Many of the Writing Wenches are mothers. Some of us are work-outside-of-the-home mothers, and some of us are work-at-home mothers. I am one of the lucky ones that is fortunate enough to stay home with my children and work out of my home. One of the many challenges of a parent who writes is the balancing of your life.
I have two children, a five-year-old son and a one-year-old daughter. They are my whole universe. Well, I guess you can include my hubby too, but really, it’s all about the kids. I started to get serious about my writing when I was pregnant with my daughter. So, I went from having a four-year-old who could take care of his basic needs with minimal help from parents to having a screaming, hungry, poopy diaper making, 24/7 demanding terror… umm… I mean bundle of joy. One thing I learned, and kindly enlightened my husband about, having a newborn and being a writer didn’t really mesh. The feedings alone seemed to take up the entire day, and don’t get me started on the diaper and outfit changes. But, we eventually created a routine. I began to write more frequently and, surprisingly, in complete sentences. I was able to bang out a first draft of my manuscript, even start doing some edits. Why does it always seem, right when you get in a routine, life hands you, well, more life?
My son recently started kindergarten. Before kindergarten, we had him in a daycare/preschool three days a week. Since his preschool was a daycare as well, we didn’t need to pick him up until 6:00 pm. Do you see where this is going? Kindergarten doesn’t have the lovely hours of 8:00 am to 6:00 pm and the luxury of being a five minute drive. Now we drive about twenty minutes to get him there earlier and then twenty minutes home. By the time I drink coffee, eat breakfast, take care of my daughter, shower, eat lunch, and take care of my daughter some more, it’s already time to go pick up my son. Where the hell did the time go? I have no earthly idea. Once he’s home, we have to do mountains of homework, take a shower, cook dinner, eat said dinner, read a book, say our prayers, and hugs and kisses. That doesn’t include feeding my daughter, my husband, and me or putting my daughter to bed. Next thing I know, it’s 10:00 pm and I’m on the couch about to fall asleep.
*Disclaimer (at the request of my husband): Yes, he does help immensely with everything.*
For me, I am a mom and wife first and a writer second. I challenge myself daily to get my writing in at naptime and during a brief period between homework and dinner, but that doesn’t always work. Yes, yes, I know, you do ten times as much as me and still get the writing in. We all have our to-do lists and responsibilities, but I’m talking about the challenges.
This may sound like I’m complaining about my life and my to-do list, but I’m not. Even if it takes me years to finish my manuscript, I wouldn’t choose another path. What I hope you to take away from this is to never take for granted the monotony or the challenges of life. Every moment is precious.
How do you challenge yourself in the middle of your monotonous life?