How to be A Writing Mom



Photo by Alexander Dummer on Unsplash

5:30 AM — Angrily dismiss the naively optimistic alarm you set last night convinced you’d get up before all the rest of the house and get some work done. Or maybe sip some coffee in complete and utter silence.

Roll over and go back to sleep until your significant other’s far more reasonable alarm goes off.


6:00 AM — Now the other alarm is going off. Lay there and pretend you didn’t hear it until your bedmate turns on the light. Rude. Sit up.

Grab your phone and tell yourself you are not going to check your stats. There will be time for that later, and nothing changed while you slept.

Check stats anyway. And email, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook. Tell yourself this is probably not healthy behavior while scrolling.


6:15 AM — Finally get yourself out of bed now that your significant other is out of the bathroom. Swap a load of wet laundry you’d started last night over to the dryer.

Get dressed.


6:30 AM — Wander into the kitchen still scrolling on the phone. Switch over to writing platform or planning app and begin taking stock of the day.

Make coffee. For everyone’s safety.


6:55 AM — Finally sit down at the computer.

Update your schedule for the day, checking off all the stuff you actually did yesterday but didn’t check off.

Reschedule a couple of things that have technically been on the schedule for three months but keep getting rescheduled. One day you will update your LinkedIn. But today is not that day.


7:00 AM — Write. This first bit of writing is the most magical part of your day. The words flow like the coffee you keep pouring yourself. It almost feels like this is what you do for a living.


7:02 AM Magic time over. Resume human levels of writing, staring, deleting. Repeat this process ad nauseam for the next hour or so. Try to remove less than you write.


7:50 AM — Pretend that you definitely do not hear one of your children awake.


7:53 AM Accept that not only is that child wholly and irrevocably awake, but it has also woken the remainder of your children. Decide (s)he is your least favorite for the day.


7:54 AM — Pee by yourself for the last time today.


7:56 AM — Begin the parenting portion of your day.

Sneak in writing time on your phone while the kids enjoy their favorite Netflix show.


8:12 AM — Experience the crushing mom guilt of violating at least three cultural expectations because your kids are consuming screentime at the age of 1 while you are poking at your phone. They could be having a life-changing experience with a bird or something slimy you made together according to Pinterest and Instagram.

Resist falling into yet another existential crisis over whether pursuing your writing career while also attempting to turn your crotch spawn into functioning humans is worth it.


8:15 AM — Hear the bad type of noise from somewhere in the house. Abandon phone and anxiety-driven self-doubt to save whichever child has embarked upon its latest mission to destroy itself and its siblings.


10:30 AM —Snack time! Since children are occupied with goldfish or some snack the internet would punish you for, grab phone and experience a remarkable surge of productivity. Really get into the flow while the kids munch on their GMO-ridden, far-from-Bento-ready food. Accomplish more leaning against the kitchen counter than you did in the hour before the kids woke up.

Briefly wonder why you bother to get up before them anyway.

Get hit in the head by a flying snack. It, inevitably, had something sticky on it. Could be peanut butter. Could be spit — no way to tell really.

Remember why you bother to get up before them.


11:30 AM — Sweet Hay-Zeus it’s not even noon. Serve children lunch. Grab more writing time while they eat.

Remember its nap time after this. This will improve your mood every time.


12:30 PM — Drink your celebratory fifth cup of coffee that you made it to naptime. Once children are down, engage in the internal battle over whether you should write, shower, nap, or try to cram all three in the 2ish hours you have to yourself.

Elect a shower because you can’t remember the last time you took one. You’re fairly positive it was sometime within the week, but you aren’t entirely sure what day. Decide that you are entitled to a beautiful, luxurious shower. You might even shave your legs.

Or maybe just your armpits. It’s fall. The winter coat can grow in at this point.


12:35 PM — Experience more mom guilt before you even manage to get the shampoo in your hair. There’s housework, shopping, bills, writing, and a laundry list of other responsibilities to tend to, including actual laundry. And here you are trying to enjoy a fundamental human privilege of bathing. How dare you?

Wonder if you should buy one of those fancy shower recording devices so you can wash AND write at the same time.


12:45 PM — Give up on home spa experience. And armpit shaving. The mom guilt ruined it for you. You washed your hair and nether region pretty well. Good enough.


12:47 PM — Kids are still asleep. While toweling off, get a great idea on how to continue the project you’d been working on. Sit down at the computer, still damp and naked to add just a few notes.


1:49 PM — Realize its been more than an hour. You’ve written a bunch but are still, in fact, naked. Hear that at least one of your children is now awake. Toss on a fresh set of clothes you fished out of the hamper you hope held the clean clothes.

Chastise yourself for never putting the laundry away. You are a functioning adult. There is no reason to live out of hampers. And yet…


1:55 PM — Repeat morning schedule of parenting activities, sneaky phone writing, and mom guilt until dinner.

If errands, shopping, or other versions of leaving the house are required, this is probably the time to do it.


5:30 PM — Realize you took no steps for dinner and the whole family will be expecting food soon. Veggie burgers from the microwave it is! Pretend this was the plan the entire time.


6:30 PM — Begin bedtime procedure. This may involve baths. More likely it will include wiping the kids down of visible gunk and dumping baby powder on them so they smell better.

Put kids in PJs. Give them whatever vice you have elected to quell their definitely-not-sleepy battle tactics: bottle, milk, water, snack, toy, etc.

Read a book you’ve read a million times six more times.


7:30 PM — Attempt to put your children down for bed.

Since you use the cry-it-out method (Yeah, the internet moms really would lynch you), use the time in which they are whining about being in their beds to catch a new episode of the series you’ve been watching with your significant other.


8:04 PM — After your children give it up, kiss your significant other goodbye. It’s time to go to work. You aren’t leaving the house, but you’ll be in another world.

Now write. Create. Edit. Execute at least three of the ideas you had while the kids were up, and you couldn’t get to them. Feel good about your choices.

Check your stats. Notice your work is starting to get noticed. Barely, but you’ll take any headway you can get.


Reassure yourself that pursuing your dreams, your writing career is the best thing you can show your children how to do. You can be anything you want — if you’re willing to work for it. Be a fantastic mom. Be a brilliant writer. You can do both.


10:07 — Realize it’s almost bedtime for grownups. Begrudgingly turn off the computer.

Start a load of laundry.

Run the dishwasher.

Set the alarm for 5:45.

5:30 didn’t work but, man, it would be nice to get up before everyone else and get a little work in. Or maybe a nice hot cup of coffee on the porch.

Kiss your significant other goodnight.

Lay in bed for another two hours on TikTok.

Goodnight.

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