I was sort of late in finding out about this one, but thanks Sharon Bayliss for the inspiration.
This bloghop is about writers who are parents. It’s funny because I get two reactions when people realize I’m both a writer and a mother of three. Reaction #1: “Oh, well it must be easy then since you get to stay home.” Reaction #2: “How do you find time to write on top of having three kids?!?”
Reaction #1 is usually from people without children. Reaction #2 is usually from people who do have kids.
I’ve always been a writer, since long before I was a parent. But what’s interesting to me is that it took having kids for me to devote myself fully to writing. Prior to children, I was working in publishing as an editor. When I had my first baby and was hit with the sticker shock of daycare prices, I realized it would make more sense for me to quit working and stay home with the baby. Once the exhaustion and postpartum depression began to dissipate, I began writing again during nap times. First it was fan fiction, and I was high off all the great comments and reviews I was getting. That feedback encouraged me to move on to original work.
It’s been bumpy. Three kids don’t make it easy to find quiet, uninterrupted time. Well, now they are all in school for a few hours each day, so that helps! Except when I have errands to run and appointments to keep . . . In truth, writing is something you have to schedule time for. You have to make it sacrosanct. It requires discipline.
I’m lucky in that I have a home office with doors I keep shut while I’m working. The kids have been trained to knock first and to try and keep interruptions to a minimum. There’s nothing scarier than Mom when she’s trying to write and can’t! So they’ve developed a healthy respect for my work.
In fact, my youngest writes books of his own now. And we’ve developed a dinnertime storytelling game, too, that’s been a big hit. One person is the Storyteller. Everyone else gets to give the Storyteller one thing he or she wants the story to have. Then the Storyteller must tell a story using all those things. The kids ask for this game every night; they love it!
I don’t know if any of my kids will become writers themselves. But they are all avid readers and they all love stories. I’m glad to have given them that much at least.