I see a lot of comments, blogs, tweets, about writers not finding the time to write because of their kids, and I wanted to throw a little of my own personal experience out there as well.
First of all, some background history is that I was a young mom (like, very young), and I raised my son by myself (and I’m still a single mom). My kid is nine years old now. Ok, enough history!
0 – 3: Ah, the baby and toddler years. I was rather lucky to have a kid who was pretty easy, and I raised him from the get go to be independent because I didn’t want him to be the kind of kid who always requires/wants attention. There’s nothing more annoying, to me, than kids who always want to talk to everyone even when it’s obvious they don’t want to talk back (think in the restaurant, public transportation, etc.). My son will speak to other people when someone starts a conversation with him, but he wouldn’t go bother people either. He will also start conversations, but will take a hint if someone looks annoyed at being talked to. He also started making his own breakfast at the age of two and a half, and took care of his best friend, a budgie named Riku. During this time, I organized all my ideas about this one huge story I wanted to write. The story has so many plot twists, time travel, enemies, allies, back stories, legends, that it will likely fill seven (if not more) novels one day. It was perfect to use those years to outline because it’s something you can easily jump into and jump out whenever necessary. I did do some writing, here and there, but not like what I do now.
4 – 9: He plays outside with other kids, plays Nintendo, reads, plays with toys, draws, writes, practices Japanese, watches movies, watches anime – and all without me. We kind of have our own time, but we do spend a lot of time together as well (cinema, comiccon, restaurant, festivals, etc.). Point is, he’s independent, and not needy, just like I raised him to be. He knows that any time he needs something though, whether that be a hug, hanging out, a question, just talk, whatever, that I’m always there, but he’s never been the type to have to be constantly supervised either. This is also why I was able to start university when he started kindergarten – he understands that not every minute of every day can be spent showering him with attention. So I write. No magic formula, no trick, I just write, and he does what he knows he’s allowed to do, and whenever he needs me, I’m there.
So yeah, that’s my own experience with my kid, but each situation is different. I’m just very lucky to have a kid who knows I write manuscripts and respects me enough to understand that it’s important to me – he even asks me every day if I’ve gone up in my word count, and he always encourages me to write at least five words minimum per day. That’s my writing experience while being a single mom.