5 Reasons Why Stay-At-Home Parenting = Writing Success

I used to think I would have to wait for my children to grow up a bit before thinking about becoming a writer, but now I realize I’m exactly where I need to be. Here’s why:

 

1. You will be desperate for a creative outlet

odd socks

There are only so many lullabies you can sing and pretend cappuccinos you can sip before you start craving a use for your brain.  Harness this hunger and write!

 

2.  It’s the ideal set-up

"The Frenzy": a cartoon depicting chaos surrounding an oblivious Kate who is writing furiously. Annie empties cornflakes onto the table, Harry is watering the television and the other two have kindled a small fire on the table and are roasting marshmallows

If you were trying to write on weekends whilst working full-time, you might struggle to get yourself into the right frame of mind.  If you took time off work to focus on your writing, you would have to face the unbearable pressure of producing something good and printable to validate your choice.  When you’re a stay-at-home-parent, you have the luxury of writing for fun.  If you ever get to the point of writing something print-worthy, that’s a bonus.

 

3. Writing time is precious

Pretty notepad with pen, tea and chocolate

Let’s face it: If I had all day to write, I would probably spend it drinking tea, flipping through Facebook, re-organising my shoe collection and staring at a blank page.  As a stay-at-home-parent, writing time alone is a rare treat for me.  I try to make the most of every second, whether the words are flowing or not.

 

4. There is a never-ending supply of writer’s block cures

fairy dresses on washing line

I find the best antidote for blank-page-syndrome is menial work.  Doing something boring with my hands frees up my brain to explore ideas.  Fortunately, being a stay-at-home-parent provides me with an endless supply of these cures.  I’ve chewed over writing while I’m doing the dishes, shopping for sausages, pegging out washing, changing nappies and buttering piles of sandwiches.

It works wonders.

 

5.  You will be provided with a perfect abundance of material

Hand drawn cartoon. A wild-haired Kate is holding a saucepan and looking disconcerted: her five-year-old daughter has collapsed under the weight of her saucepan costume. Caption reads "Enid Blyton versus Newton's law or universal gravitation"

Can you tell there’s a squashed child under all those saucepans? Can you even tell they’re meant to be saucepans??

We all think we would write better if we could just go off to some cabin in the woods and be a hermit for a while.  But I don’t think it really works that way.  Apart from the obvious homicidal-mania-related side effects (haven’t you ever seen The Shining?), shutting yourself off from daily distraction would also mean shutting yourself off from a wealth of inspiration.  If I didn’t spend the bulk of my time making colossal mistakes as a parent, I would have nothing to write about.

 

So there you have it.  I know you think you don’t have time, but use what small pockets you can set aside.  A lot of this can apply to other creative pursuits as well (just replace the word “writing” with “painting”/ “pottery”/ “international space-station design”)

What do you think?  Have I missed anything?  Am I totally off my rocker?  Tell me your thoughts in the comment section below.

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18 thoughts on “5 Reasons Why Stay-At-Home Parenting = Writing Success

  1. sessaraquel

    Good thoughts. I especially enjoy the menial tasks to cure writer’s block tip. I’ve found they do clear my mind, but I’ve never tried them specifically for writer’s block. I’ll have to-thanks!
    -Sarah: sewlalove.com

    Reply
  2. calatkioracottage

    This gave me such a good laugh for a Monday, thanks so much! I’m not a parent, but I can see your point perfectly. When I hear some of the stories from parenting friends I often think ‘you just could not make that up’, so I can see how there would be plenty of material haha.

    Reply
    1. katelikestocreate Post author

      Thanks, Cal! My kids are very generous in providing quality material! I suppose the other point I was trying to get at was not being in the mindset that we’re too busy to be creative, but integrating it into our lives unapologetically. I think this is something you do very well xx

      Reply
  3. Anna Eastland

    Reblogged this on Just East Of Crazy Land and commented:
    Here is one more awesome post from Kate from Australia, whose blog I love. Her “Fail” posts are ridiculously funny. I wish she could come over for tea. We could sort socks together (ha!). She’s a fellow crazy mom blogger, and here’s her promised post on why writing at home works so well. Enjoy!

    Reply
  4. Roberta Cottam

    That sock photo is freaking hilarious! I thought I was the only one who started at the laundry with bewilderment, wondering “Where DO those socks really go?!” It’s in the observance of my life of being transformed by parenthood that I rediscover myself and my life. That is juicy, and it gives rise to a lot of great writing. I’ve witnessed my friend Anna grow as a writer in a really short time. She’s become as prolific and popular in her writing at the same rate she has experienced motherhood to great depths. That both areas of her life would blossom at the same time, even during hardship, indicates that each aspect of her life’s calling is enriched by the other. When I was younger, I confused feminism to mean women gaining equal footholds as men in the world. Now, I see that feminism is not about matching women to a male common denominator. Rather, it is a movement that celebrates women as they are, embracing their ability to conceive, birth, feed, nurture, and bury our old, while answering to a vocational call. We need no male precedent with which to value our worth. We need to remind one another of our amazing skills at parenting while changing the world with our self-expression.

    Reply
    1. Anna Eastland

      Gorgeous comments, Roberta! You’ve said it all so well….such an important discovery: to find our strength and power in being a woman, rather devaluing femininity by comparing ourselves to men.
      Xoxo
      Anna

      Reply
    2. katelikestocreate Post author

      Thank you so much, Roberta! I have similar thoughts about feminism – we shouldn’t be making ourselves more like men and despising what makes us female. Feminism should be about valuing female ways of doing and being in a world that focusses on male accomplishments. Your comment is so articulate and thoughtful – thank you!

      Reply
  5. kw06

    Absolutely loved your post. I haven’t been able to reply till now as we are experiencing ‘ holiday, lack of internet’ . I suppose it’s a small thing to balance against the beach and general relaxation.
    I love the way you express yourself- shopping for sausages- reorganising my shoe collection…
    Please keep writing and enjoying those precious children.

    It doesn’t seem like it, but in retrospect, the mayhem disappears in what seems to be a minute❤️So you need to love being in the moment.
    And I love being in the moment when I read your blog posts😍

    Reply
    1. katelikestocreate Post author

      I thought I already wrote a response to this lovely comment, but my computer thinks otherwise…

      Thank you so much for your lovely comment. It’s such a gift for me to be able to look to you and see that the mayhem is simply a stage and that the time will come when things are different and we can go on romantic anniversary getaways!

      Reply

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