Monday, July 21, 2008

Routines and Summertime

Okay, since so many kids are out of school, I thought this would be a good time to talk about routines for the stay-home mom and writer.

*sips coffee* My routine is pretty set during the school year. I’m the type of person who needs a schedule or I get off track, then pretty soon I’m lollygagging. I wake up every morning at 6am. The first thing I do is roll my lazy butt out of bed and nudge my oldest daughter awake. I get her breakfast, then I’m off to the dark, dreary laundry room to iron my husband’s work clothes while he showers. The kitten plays with the dangling ironing cord and usually by the time I’m finished with his shirt, I’m smiling over her silly antics. Once the clothes are pressed, I take them to him and push my daughter off the couch so she can start the hour long process of making herself more beautiful than she already is. The number one rule in my house: get everything (clothes, shoes, bookbag) ready the night before! This way we aren’t scrambling around searching for a missing shoe or an important homework assignment. Usually, by the time the dogs have been let out to potty and the coffee is on, I’m able to get myself dressed and now I’m allowed to kick up the computer. I check email while I’m making lunches. Once my daughter is ready, lunches are done, and my husband is out the door (with a kiss and a smack on the ass, lol) I take my oldest to school. Once I’m back from that it’s usually about 7:30am and I have a few minutes to answer some emails and eat a quick breakfast.

Then I wake my second daughter at 8am. The routine starts all over again. After I get her to school, I can really start my day. I write from about 9:30am until 1:30pm with the T.V. on in the background. I can’t do anything when it’s dead silent. Drives me nuts. Comes from growing up in a rowdy family I think. Noise to me says ‘comfort’.

At 1:30 I stop, save whatever I’ve managed to work on, get myself ready, let the dogs out again to potty, and go pick the kids up from school. The rest of the day is spent doing homework, chores, errands, etc. I’m lucky to get back to the computer after the kids are home. Usually we’re too busy with...stuff. At around 4:30 my husband calls and we chat on the phone for awhile (he’s got a long boring ride home, so that’s usually our time to catch up on each other’s day).

From 6:30pm on, it’s dinner, showers, getting ready for the next day, then whatever show we can’t live without. Weekends for me are a hit or miss. Sometimes, I can get some writing done, or at least some editing. Most times, if I get to the computer on the weekends, I’m researching or doing other things that are boring but necessary.

What's my summertime routine. Chaos. Yep, that about sums it up. LOL I actually thought that once the kids got a little older (14, 12) I'd have more time. *snort* Not! Between wanting to go to the mall, the movies, swimming, hiking, I'm forever driving them or trying to keep them from being bored out of their minds. I have been getting lots of writing done, but it's spread out throughout the day and it's making me feel like a slacker. I need order or I go a little nuts. This summer I've tried to do things a little different though. I'm letting the kids sleep in later, and I'm taking more time away from the computer. They grow up so fast and I want to make every minute count. They won't be young forever! One of these days they won't want mom around. I need to take advantage of the fact they actually want to spend time with me, right?

So all you moms out there (working and stay-home), what's your summertime schedule? Do you find it difficult to keep your kids entertained and out of trouble? Do you adhere to a routine or do you just let the day flow?

Writer moms, do you write during the day or are you more creative at night? Do you try to get the writing in while everyone is in bed? What's your summertime secret?

Tell me, because inquiring minds wanna know! :)


Devon Gray said...

Chaos is a good description of summer. I don't even try to set a routine for writing when the kids are out of school. I'm fortunate because my husband works from home and when he has slow days he takes the kids out of the house so I can write. I am most creative in the morning, so I try to write then whenever I can. The school year is writing bliss, though! Once I drop the kids off at school at 7:30, the day is mine until I pick them up at three. I usually try to get a solid 3-4 hours of writing done and then the rest of the time is devoted to life maintenance. What I have been trying to do (and I know it's possible, I just have to be more organized about it)is set aside one week day as that life maintenance day. I will pack all the errands, cleaning, laundry, etc. into that one day so that the other four can be devoted to writing. Of course, that's not possible with the kids home in the summer!

MJFredrick said...

I'm a teacher, so the summers are a blessing to me. But like you, I need a routine! I wake up no later than 8, clean my room for the day (today's the living room) while the dh gets ready for work, check email while I'm eating breakfast and by 9 I'm writing. I write till about 11, then go get lunch and watch some Tivoed TV, then read and nap. (This comes in handy when I write till 1:30 like last night!) I get up, either write more or lounge in the pool, then make dinner, more TV and writing. I've gotten most productive after 11....not going to be good when school starts in less than a month!

And I'm with you - I thought it would be easier when the boy got older, but no, now he needs to be ferried about!

Molly Daniels said...

My oldest turned 16 and while I was apprehensive about him driving, it is nice to have another driver in the house! Thankfully, he's the responsible type, and I feel safe turning him loose with the car to do errands, or as the case this summer, take his siblings to the pool! Leaves me quiet time to write:)

I've only got one more year until the youngest enters all-day KDGN:) When he goes back to Head Start in Sept, I'll have 4 hours to myself again...heaven!

Regina Carlysle said...

I always got lots more writing done during the school year and yes, there's a point as kids get older that it's tough because you ALWAYS have to have them SOMEWHERE. I reached a point that it was a relief when they could finally drive. I DO remember getting halfway through summer and getting itchy for school to start again. Routines are a good thing.

Now my kids are pretty much grown. My son is 22 and gone from home and my daughter is a high school senior so my time is pretty much my own these days. Lots more time for writing, promotion, and all the other stuff.

Anne Rainey said...

Devon--I love your idea of picking one day and getting chores, errands done. Great idea!

Maryf--it's like a twisted sort of joke. My oldest will be driving age next year. In theory she could then drive herself places, but the very thought gives me chills. I so do NOT want her driving yet. She's my baby!

Anne Rainey said...

Molly--it is really nice to have the daytime to myself, I admit. I always feel torn though. During the school year I worry about my youngest because she's the shy type, and during the summer I spend my time entertaining them. Either way I have something on my mind that takes me from my writing. I'm almost to the point where I'm going to have to get up at 4am just to have some uninterrupted time.

Regina--I think if I could just give myself a better summer schedule I could fit everything in, the thing is I'm lazy. LOL

Anny Cook said...

It the kids are sleeping in... then have your coffee and write. I used to do that. By the time the crew stumbled out, I was ready for a break.

The same still goes when the househunk is home for vacation. I write when he's deep in the midst of his computer game. Then when he's finished playing for the day, I shut down my own stuff.

Kelley Nyrae said...

My kids are young, 7 months and four years so my schedule is the same in summer or the rest of the year. That schedule is whatever they set, lol. It's kind of hard to keep one going. The baby isn't like my oldest was at her age, she gets up a different times every day and naps at different times every day.

Anne Rainey said...

Anny--You're so right. Thanks! :)

Kelley--I remember those days, but I wasn't an author then. I don't know how you get it all done!! When they're that age they keep you so busy, you're lucky to find time to sit down, much less write!

Molly Daniels said...

Hahaha...I came up pg with the baby just as I was getting up the nerve to promote my 1st book (it had been pubbed 6 months earlier), and joked that it was a good thing I had the next 6 ready, as I probably wouldn't be writing for a while!

But once he turned 3 and learned how to entertain himself...I ended up writing 3 completely new ones last year. Now if only get someone to take a chance on them...

Regina Carlysle said...

I remember when the kids were really little, I loved DISNEY movies. I could fix them little snacks and sit them down and buy myself a couple of hours. Couldn't do it all day long, of course, but damn it was tempting. LOL

Georgie Lee said...

I don't have kids yet but summer still messes with my writing routine. It is so nice outside that I can't concentrate and almost have to force myself to write.

Anne Rainey said...

Regina--thank god for those Disney movies! They can save a mom's sanity! LOL

Amy Ruttan said...

Well, I just gave up the EDJ so my creative muse is still sparked for evening.

I don't have a schedule yet. I've still be kind of lost (it's only been a week).

I do however have to write with background noise. Usually TV. I can't write in dead silence either.

Anonymous said...

Well I'm not a mom but I do know when I was younger my mom was and she really didn't have a set way. It was what ever happened that day was her schedule for the day.

As we got older mom went to work and I was the babysitter for me and my brother. And I have to say summers where really boring because mom was at work all day and i had to stay home with my little brother.

I just have to say thank goodness I am 22 and i don't have to do that anymore.

Ashley Elizabeth