Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Being a mom and writing

Disclaimer: I'm not saying that my life is crazier than anyone elses. I'm sharing my experiences on being a stay-at-home mom and being a writer.

With that all out in the open. I'm a mom. That's my main job. I take care of my kids and the household. Yes, I work as an interior designer too, but that's part time. I'm also a writer. In fact, writing is all I want to do. It's a passion I can't live without. There are days I can't breathe because I didn't write. It makes me grumpy and just unhappy when I can't. So how do I deal?

It took me a while to figure out and I'm still learning. You can never stop learning, right? All I know is if you are flexible and understand things take time then the enjoyment will slip in.

I wrote a long time ago for fun. I never wanted to share what I wrote, it was just for me. After I had my first child, I put it away. After having my second child, I missed it. There was a part of me not there, a void in my life, and I needed something for me. I started writing again, but this time, someone suggested I do something with it. There starts my journey on taking my writing life seriously.

At the time, I had no idea what I was doing. My kids were 1 and 3. When I started blogging, I saw other moms were doing it too so I tried to keep up and push myself even further. Yep, the whole why can't I do it, they are. It took me a couple of years to really understand that I had to deal with things my way.

Every person's situation is different--Some kids demand more, sometimes we don't have the support of loved ones like others do, health issues, our focus, etc. Every one's life is different so the path is not the same no matter how many success stories you read.

My kids never slept and my husband traveled, so for me, writing was difficult, but I pushed myself and other things suffered. I finally realized I needed to do things differently and that keeping up with the masses was not going to happen.

So here are some tips that may help:
-- Nap time: If you're lucky and your kid sleeps, try and write during this time. Even if it's one line. That's right, I said one line or one word. Do it. Who cares that your word count is one. It's one more word. Yes, this is the time for you to sleep too, and if you have to, do it.

--Making dinner: Put on a movie or show and while dinner is simmering--type. I pulled my laptop into the kitchen and typed while stirring.

--Bedtime: This one is hard cause let's face it, you want to zone out to mindless TV or just sleep. If you have to, do it, if you think you have some juice left, write.

--School: Kids eventually go to school and I'm lucky mine are at the age. I have a couple of hours of no kids a few days a week, and guess what I do, write.

--Sitter: If you are lucky to have a family member take the kids for a while, do so. I would leave the house and go to the library or local bookstore and write.

Now, not everyone can do this and yes, other things suffer (cleaning and laundry). You have to figure out what is right for you and be flexible with your schedule. If the laundry is higher than Mt. Everest then you might want to take the time and do it. Like I said, one word. Plus, thinking about what you want to write is contributing to the writing. Figure out a plot hole while making lunch. Yes, my brain is on constantly. There is no formula or magic potion (I wish). And if you can't write, you can't write. You have to deal with it. No matter how grumpy you are realize that your kids are small once and if it passes you by, you missed it.

Any tips for mom writers?

Have a great day and Happy Halloween!!

6 comments:

  1. I'm lucky now that my kids are old enough to go to school all day and entertain themselves for a short time at home before getting into trouble. Now that I get longer to write when they're at school, I don't freak out if I miss a day (per week) if I can't write. But if I can't write for two days, then I get antsy.

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  2. My day job is also part time from home and I take care of a high maintenance 5 month old. She started crawling a month ago, and I'm doing good to keep up. I hire a sitter four hours a week, but I think I will take your advice and start leaving, because I don't get much done even with the sitter. ELF wants mommy.

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  3. I'm lucky my one and only is all grown up so I have a fair amount of free time. I also find I write more now that I don't have satellite tv. Now if I could just get rid of that day job thing then I'd really get some writing done!

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  4. I work full time, have three kids AND write. Now that's insane!

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  5. Excellent suggestions! The after bedtime one is a killer for me, b/c I'm exhausted, too. So for me, it's school hours. So when school's called off, I'm GRUMPY!

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  6. I admire any of you who have to deal with kids on top of everything else. I'd never get anything done.

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