My Weekend Home With the Kids: Finding Time to Write


My wife and I have 4 children between the ages of 6 and 11. I love them very much, and I love spending time with them and listening to them and trying to be the best dad I can to them….

…However…

This weekend, my wife went to Texas with her parents as kind of a get-away-from-it-all trip, leaving me at home with the four of them. Things were going great until the 10 year old came down with a stomach bug, the 8 year old developed a sinus infection, one of them used their wheelie shoes to scoot far enough away from me at Wal-Mart that I got scared if some creep were to grab her, the Shih-Tzu poops on the carpet like clockwork and a myriad of other nonsense.

Things started out ok. Friday night Kristie left and Conner, my 11 year old son, went to a friends house to spend the night. I took the girls out to dinner at Cheddar’s and then to the dollar jewelry store and then to Hastings to pick out several movies for the weekend. That was about the extent of the fun for me. After that, the girls argued non-stop, and all the stuff happened that I mentioned before.

I had a friend over last night to talk about a book he wants me to write for him. I had the kids pretty much bedded down when he arrived, but then they kept getting up and needing things. The visit went well, and I’ll be working on that book soon, but finding the time to write this weekend has been absolutely impossible.

I am an AP English teacher and my job is totally mental. I found out this weekend that if I don’t get time to let my mind decompress from my job, I can really have a hard time keeping it together, much less be creative. I plan to dig right back into it on Monday, but this weekend has been hard. I still love my kids, and would do anything for them, but this weekend has taught me three very valuable lessons:

1. My wife is a key component to writing on a regular basis, not to mention the day to day management of our family. (I don’t know how you single parents do it. God bless you.)

2. I need time to decompress from the mental chore that is my day job.

3. Being a dad is awesome. (I knew this one already, but this weekend has reiterated this fact for me in a very real and powerful way).

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