That is not blood oozing onto paper, it is his sister’s picture of my birthday cake. That’s not why he is eating it though. He just loves paper destruction.
I want to laugh out loud at the amateur mistake I made a couple of weeks ago stating that I would return to regular blogging in just a couple of days time. I, who already have a 2 year old, dared to declare that I had intentions of doing something on a regular basis. And then 2 weeks of flu ripped through our apartment as brother, sister and father passed it back and forth. Only I was left standing. (And here is to hoping it remains that way. That was not a taunt universe! I have learned my lesson from the last post!)
Me, 2 weeks ago, excited to sit down and write during what appeared to be a now regular nap time. Yes there is crap all over the place, but if I cleaned that up too I would never write at all.
Finding time to write as a mother is hard. Scratch that. Finding time to do anything as a mother is hard. At least when it involves doing it childfree. Doing something for yourself while you have a small baby in your care, particularly a clingy one, is near on impossible. Whatever I give Kai to distract him is not nearly as interesting as what I myself am working on.
Hence the title, because be it if I am writing in a notebook or tapping away at the keyboard, Kai goes all Smashing Keyboard, Ripping Paper on me.
There are days when I want to sit down and cry at the unfairness of it all. I can barely get time for the bathroom let alone to sit down and work on my writing projects. There are other days when I take it and roll with it. I have a zen like approach where I think that I need to accept that having a person under the age of 12 months in my care and without any family to help out means this year will be a year to plot and plan rather than execute. Then my daughter starts to cry because she pulled her sock off and now can’t get it back on and I want to sit down next to her and join her.
But this is not a whining post. At least that is not my purpose in writing it!
I wanted to share why it has been quiet as well as to be honest about the emotional extremes of being a mother (who writes). I get whiplash from the intense highs and despairing lows that I can experience from one second to the next. Baby sleeping: heart breaks from love. Baby wakes up 10 minutes later and won’t go back to sleep, eye starts to twitch.
Rather than whine, I wanted to share that the past year has driven home to me just how much I want to write. And how if you really want to do it you will. Maybe not during the hours you envisioned, maybe not in the fashion you hoped (say not showered, in puked on pjs and with a slightly desperate air as the tock ticks towards that first high pitched scream of a baby waking up to his mama missing as opposed to sipping a latte, smelling of perfume rather than sour milk and wearing *I cant help but smirk as I type this* a scarf and earrings without the fear of them being used to inflict – perhaps permanent- injury).
Although I am getting less writing done than I want, I am writing. A lot of it has been in the form of jot notes and outlines as opposed to word count. And yet, this year is the year that 3 separate fiction plotlines have progressed beyond idea and have me actually excited to flesh them out. I am not sure which one will be first, but it doesn’t matter. This year, which I have been thinking of as the lost year of creative output, may in fact be the year that taught me the importance of outlining, structure and planning in order to keep a fiction project alive.
It also pushed me to invest in my writing. Listening to podcasts while taking care of my son is how I spend most of my day. And so I decided to plunk down the 500 and bought Joanna Penn’s Creative Freedom Course. That is not an affiliate link. But if you are serious about moving your writing from hobby to job then I can not recommend it highly enough. And you can listen while walking a baby. And write in your workbook while they sleep.
That insane juggling act of trying to soak up every moment while realizing that you need time to be you too. Being a mother just means your heart is aching from love or loss at all times. No wonder we are all slightly to overtly crazy.
I guess the point of this post is to declare to myself and the world that instead of trying to fight the crazy I am going to try to accept working within it. That I can not control everything and I have to stop trying. And that acceptance is key of being a mother who writes. As well as having notebooks in every room with pens next to them so you can scratch out your ideas in the precious moments allotted. If you wait for the perfect time you will never write. I think that is a lesson I keep learning over and over again.