They are such a joy, aren’t they?
Each and every day my children bring so much happiness to my life. Watching them grow into productive members of society should be my #1 priority in life, shouldn’t it? Seeing these babies succeed should give me a huge sense of accomplishment, right?
As much as I love my children, I know that there are things in my life that would likely be much different had I focused more on my career as a writer, though. I hear the collective gasps, the hushed whispers.
“Did she really say that?”
When you sit at the laptop to focus on writing only to have a toddler at your feet screaming for whatever reason they deem fit, or a school-aged child come in with a pile of homework, it’s sometimes hard to find the time to focus on writing that future bestselling novel.
For an example: As I started on that last paragraph at 11:00 PM at night, thinking I had finally found an opportunity to write this post, my 1-year-old woke crying and tried to come and crawl into bed with me. I could have given in, but instead I set my laptop down and took him back to his bed. After laying with him for several minutes he passed back out. Even when I think I’m safe to sit and focus on my writing, my children instead often end up needing me in those times.
Being a mother, and a writer, is hard work.
Over the years I have read many opinions on being a mom writer, too. Some saying that it is impossible with more than one child (well, gee, had I known I would have reconsidered the second child), some saying it involves a lot of discipline (I imagine this is a bit more probable with older children as toddler logic does not include discipline), and others simply say you should write whenever you can fit it in.
So what is my opinion on the subject? Simply do what you have to do. If you can hire someone to watch the kids while you work a few hours a week, do it. If you can squeeze in some writing before the kids wake, or after they go to bed, fit it in. If you can write a paragraph while waiting in line at school to pick up your child, make sure that you have pen and paper at all times. If you find your time so limited that writing has to take a backseat to your children, do it without guilt.
As mom writers we have a duty to our children first, and our writing second. Our children will only be little for so long, though. As much as I wish I could write more than I do now, I know soon enough I will have all of the time in the world.
Being a mom writer is so hard, but so fulfilling at the same time. I wouldn’t change a thing.