I have young kids who are, as young kids tend to be, very needy. I say this in the most loving, happiest kind of way. But they are. I know lots of writers (in fact, most of the writers I know) are parents and they find ways to balance work and parenting. I recognize the amount of work that takes. I hit a place last year where I just couldn't balance and be the mom I needed to be. So I stepped back from my writing, which is thankfully still at "hobby" levels, and focused on the kids. There were school changes that needed to happen and extra reassurances that both kids needed and all sorts of advocating for them that complicated things. And I'm spoiled. I didn't quit a day job to write. I am fortunate enough to stay home and I felt guilty every time I said "Okay kids, but Mommy has to write now..." Especially when writing turned into researching which turned into procrastinating.
So why am I back? It's only been a year, it's not like my kids are all grown up and suddenly no longer need me. Well, I'm 'back' because I miss writing. It's a part of myself that I just put on hold. I didn't cut it out surgically and throw it away. I'm back because I feel like we've hit an equilibrium with the kids right now, and we have a good routine, and I can become better about my time management so I can say "This is writing time, and this is Kids Time, and that's the way it is." And I'm back because my daughter said to me "Mommy, I can help with my brother now. I'm bigger. You should write another book." She's right.
We've been talking a lot lately about what she wants to be when she grows up. She's incredibly smart, and I'm not just saying that because I'm her mom. Sometimes she says she wants to be a stay at home mom like me, and I struggle to find a way to tell her that I want MORE for her, without devaluing what I do. Like most moms, I have simple dreams for her. I want her to become a doctor-scientist-astronaut who also cures cancer. Nothing too demanding. I tell her that she can't control other people, and maybe it'll be a while before she has kids. Having children is wonderful, but it was never my end-goal in life. It was more of a bullet point along the way. I try to explain that your children only need you full-time for a few years, and that those years fly by, and then you have to be happy with who you are both before and after children if you want to be truly happy. These are really big concepts for an almost 8-year old.
Instead of telling her all these things, I've decided I'll continue to show her. I have lots of dreams. Some are really big and some are really small and some are completely out of my control. I dream my kids will grow up happy and healthy. I dream of writing a book that I'm not afraid to show the world. I dream of traveling west with my husband and camping somewhere we can really see the stars. I dream of someday going to Comic Con with my HS BFF dressed as Lursa and B'Etor from Star Trek TNG (mostly for the cleavage and the chance to scowl constantly.)
I'm back so I can show my kids my dreams.
(Well, except the ComicCon one.) (Oh, who am I kidding? I'll just dress them as non-redshirt Starfleet officers.)
2 days ago