Friday, December 4, 2015

Wearing two hats

I'm very excited to have Mark Koopmans here for a guest post today. He's talking about something that's near and dear to my heart, how to write while also managing small kids.  Take it away, Mark!




Aloha,
Thanks, Sara, for the invite! (The REVIVAL tour is over, and oh joy, I can return to my regularly scheduled blogging:)

I’d like to share my experience to help other parent-writers stay sane, have fun and still find the time to write with young kids at home—and not suffer through my trials and tribulations
My first son was born in 2007, and at the time I was working for a local newspaper. Over time, however, I cut back on my hours and decided to become a stay-at-home dad (especially after a second son was born in 2010.)

Other parents, who’ve walked the walk, will not and laugh when I say this, but honestly, I thought being a stay-at-home dad with one (and later) two infants/toddlers would be so easy peasy, lemon squeezy.
I mean come on, what do infants do all day? Eat, poop, sleep and repeat. Ok, yes, frequently, but still. Pffff, I got this, I said, slapping a hand against my manly chest.

Oh, how clueless and naive was I, the now former McDaddy and font of all parenting knowledge.
(It’s also around this time that I became hair-follicle-ly challenged…)
See, I tried writing when naptimes came along, (and they were frequent, but shoot… I’d need the limited time to handle normal things-around-the-house that needed to be done. Invariably, and nearly without fail, I would finally sit in my little office chair, exhaling a huge sigh of relief. Yes! Writing Zone time…
…And the baby would start to cry…

I could go on, but here’s the moral of the story:

I now write at night :)




Thanks Mark. For those of us that can't stay up past 8pm, it works just as well to write before they get up in the morning. :)

Mark recently had a book released and I'm putting in his rafflecopter because, hey, free stuff!




a Rafflecopter giveaway


35 comments:

  1. Hi Sara and Mark ... I can imagine two littlies don't leave anyone much time - but when the others came along - even less. Writing at night makes sense - good for you ... me I'm asleep! Cheers Hilary

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm asleep, too. Even with little kids, or maybe because of them I can't stay up late. Much easier for me to get up early and write.

      Delete
  2. It may not work for everyone, but it works for me :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thanks for having me around today Sara. Hope you have a nice restful weekend:)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Heh, we were cutting trees on our new property today and we're going back tomorrow. Restful, no. Productive, yes. Hope you're having a great weekend.

      Delete
  4. Great post, Mark! DH might say the same. Every time he picks up the guitar, the baby cries...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ahh, but is that because the baby is tired, or because of the musician's skills... Hee hee :)

      Delete
    2. Kids always seem to know the worst time to cry.

      Delete
  5. Great post, Mark. While I don't have any children yet, I look forward to those happy (and likely very challenging days LOL). I foresee lots of long nights ahead.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They *will* be challenging days (and nights!!) but there's nothing like a sleeping infant resting on your chest:) ...Then, parents get to nap, too:)

      Delete
    2. Challenging, yes, rewarding, yes. As Mark said, that baby sleeping on your chest is the best thing ever.

      Delete
  6. No kids for me. Maybe I might adopt in the future. Maybe. But congrats on all your success and taking on the challenge of stay at home dad head on. Even if it started off as a naive head.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, and you know the old saying... Never say never :)

      Delete
    2. All three of my kids are adopted. And a naive head is the only kind to start raising kids with. Anything else and you're too smart to have any. :)

      Delete
  7. A friend of mine (a super organised woman) was shocked, appalled and educated. After her first child was born she told me it was a good day if she had cleaned her teeth before her husband got home.
    From my childless space I am convinced parenting is one of the hardest jobs in the world.
    Love that you kept writing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I can totally empathize with your friend (and I think the writing helped keep me sane, sometimes:)

      Delete
    2. Hardest and therefore the most rewarding. It is a shock though. I did my best parenting before I had kids. After kids I just tried to survive.

      Delete
  8. I worked after the birth of my first son, decided I needed to be more connected to him and his needs and switched to part time. Then when son two came along I was at home full time for the first five years. Best decision I ever made, but there was no 'writing' time during daylight hours. I too wrote at night. I'd put my little on the floor with his toys, sit down at my desk, and he'd crawl over and tug at my skirt. Mommy play? They want, need, demand all your attention - as they should. Writing is my sanity, still!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Writing is sanity, but you're right. Kids are the most important, and they're only young for a little while.

      Delete
  9. Hats off to you for being a stay-a-home dad! And congrats to being able to write at night...I wish I had the super ability ;) It gets easier as the kids get older. But then, other problems come in. Fun post!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kids are a roller coaster that's for sure. I kept thinking I would have more time to write when they were older but it seems I have less. Flexibility is my most important writing tool.

      Delete
  10. When I read posts like these I realize I have nothing to complain about in terms of my writing schedule. Of course, I've got no little poops to hug each day either. For everything in life, there is a trade off. Enjoy them. :0)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anytime you want to hug some little poops you're welcome to come here. I'll even let you hug the kids too. :)

      Delete
  11. I write whenever I can squeeze it in, whether it's day, night, or AM night.

    ReplyDelete
  12. I wrote my first book when my five sons were little. They're now your age, and I'm watching them cope with the demands of job, parenting, hobbies, and everything else life throws at them. Thank goodness the passion for writing gives us the energy to carry on.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, the drive to write is the only thing that makes it possible. Otherwise I would have given up a long time ago.

      Delete
  13. I still can't figure out where the time goes as a stay at home mom, but now that I have another work from home job while being stay at home mom, I'm having to readjust. Night time is definitely the best time to write!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I can't imagine having another job, too. Kudos to you.

      Delete
  14. You'll get a chuckle out of this guys. In Star Trek TNG Worf says to Brenna O' Dell:

    "Madam, have you ever considered a career in security."
    "If it's anything like baby-sitting, I'm an authority."

    These last years Mark, you've been the Head of Security. I hope thats some small comfort!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ha! Head of security sounds so much more official.

      Delete
  15. You never know what's coming next with little ones at home. Might be OK if you can write in five minute (or five second!) bursts! I became a stay-at-home dad when my wee one was born and I didn't really start writing properly again until she was in nursery. I take my hats off to homeschoolers.

    ReplyDelete
  16. LOL! This sounds familiar. Home schooling multiple kids while writing is almost the same.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I can't even imagine home schooling. You're my hero.

      Delete