Thursday, January 13, 2011

Writer Vs. Mom

I'm not one for blogging or social networking. Now that I think about it the word social pretty much left my vocabulary when I had my first kid. My world now revolves around six little people, the youngest of which is convinced I was born named mom and have no other identity. I'm his mom. Period. I can't be anything else. Now while it's cute on a three year old, it's not so appealing when other adults tell you the same thing. You're a mother now. That's what you do. That's who you are. You can't be anything else. For awhile I believed them.

I did the perfect mother bit for a long time. I put my dreams in a box and packed it away for some future date that never seemed to arrive. I did the housewife thing: took care of my husband, cooked, cleaned, had kids and then had more kids to take care of...but never myself.

I hate the word housewife. It should be a four letter word. You can't be a stay at home mom and get the respect you deserve. It's a thankless job. I love my kids, don't get me wrong, but I'm underpaid and underappreciated. People associate success with income. As far as I'm concerned I'll be successful if my kids don't grow up to be serial killers...and it's been touch and go with a couple of them...just kidding, they're adorable...mostly and I'm very proud of them all.

After I turned thirty, however, I started worrying about what would happen when all my kids grew up, moved away and started lives of their own. I mean I can't crank them out forever, right? It was then I realized I shouldn't have put my dreams away. I'm entitled to be both a mother and a writer. I wanted to be a writer for longer, since second grade. Yet I wasn't doing anything with my gift and believe me it's a gift to have stories spinning through your mind and the ability to put those words to paper or ummm electronic format for the whole world. Okay, maybe the whole world is a slight exaggeration. Truthfully? I'll be thrilled to see anyone buy my book because it's my dream to imagine others reading something I've written.

What's my point? If I hadn't waited until my thirties to learn the rules of writing, to hone my craft, to get the voices out of my head and into the computer, then submitted them to someone who could take those words even further...well, I wouldn't be almost forty when my first book is scheduled to come out. Don't get me wrong, I'm thrilled, but it would have been nicer if it could have happened a lot sooner and the only thing in my way was me.

I believe if I made more time for me sooner, not only would I have been more fulfilled, I would have been a better mother. Ever hear the expression 'If mom aint happy, aint nobody happy?' As much as I love taking care of my family, I wasn't born to cook and clean. Even my husband will tell you I'm lacking in the finer housekeeping skills, though he loves me enough to overlook it. Bless him. He's always been supportive. He agrees writing is a career choice, not a hobby and it doesn't matter if I'm getting paid or not. Of course he also tells me my butt doesn't look fat. Whenever I ask he just smiles and says I'm not stupid. Seriously though, I hope any of you out there trying to live your dreams has someone to support you.

Ignore people who call your dreams hobbies or a waste of time that would be better spent taking care of your family. Either they don't understand or have forgotten what it is to dream. YOU are also a part of your family. Love your children, put them first, but don't forget that you're somebody too. The someone you were before you had kids and mom isn't your only name. Chase your dreams. It's worth it. And if your children are your dream, well then take a bubblebath and read a nice book. Maybe mine. *wink*

If you like this post or have a dream or story to share, leave a comment. I'd love to hear from you.


  1. Well said and oh so true. I think all of us women go through this phase especially when our kids are little. Heck my daughter is nine now and I still catch myself feeling guilty every now and again when I'm not busy doing something for her or for the house. Yes, your kids need you, but they also need you to *be* you. It's important for them to see you managing your time and choosing your activities so they can learn how to do so as well. I also think they also deserve the chance to be as proud of you as you are of them, and if you never do anything for yourself, you're robbing them of that opportunity.

  2. I too am guilty of putting my dreams on hold for my children. Now it seems I spend half of my time trying to juggle everything and the other half of my time trying to defend why I write. Unfortunately writing is not always a respected profession. Until you've published like a million books. I agree with you wholeheartedly. I appreciate your blog. I look forward to the next. :)