This is the first time in years I’ve attempted to write an article while all my children are at home and still awake, (not even a napping baby at that,) so you’ll have to excuse me if the flow seems a tad interrupted. Hold on.

Look in the top drawer next to the table. There should be plenty.

As I was saying, my creative hours usually peak around 11 p.m. when the house is quiet, the dishwasher is humming soothingly, and it’s still too early for anyone to rub their little eyes and stumble into my bedroom to regale me with tales about a nightmare, or inform me of a tummy ache or a burning fever.

Inspiration for my columns comes to me in the still of those dark hours easily enough, however…

Oh no! Don’t let her have that! She’ll make a huge mess! Quick! Someone get a wet wipe!

Where was I? Oh yes, the problem with the late, still dark hours when it’s just me, my keyboard and a blank Word Document, is it’s just that: Late. My pregnant, tired, and let’s face it–older body reaches bleary eyed status starting at 9:30pm. 10:00pm if I’m lucky, just enough gas in the tank to start a dishwasher. And when I wake up to a computer monitor trailing a page and a half of the same letterrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr……It’s time to start writing while the sun is still

I don’t know why. That decision was up to your father. Why don’t you go and ask him the same question?

Shining. Yes, it’s not even 1pm, and here I am clicking away, excited to finish my piece before I need to figure out dinner. I’ll have this article reworked and edited before our board game night begins, before we raid the pantry to solve our lack of dessert situation, before baths and bedtime stories, and if I really manage my time right,

It’s due tomorrow?! How long does it have to be? And you’re just telling me about it now?!

So I guess my guilty pleasure of streaming episode 5 of Downton Abbey from tonight will have to wait yet another night…

Doesn’t anybody else hear her crying? Will someone please just hold her? I’m trying to get something done on the computer!

Sometimes toddlers just want their mommies and nobody else will do. I’m flattered really, having her nestled here on my lap, her breathing nice and even now, it makes it all worth it, even if I do have to type with one hand.

So he just took the toy right out of your hand? You sure sound furious. Have him come in here, let’s work something out.

I never before equated the special role of motherhood with the word “referee,” but at this rate I’m seriously considering stashing little yellow flags in my pockets and developing my own hand signal system to indicate which type of foul play just

Of course I can read you this book! (I’m such a sucker.) You just come right up here on my lap and let’s see what happens when we give a moose a muffin!

In case a moose ever does solicit us for muffins, we are well prepared seeing as we just read it twice over for the upteenth time. That silly moose. Now, what was I saying before all this referee and muffin business?

You fell off the bed and scratched up your side on the nightstand? Let me see how bad. No, I’m not going to touch it, I just want to look. Ooooh, ya, it’s a little red. Why don’t you go lie down on my bed for a minute?

Right, so in the long run, it’s better if I write in the daytime, while I still have enough energy to

Here, play with my phone.

Get things done.

You have to take a bath right now?

I just need ten more minutes and then I will help you with your paper, I promise!

You’ll only eat quesadillas for dinner? What if I’m making something else?

Yes, I can do anything while the sun is out and the day is long. You see, it makes for luxurious, peaceful, restful nights. That is, if no one has a nightmare, a tummy ache or a fever.

(Sigh.) Now I’m craving muffins. Think I’ll have time to whip up a batch?


Margaret Anderson is a BYU graduate, returned missionary, free-lance writer, wife and the mother of five, soon to be six, small children. You can read more on her blog,