not something I'll ever be too old to do.
Oh wow - Is this really Cathe Olson?! I'm a big fan! I have both your cookbooks. LOVE them! Sorry, I didn't mean to interrupt.

Back to the topic at hand ...
I was a writer/editor by profession before DS was born. I tried to do some freelance work that first year, but I was always so tired and my heart wasn't in it. If you really need to get some good writing time in, I would definitely carve out a regular time to write each week and hire a sitter.
post #10 of 21
My feeling is that it CAN be done, but you have to be a good planner. Like, meticulous. That, and have a good sling or wrap that lets you snuggle your shmooshy while you write.

I am in the process of getting everything organized after my daughter was born four months ago. Things like laundry and cleaning up the fridge just weren't important. Now that her day is more predictable, I feel like I can get settled in and start a regular writing schedule. If I can just get the frickin' laundry taken care of. :
post #11 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by MamaKalena View Post
Oh wow - Is this really Cathe Olson?! I'm a big fan! I have both your cookbooks. LOVE them! Sorry, I didn't mean to interrupt.
Yes it's me. Thanks for your kind comments. :
post #12 of 21
I agree that it can be done. Although you probably won't be able to write nearly as much as you used to because of all of the interruptions. Like you may put the baby down for a nap and plan on getting a few hours of writing in and then she decides to take a shorter nap or you have a hard time getting her to go to sleep , etc. You learn to use the time that you have to be really creative though.

I think you should just be reasonable about what you expect of yourself. Push yourself, but be flexible.
post #13 of 21
I'm by no means a professional writer, but my son is 14mths old and I've only really started to write again in the past few months. That said, I didn't make any plans before he was born or have an idea of when I would start working on my projects again. If I had been into it, I would have made sure to keep a notebook with me whenever I was nursing, as I found that was when I had time to think.

I do agree that the first 2-3 months, you are just getting settled and feel like you're in a brain fog, and for me it was hard enough to remember what to pack in a diaper bag or when my son last had a diaper change, let alone having any creativity to write. I just wasn't motivated until a few months ago, but I do agree that you need a decent block of time, a babysitter and somewhere quiet that you can focus. In my case, I need my son to be out of the house or asleep to get the time I need, or I just cannot focus. Every cry he makes jolts me back into "mommy mode" - so it would be wise to think about what you need in terms of peace and quiet.

Like the other posters have said, I definitely think it can be done, as long as you are willing to go with the flow, because nothing is a given when you have that little one around.
post #14 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by crunchymomofmany View Post
Hi!

It's totally possible, but you have to be willing to not care so much about the housework!

Mish
That is so true
post #15 of 21
Thread Starter 
What wonderful advice! Thank you all for taking the time to share here.

And along the lines of what Cathe just "seconded"...

Quote:
Originally Posted by crunchymomofmany View Post
It's totally possible, but you have to be willing to not care so much about the housework!
I don't even care right now so I'm halfway there, huh?
post #16 of 21
Yup - that's an important quality to have as a writer!
post #17 of 21
Snozzberry - have you read Pen on Fire? It's a great book about how to fit writing in when you're a mom. How to make even those 15 minute time periods work for you.
post #18 of 21
Thread Starter 
No, I haven't read that one! I'll check it out.
post #19 of 21
There is also a new book called Writer Mama that you can get. I LOVE IT.
post #20 of 21
Thread Starter 
Ooh, thanks for the tip!
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Mothers' Writing Group
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Archives › Miscellaneous › Mothers' Writing Group › Realistic to plan on writing in the 1st year after birth?