Honoring Boundaries: Writing When You’ve Got Little Kids

Mom of three here: Small Thing is six, Little Bean is three, and Baby Cheeseball is one as of February 2024.

Here’s some truth:

  • None of these kids can tell time.
  • One of them is capable of getting a snack without me.
  • Two are potty trained, one needs help occasionally. BOTH announce that they are going.
  • One kid naps.
  • Two are homeschooled.
  • One kid doesn’t consistently sleep all night.
  • We have no TV or screens of any kind.
  • I have no childcare when Ben is on the road.
  • We’re restoring a 70-year-old ranch house.
  • Only two areas of the Ranch have internet: my office and Ben’s shop.

And yet…

  • I get my own writing done.
  • I work both in and on my business.
  • I (mostly) stay sane.

How do I do it?

Boundaries.

First boundary:

GUARD my early-morning writing time.

That means that mom has a bedtime. 8:30 when I can get it and NEVER later than 9:30. That often means that I have to send myself to bed, put down my book, and honor my boundary with myself.

Second boundary:

GUARD my mom time.

What is the POINT of being home with kids if you’re not… WITH THE KIDS?

This means that when I’m spending too much time one a project, in the office, with my notebooks, or even in my own head, I remember that I’m not JUST an adult doing adult things:

I’m a mom who needs to play. (And get snacks and wipe tushies and mediate arguments.)

This means that I’m guarding the internal boundary that says “Writing (business) doesn’t take OVER. Be present.”

Third boundary:

My office space.

My kids are welcome in here but there are RULES:

  1. You need to be quiet.
  2. ZERO whining.
  3. I’m working, not here to play with you.

Little Bean especially loves to bring a book and sit on my rug and read.

 

Fourth Boundary:

Honoring the stopping time.

When the kids are outside playing and the office door is open – I can just WRITE. Do my thing. I can hear them, they don’t need me, we’re all content.

  • But when the baby is crying.
  • When the big kids are restless.
  • When I’ve been interrupted for the 14th time in 12 minutes…

It’s time to STOP.

I can eek out 5-10 minutes to get to good stopping point, but then it’s time to stop. For ALL our sakes.

 

Fifth Boundary:

Don’t get bound by the boundaries.

As my friend and mentor Holly Doherty says:

Some boundaries are a brick wall, impenetrable and immutable. Others are picket fence, far more leeway and flexibility.

One of my picket fence boundaries is that just because *I* like rigidity it doesn’t mean it always works. At any time, be flexible enough to ask:

Am I holding this boundary because I need to or have to – or just because it’s BEEN a boundary?

Aka:

Is this a hill I want to die on?

These boundaries work in this season of parenting. But they might not continue to work so I’m always checking in with myself to make sure it’s still a good boundary.

And yes, I can get a tremendous amount done in small areas of time. I have to!

I was just listening to a training where the mentor was like:

Don’t do this (copy template) unless you can dedicate at least an hour to it.

And I thought:

  1. I’m listening while I’m painting a bathroom.
  2. With a cold.
  3. While one of my kids has a cold.
  4. While two of my kids are alternating between love and murder.

I operate under the principle that NOBODY has a full hour, uninterrupted, EVER. Not me and not my clients.

Which is why 100% of my signature course, “Finally Write Your Book” is designed to be learned and COMPLETED in 15-minute chunks – or less.

In fact, I have DOZENS of clients who have successfully written their books in…

15-minute chunks of time.

To learn more about how this works – with real, practical advice and guidance – check out my free training happening this week, “How to Finally Write Your Book (5 Steps) in 2024 – Without Sacrificing Your Life!”

Click here to register.

Kim Galloway
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