I’m a very creative person. I’m so creative, I create people. Three of them to be exact, and each enough different from the other that there is no user’s guide, no “What to Expect When…” book, that covers them all.
I’m not talking about fictional characters here, although I’ve created dozens of those as well. I’m talking about walking, talking, screaming, whining, hugging, cuddly little kids. They are the reason I get up in the morning, and the reason I’m so happy to get back into bed at night. They fill my every waking hour with surprises, challenges, and messes.
I love my little monkeys, from their toothy smiles to their dirty feet. Every minute of the day they are there, reminding me how needed I am in their world.
I remember when I came home with my first child. Leaving the hospital, I had this weird paranoia that a nurse was going to stop us at any minute and tell us that we weren’t qualified to take a baby home with us. And as first time parents, we probably weren’t. Qualifications are measured in spit up stains, diaper changing speeds, and being able to find lost binkies in the dark. No one comes with those skills built in, they are gained with experience.
Being a mom means finding solutions. Everyday there are countless questions and problems to be solved. What’s for lunch? Where are the keys? How do you remove crayon from tile? Where did the baby go? It’s a relentless task that refuses to be put on hold, even for a potty break.
On the flip side, being a writer means long hours in thought finding the best way to present a scene, or construct an essay. Many of these hours are spent in front of a screen typing in these fragile thoughts that are likely to shatter when disturbed. Sometimes it takes a while of churning out text before we find what we really want to say. The rest of those hours happen in our heads as we work on everything else from driving to sleeping.
Being a mom and a writer is an impossible situation. Children, especially young children, require endless immediate intervention to keep them from harm’s way. Writing while they are awake ends up being an exercise in frustration. Writing while they are asleep is unpredictable.
Although it is impossible, I wouldn’t trade it for the world. If I didn’t have my kids I wouldn’t be the person I am today. They have taught me confidence, humility, and grace. At the same time, being a writer brings an added dimension to my life. It’s a challenge and a reward. One day I would love my kiddos to hold up a favorite book and be able to say, “Hey, my Mom wrote this!”