What Small Children do to a Writer

“Mommy.  Mommy.  Mommy.”

“What Bubba?” I say to my two year old as he’s tugging on my maternity pants, nearly pulling them past my knees.

I’m at the kitchen sink, trying to get the dishes done before my husband gets home to find that although I did indeed have two full hours of free time while my son took a nap, I wasn’t able to accomplish much of anything.

“Yummy, Mommy. Yummy!”  My two year old screams louder.  My patience has been waining since 9:00 this morning when he splattered soggy cherrios all over the miniature poodle.  I know exactly what he wants, and he seems to know that at the moment I start doing something productive, it’s time to go into distraction mode.

I love my son, and I love that we’re expecting our second, a daughter in April.  The joy that a child has brought to our family has been overwhelmingly wonderful.  However, amidst all of the excitement of reaching milestones, and learning to build forts, I have struggled to find a way to still do what I enjoy while providing a nourishing environment for my family.

This is what I have learned about myself so far:

1. I cannot write during the day when my son is awake.  This is one thing that has been most important for me.  If I try to write while he is awake, within about 90 seconds, he finds me doing something quietly and starts wanting attention ASAP.  It’s like when you get a phone call, and the house is relatively quiet, everyone content, but as soon as you answer, everyone needs something RIGHT NOW.  I’ve learned that although yes, he can learn to be patient and let mommy have a few minutes to herself, it’s more frustrating for me than him.  I get annoyed that I am in the middle of a paragraph and can’t remember what I was thinking before the desire for apple juice became a life or death situation.

2. I need to have a comfortable writing space.  If I am not comfortable, I cannot stop thinking about everything else going on, which means I get absolutely nothing done.  I’m in the market for a new desk and chair, because ours just isn’t cutting it right now, so for the moment, I write a lot in the big fluffy chair in our family room.  It’s comfortable, and although I am excited for a writing space of my own, it works for now.

3.  I need to come out of my shell more and tell people that I’m writing.  Only my husband, and a friend or two know, but only my husband knows details and how serious I am about it.  He is extremely supportive, but I need other writers in my life to be inspired by and to allow into the workings of my mind.  It’s very frustrating, because I’m not sure where to start – so any of you have any tips, please feel free to let me know 🙂  I’d love to meet other mothers who write, and learn from their own experience.

4. Having children does not mean that I can’t do this.  Although it does throw obstacles in the way of getting things done more efficiently, I’m learning that I can still do hobbies I enjoy while loving on my family.  I feel like when I take care of myself in my own time (bedtimes, nap-time, and outdoor time), I am much more content to do everything I can for my family during the majority of the day.

These are just four things I’ve learned so far – and I hope to keep learning specific tips that help writing mothers, so if anyone would like to share their advice, you have no idea how happy I’d be:)

 

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