As most of you know, I quit my school librarian job when Noah was born, to stay home with him full-time, and write during naptime.
Back in 2015, I wrote a guest post on Publishing Crawl, sharing a day in my life, balancing writing with working full-time. So, I thought it would be fun to share what a day in my life looks like now, trying to write while wrangling my toddler.
Wednesday 5th July, 2017
7 a.m. – my alarm goes off. I click snooze three times. Noah still wakes up a couple of times a night for his dummy. More so when he’s teething. Last night was one of those nights. I’m tired this morning.
7.18 a.m. – I finally drag myself out of bed before my alarm can go off again. I make the bed, creep downstairs to put a wash on, and reheat the coffee my husband, Neil, made for me before he left for work. Being pregnant, I’m always starving, so I grab a banana as well, and head back upstairs to Neil’s office. I order some maternity dresses to try for my brother-in-law’s wedding in August. I write for a few minutes and smash out 126 words. Not much, but it’s a good start for the day.
8 a.m. – I wake up Noah, and bring him down for his morning milk. I put Pretty Little Liars on Netflix and we cuddle while he drinks his milk. He wriggles off my knee as soon as he’s done, and goes to play. I grab my makeup and mirror, and put on my face while he’s happy to play by himself.
8.40 a.m. — when the episode finishes, I make banana peanut butter pancakes for Noah’s breakfast. I clean up the kitchen and empty the dishwasher while he eats, and scoff my breakfast. With Noah still strapped in the highchair, I refill the changing bag for the day, then when he gets whingy, I get him and the highchair cleaned up.
9.30am – I realise the time, and dash upstairs to finish getting ready. Run back down to get Noah ready, and bribe him with his favourite PS4 controller to get his toothbrush anywhere near his mouth. I spend the next ten minutes trying to get a decent photo of Noah to mark him turning 14 months today. Give up in the end and fasten Noah into the pram.
9.58am – we leave for playgroup, where Noah snacks on more fruit, plays with every wheel in the room, and I get to enjoy a hot cup of tea and catch up with a mum friend.
11.45am – I make Noah lunch as soon as we home. While he eats, I hang out the washing I put on first thing (I never have time to get it out before leaving the house, no matter how good my intentions), and put on a second load. I don’t usually do so much washing—usually one load a day is plenty—but we’re going to Edinburgh for the weekend, so I need to get ahead. Round #2 of cleaning up Noah, the kitchen, and highchair commences.
12.42pm – Noah goes down for a nap. If he gets up super early, then he still has a morning nap, but not so much anymore. I miss those days—I got so much done. I creep back downstairs and eat leftovers for lunch, and watch more Pretty Little Liars. I allow myself an hour to relax, then try to write. But I get distracted by Netflix. So I drag myself upstairs to Neil’s office, and write until Noah wakes up. I manage 509 words, but I did write without a screenplay for direction, so I’m happy with that. With a total of 635 words for the day, I’m done. I aim for 500 words a day, and have found great success with that amount.
3.35pm – Noah has an afternoon snack. I try and get ahead with dinner prep while he’s eating, then grab a snack myself. Of course, Noah has to share it with me. Between cooking dinner and jotting down notes on my phone for the scene I’ll write tomorrow, I read books with Noah, hang out a second load of washing, and watch more Pretty Little Liars. I clean the kitchen. Again.
5.48pm – Neil gets home from work and takes over with Noah, so I can finish making dinner. I catch up on Susan Dennard’s instastories on revising. We eat dinner, and Neil takes Noah up for his shower and to start his bedtime routine straight afterwards. Meanwhile, I clean up from dinner. Yep, fourth time today. I spend the next few hours catching up on housework. Since Noah’s napping schedule has changed, my time during the day to clean is more limited, and I’ve been doing what I can on a night. Tonight, I have a burst of energy and knock out a bunch of tasks. It leaves me exhausted. I keep forgetting I’m 25 weeks pregnant.
9.12pm – I spend a few minutes working on my to-do list for tomorrow and re-reading what I wrote today, so I can figure out my first line for tomorrow. I watch the rest of Jurassic World on Netflix with Neil, and when he goes to bed just after 10 p.m., I stay up to watch another episode of Pretty Little Liars. One episode turns into another.
11.30 p.m. – I pick up downstairs ready for tomorrow, then head up for my shower. I read—A Torch Against the Night by Sabaa Tahir—on my Kindle app until I can’t keep my eyes open. It’s not long.