Too Many Sticks in the Fire

If you were expecting the next installment of the Man in the Cupboard series, my apologies.  Time got the best of me this morning and I still have a pile on my plate the size of a small skyscraper.  Lately, it seems like there is far too much to do and far too little energy or opportunity to do it.  A good deal of this has to do with the kids being off track and my attempts to keep them engaged and happy, which can be a full-time job in itself.

As of Monday, they go back.  Kind of.  Only one is in full day school, the other is in half day, and the other won’t start school for a while.  While this still means that I never get time when they aren’t around, it’s easier not having as many fights and problems that apparently only I can fix.

I keep wondering where the time goes, why does it feel like at the end of everyday day I could have done so much more?  So, I made a chart.

Here is what a week of my life looks like –

mom chart

Don’t forget that most of these jobs have to be done at the same time as other jobs, often things like laundry and childcare overlap which makes one job take several times longer than it should, eating away at any extra time that could be used for other projects.  During the 45 minutes it took to write this post I was pulled away from the computer five separate times to deal with issues and am at this very moment being screamed at by an irate toddler who really wants the lightsaber so he can hit people with it.

So, what does this prove? Not much.  I still have the same 24 hours a day that everyone else has and am trying to spend it in the best way possible.  I enjoy many of these wedges, except perhaps the cleaning, laundry, and endless number of meals.  Feeding the family three, four, and five, times a day if you include the endless requests for snacks, can get old very fast but still has to be done!


Blast from the Past – Writer Mom Comic “Interrupted”

Happy Labor Day everyone! I hope your day is filled with family and fun. To celebrate the holiday, here is the last of the 2011 Writer Mom series. This one looks different because while I was making it I lost the paper I was working on and ended up creating a photoshop mashup instead, which admittedly turned out pretty cool.



To see the original post, click here.

Being a Mom and a Writer

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.

                         My Groupies

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!”