Wednesday, 17 February 2010

Half Term

This week the kids are around as it's half term. This, although great fun, tends to reduce the writing to furtive scribbling in any spare moment or two. The other day, Dear Daughter came into my room, saw me with my notebook, promptly turned around and went out again. I heard her saying to her brother, 'There's no point, she's doing that writing again.' Of course, I then felt guilty, so I have resolved to try and give them a bit of attention this week, rather than have them jostling at my elbow, as they're doing as I write this on the laptop at my parent's-in-law! Today we had a lovely walk at Wyming Brook in Sheffield. The walk runs along a valley with a babbling brook in the bottom that tumbles over huge mossy rocks, with pine trees and beech trees growing on the surrounds. It is really very beautiful.

I'm always interested in women who write and have children and have to juggle the opposing demands on their time and attention. The novelist Sophie Hannah, has always been quite open about putting her children into nursery in order to give herself time to write. Others seem to manage writing at the kitchen table while the children play aroung their feet, although I do remember reading, I think, that Fay Weldon said she hardly wrote anything for the ten years that her three children were small! She did however publish at least one novel during this time, so she can't have entirely been concentrating on child-rearing!

So how does everyone else do it?! Is it just a matter of compromise, like a lot of other things in family life? (I'm multi-tasking as I write this - brokering a peace agreement between Small Son and his little cousin!) Will have to close now, as am being kicked off the dining table so we can all have tea....!

2 comments:

Anna-Marie said...

Hi Claire, it is good to know we are not alone! I have three kids currently invading my "work" time because of half term. I tend to sneak off to the computer when they are engrossed in rubbishy TV (bad mother) and lie awake at night wishing I hadn't neglected them so much that day...

claires inner world said...

Ah yes, the CBeebies/CBBC childminder... I use it all the time! I read a good article about this mothering/writing issue. Will dig it out and write a proper post about it, when I get time (ha!)...