I tried starting this post four times today, and each time I was interrupted by my ten-year-old asking, "Can I check something on Club Penguin?" Actually, he asked that three times; the fourth time he just looked over my shoulder and said, "Isn't this ironic?" (He really did.)
I've always been reluctant to blame my not-writing on my kids. The fact is, I think I'm a better writer now than I was ten years ago. Having kids is like any other deep and interesting experience -- like travel or a love affair -- in that it enriches you. However, it also occupies you. And sometimes it's hard to get a perspective on how much. I've found that even when they're not around, part of my brain is monitoring my boys, thinking about what they're doing and what they might be needing, and wondering if they're safe. Quite a large chunk of brain: it's like a part of my bandwidth is now totally devoted to the Emergency Broadcast Network, and it never shuts down.
Some writers are better than others at shutting out distractions in general and kids in particular. A friend whose mother is a writer describes how her mom would sometimes, in the middle of doing something with her kids, suddenly kind of vanish -- she'd stare into space and wouldn't answer questions. Oh, she's writing, my friend would think. JRL has barely slowed down since having kids. Others of us have more trouble shutting the door against our children, or even carving out a little scrap of mental space without them in it.
Maybe the solution is to write without separating from them -- that is, to write about them. Certainly that's what a lot of parent-writers do. Since I don't really write non-fiction (and doubt I'd want to write a parenting memoir even if I did) I'd have to figure out a way to write fictionally about being a mother. But being a mother is a horror show. So much of it (and most of the interesting part) is about worry, terror, guilt -- I don't want to go there. In fact, I don't want to think about it more than I can help it. My protagonists, my fictional selves, are all still single and childless.
So there's the rub: can't write about them, can't NOT write about them. No wonder we're stuck. Some of us, anyway.