Monday, March 28, 2016

How to Write with a Baby

This past February, an adorable 7lb, 6oz life-changer was born and has been in my arms about 99.9999999999% of the time since. I’m loving mommyhood just as much as I always imagined I would (a lot).
My son!

But writing has fallen way to the side and under the couch, out of sight. That’s to be expected because it takes a while to recover from birth and navigate how handsomely different life is with a newborn. Different as in, you don't get to fulfill all your basic needs anymore; you have to pick a few for the day. But it's cool (most of the time) because this little one needs you. And no one else can do what Momma does quite like Momma, so that makes you pretty special. 

After six weeks of baby baby baby, last week, I got the itch to write. I even managed to squeeze in a little writing time. A miracle, I know. Now that I got a taste of writing again, I want more. How can writing with a baby possibly be done, though? I'm glad you asked! Disclaimer: I haven’t mastered writing with a newborn. The following ideas are for my help just as much as anyone else’s. Let’s try these together and see how we do.

Start Small, Go Easy

Caring for a little human who can do nothing for himself, only wants Mommy, and cries to communicate is no easy feat. It’s just a fact that you’re not going to be able to do everything like you used to. The amount of free time you have won’t be the same as another new mom’s free time because every mother, baby, and lifestyle is different. Do what YOU can do. And go super easy on yourself. Can you manage to stay up during your newborn’s first sleep of the night to write a whole chapter? Awesome. Can you only squeeze in one sentence before you jump in your only shower of the week? Wonderful. Quantity doesn’t matter anymore, if it ever really did. What matters is that you write something. Small victories are still victories.

And if you can’t even get one word down? There’s always tomorrow when your baby’s a little less small. 

Buy Paper Plates

J.K. Rowling, in all her grace and wisdom said, “People very often say to me, ‘How did you do it? How did you raise a baby and write a book?’ and the answer is, I didn’t do housework for four years!” I don’t know about you, but if I literally didn’t do housework for four years or even four weeks, things would grow, rodents would move in, and smells would get smelly. I have to at least try to keep up on housework. But let’s make it easier on ourselves and buy paper plates and the like so there aren’t as many dishes piling up. Make as many adjustments as you can. The less time you have to spend cleaning means more time to write.

Order Takeout or Delivery 

Just like buying paper plates, ordering food saves a heck of a lot of time. You could also beg your husband, mom, best friend, or stranger to cook dinner for you. If all that fails, a bowl of cereal totally counts as a meal.

Baby Carriers and Boppy

Baby carriers are awesome for a billion reasons, but the ability to type with both hands while your baby is strapped to your chest is enough. Sometimes, Baby just wants and needs to be close to Momma. If your shoulders hurt from your carrier, place the Boppy on your lap and rest your happy baby on the Boppy. Boom, I’m doing it right now, and my little baby cakes is resting peacefully while I type. A win for both of us.

Write What You Want to Write 

As we know, writing with a baby can be done, but it aint easy. When you’re sleep deprived and hungry and the pile of diapers that didn’t quite make it to the trash is starting to smell, if writing feels more like a chore than fun, why on earth would you pick writing over literally anything else you need/want to do? Unless you have an amount of self-control I can’t even dream of, you won't. So write what’s fun. On Monday, maybe that means your WIP. On Tuesday, it could be your blog. If, by Wednesday, all you can write is the what kind of sandwich you want in the online order form for Jimmy John’s, it’s all good. 

One day, your little bundle of wonder won’t be so little. He won’t want to rest in your arms. He won’t need you as much. (Stop crying.) And you’ll have more time to write. The day will come. Today, don’t stress about the amount of words. Enjoy your cuddles and new role as a writing mommy.


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