Motherhood & Writing

How The Hell Does That Work?

Writers are known to be night owls but for mothers who also have to be awake during the day…how does that work?

Let me tell you, it’s not easy. Mothers who write (writer moms?) whether stay at home moms, full time working moms, part time working moms, etc, can tell you that writing is a constant on-the-go thing. Writing poems instead of eating lunch sometimes…sneaking in a quick writing session during nap time…hiding in the food pantry to scribble a poem on a cereal box… Don’t judge me! 

It can be so hard to pursue a writing career as a mother but I think, for me, it only makes me want it more which, in turn, makes me work even harder than I did as a creative writing undergrad when all I had to do was write…and maybe shower.

So, although I have three extremely, busy, (sometimes needy), homeschooled kids, I get more writing done than ever before. This comes with sacrifices of course; my kids and I sacrifice a little time with each other sometimes and I, sacrifice sleeping like a normal human being but together, we talk about dreams, ideas, and happiness. We talk about how dreams take hard work and true commitment.

Since I currently live in the Philippines without any family, etc. We hired a nanny to also help out. This means, I have an incredible woman who could be my own mother (age wise) to help me raise these kiddos and also, help me get to writing! She has been with me for two, almost three years, and is a life saver! She comes 2-3 days a week (more if I really needed her to) to help clean, cook, deal with laundry, swim with the kids, and run them to activities if necessary… All so that I can “work.” So that I can pursue my dreams and accomplish all the things I’m working towards. She’s basically a paid grandparent and I am so thankful for her because having a “tribe” to help you our is so huge, especially for mothers. Whether you’re a writer or not!

I don’t always get to use those two or three days writing though. Sometimes they’re spend taking a child to the ER, the dentist, for a haircut, date day with my husband, etc. So, I try to make sure I plan ahead. I set due dates and schedules…I write everyday though. Every piece of writing is practice, is content, is something else to share, build off of, etc. It’s also a great way for me to let go of any tension I’ve been keeping inside… Lots of writers do “braindumps” I do, poetry dumps…

Whenever I have an idea, no matter how unformed it is, I write it down. Sticky notes, notes apps, my hand, anything I won’t lose… I’ll write on. Even now, this blog was written by hand because my phone was dead and my kid needed my MacBook Pro for English Tutoring…. This is the epitome of #momlife. Gotta do what I gotta do.

As chaotic and messy as it sounds, I love it. I love that I can follow my dreams while also being a mother. Guilt does set in sometimes but it quickly goes away when my 12-year-old daughter beams with joy and excitement for me when I show her how my debut book, “The Tides of Me” is coming along. She happily and lovingly asks me how everything is coming along and proceeds to tell me about whatever story she is currently working on or how she is liking her current read.

This shows me that while in pursuit of my own personal happiness, dreams, and success, I am also encouraging my children to do the same; that they can do it all with some help and some hard work – whatever their “all” might be. Nothing is perfect but motherhood isn’t full of perfection and neither is writing so, I think we’re doing okay.