Thursday, August 13, 2009

Older or Younger - which is better?

Actually I'm not talking about you, but your kids, if you have them. We all know it's hard to write with a family. The question is: Is it easier to write when you have younger kids or older kids.

I thought I’d list some pros and cons to writing when you have older kids as opposed to younger kids.

Older kids (mine are 7, 11 and almost 14)

Pro: I don’t need to watch them constantly.
Pro: They can make their own lunch, although that rarely happens.
Pro: Sometimes they’ll read what you’ve written.
Pro: They go to school all day. For me those days start again in September.
Pro: They can help clean, although it is like pulling teeth.
Pro: If you ask nicely they might leave you alone for like half an hour.
Pro: I don’t have to get up in the middle of the night anymore.

Con: They don’t nap anymore.
Con: They go to bed later, especially during the summer. Last night, for the first time ever, I went to bed early than my kids.
Con: You have to listen to them talk about video games. (maybe that one is for boys only)
Con: You spend more time worrying about them; the choices they make, who their friends are, and what sort of things they're hearing at school.
Con: There’s homework, basketball games, football practices, gymnastics, swimming lessons etc.
Con: They know how to make you feel guilty for spending all of your time on the computer.

Younger Kids (preschool and younger)

Pro: They typically nap.
Pro: They typically go to bed early.
Pro: Sometimes you can put on Sesame Street and you’re good for an hour.

Con: They demand a lot of attention.
Con: You have to change diapers.
Con: You have to make sure they’re not getting into the toilet or falling down the stairs.
Con: They wake up in the middle of the night and way too early to allow their parents to function the next day.
Con: Did I talk about having to change diapers.

Okay honestly I’m sure there are a lot more pros and cons, but it’s been too long and I can’t think of anymore. Did I mention I have a really bad memory.

What do you think? Do you think it would be easier to write if you have younger kids or older ones? What do you see as your pros or cons.


strugglingwriter said...

Older would be easier for writing. They can do their own thing.

Remember babies may go to bed early, but they don't stay asleep. Then can hear a pen hitting paper. They can also smell when you've cracked open a relaxing can of beer. Diapers are the easiest thing when it comes to babies.

Our 3 year old doesn't nap. On days she does, she doesn't go to bed early. She has never been much of a sleeper.

I guess I have a lot of experience with the younger kid category. :)

Mim said...

Well since I have two preschoolers and one in elementary school, naturally I'm going to say older. Whatever you don't have is always easier right?

My kids don't nap, so there isn't that advantage. The go to bed around 9:00 and get up around 8:00. I write between 9:-12 every night.

I look forward to the days when they are at school, and I'll have all day to write and focus on that. But I know I'll be busy. I've gotten busier with just one in school. But I know I'll miss having them at home too.

Lazy Writer said...

I'd say older for sure. Mine are 11, 13, and 15. Although, I might reconsider after today. I just spent five hours shopping with them. That was five hours I could have been writing. When they were little I picked out all of their stuff. Now they do, and boy are they picky!

Patti said...

SW: You're bringing back horrible memories, but they are a lot cuter when they're three and under.

Mim: I hated that stage when they stopped napping. What was worse was when they fell asleep at like 4pm and you couldn't get them to bed until 11pm.

Susan: Shopping with kids isn't that fun. My daughter started having an opinion about her clothes when she was 2.

I'm beginning to agree that older is definitely better, especially since I hear my children setting the table without being asked. Could be because I came home from work and was upset that nothing had been done all day,

candicekennington said...

I think that it's easy to think things will be different when your kids get older. Maybe that's just what I think about. I guess the reality is that it's never going to be a cake walk to write a book and be a mom. I tend to get up early and write before anybody else is a awake.

JKB said...

I don't really know, but I'll let you know what I think when this one comes out and I have a chance to try it! :-)))#

Excellent post, though!

Patti said...

Candice: I agree it seems like things will always be easier in the future. When my kids were young I thought it would be easier when they got older, which it is somewhat, but it's more busy in a different way.

JKB: Once again congratulations, that's totally awesome news.

Dara said...

I don't know. I'm not a mommy yet. Nor will I be anytime soon! :P

I would guess it would be easier to write if you have older kids because babies and toddlers constantly need something. Even when they nap or sleep, they seem to get up at the worst times :P

LOL, I've often joked with my hubby that if I could skip the infant and toddler stage and have a kid at the age of 4 or 5, I'd be happy :P I have to admit I'm not looking forward to changing diapers and getting up in the middle of the night for a feeding.

Patti said...

Dara: I could easily skip the baby stage, but I loved the toddler stage. I'm not so sure about the teenager though.

lauraabest said...

Thanks for stopping by my site, Patty!

I wrote while my kids were small right through until they left home and I can definitely say it is much easier when they are older. Mine were always very respectful of what I was doing and gave me the space I needed when I needed it.

jenniferneri said...

I have a preschooler and a kindergartner. I have no idea what is to come. My youngest stopped napping by one, and neither go to bed early. ever. essentially sleep is a longed for commodity. But, I write for a few hours when they are both at school. Or, I will, when summer vacation ends. :)