This is a three part post on time management for writers.

I apologize to everyone that there wasn’t a post on Friday, my usual weekly writing-and-Starbucks gaunt.  This is because, in the past week and a half, I’ve done absolutely no writing.  You see, two little people have managed to turn my world completely upside down.

You see, my very good friend has a very young son, and this young son has two children.  One of them is 2 years old and the other is 4 weeks old.  As with some very young people who were not prepared to be parents, he struggles emotionally and financially.  In order to work, he has to drop them off to a babysitter.  In order to hire a babysitter, he has to work.  You see the merry-go-round?  Now, I am not saying that all very young parents struggle or need help, so no flaming in the comments, please.  Suffice it to say, he is in need of help.

This is where I come in.  My friend begged me to take care of them (mind you, she begged me to take care of them for free) and knowing their situation, I couldn’t say no.

The problem isn’t the money.  I think I’m the only one crazy enough to watch someone else’s (unrelated) children for no money.  The problem is time.

My children are older: 15, 13 and 9.  At this point, the older two don’t even want to be seen in public with me.  The youngest still needs attention, but she is independent enough to do almost everything by herself.  She forgives her scatterbrained, work-from-home mommy, and doesn’t ask that much.

A newborn and a two year old, on the other hand, need constant attention.  Yes, you know the scene.  You turn your back for a moment, and she is drawing all over your walls with a crayon.

So this is a three part post on time management for writers.  Time management is my worst enemy.  Because, you see, I can get lost in a paragraph, a paper, or a project and the next thing you know, the kids are coming home off the bus and the laundry isn’t done.

More recently, I begin work and then all of a sudden I look up into the face of my friend’s son, and poof, my entire day has gone.  I’ve gotten nothing done and now it’s time to watch two children.  How do I combat this?  This week will tell the tale.  I’m going to enact some strategies to get me off of my child-imposed writing block.  And then I will share what I’ve learned with you.

One last note, for everyone who is fortunate enough to have free babysitting.  Free babysitting is very rare.  Daycare costs a lot of money, upwards of $200 per week in some areas.  So please, please, please do not call the babysitter a “babysitter.”  That is very demeaning to the help they are giving you.