The 6 Easy Steps I Use To Get Writing Done With Children Around—It’s So Simple And Easy!
How to write a morning post, in very not easy steps.
Step 1: Wake up around 5am or 6am, depending on when the children wake up. Try to wake up before them.
Step 2: Acquire coffee.
Step 3: Try to write through depression and discouragement.
Step 4: Read the news.
Damnit. DO NOT READ THE NEWS.
Step 5: Take two hours to write six words. Realize half the selfies you took your eyes were closed. Do you post the eyes closed version? This one. The kid is cute in this one.
BUT WILL EVERYONE THINK THAT WORKING PARENTS ARE HAVING A JOYFUL TIME RIGHT NOW?
Worry about the existential angst.
Begin writing a post that says “Working parents are not okay.”‘
Delete sentences because no one is okay. There isn’t really a comparison game to be played here.
Call your friend and realize that you’re having trouble stringing words together. Hang up the telephone because both of your children and pushing buttons on the phone and you can’t actually have a real conversation while children and buttons are in close proximity. What was it that they said? “Opening my computer is like a pavlovian response for my child.” Yeah, that.
Step 6: Go back and count previous steps, because you forgot where you are.
Step 7: Try to disentangle children wrapped around your legs. Realize they need to be fed.
Step 8: Have one child scoop the coffee for you (yes, the second coffee). They should be fine playing with the grounds, right? Right? What are they licking? FML.
Step 9: Create breakfasts for children. String cheese and chips it is. Put them at the table. They are sitting at the table. They are sitting on the table. They are on the table. They are standing on the table. Ask yourself if you really care—can you write an email from the kitchen while watching them? Wonder if a 1 year old falling off a table would be bad enough to go to the ER. You do not want to go to the ER. Walk to the table. Say “sit down please,” like twelve times. Sit at the table with them.
What were you doing?
Step 10: What were you doing?
Step 11,458: It is now 1:08pm.
The children are in their beds. They are supposed to be napping. You have opened your laptop. You are writing. What are you writing? I don’t know.
It is 1:38pm.
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Kelsey Kerslake runs a design agency as well as a coaching business, and has a young kiddo at home who just turned one. Her husband is an essential worker, so she hasn’t had a minute of childcare or backup help throughout all of this. Here’s how she is rescheduling her days and dealing with the coronavirus pandemic. Her question—can she keep working on a reduced schedule and still have the same impact?
Sarah K Peck
Founder, Startup Parent
Sarah Peck is a writer, startup advisor, and yoga teacher based in New York City. She’s the founder and executive director of Startup Parent, a media company documenting the stories of women’s leadership across work and family. She hosts the weekly Startup Parent Podcast and Let's Talk, her second podcast. Previously, she worked at Y Combinator backed One Month, Inc, a company that teaches people to code in 30 days, and before that she was a writing and communications consultant.
She’s a 20-time All-American swimmer who successfully swam the Escape from Alcatraz nine separate times, once wearing only a swim cap and goggles to raise $33k for charity: water. She’s written for more than 75 different web publications and and has delivered speeches and workshops at Penn, UVA, Berkeley, Harvard, Craft & Commerce, WDS, and more.