I'm delighted to be taking part in a fantastic blog hop today organised by the superbly talented Sharon Bayliss. When I read the brief, I knew there would be only one thing I could write about when putting the words 'Writer' and 'Mama' together. And it surrounds one particular emotion I believe is essential for everyone, like me, to overcome and be able to truly allow writing into their lives. So here we go...
I love my kids, my family, of course, and they pretty much always come first.
Yes! You heard me correctly, people! I said ‘pretty much’! PRETTY MUCH always come first. Meaning not all the time. (I'm driving the point home, not patronising.)
There are no porky pies coming from me today, I plan to knock you all bandy with my honesty.
Because no, I’m not going to lie and say they ALWAYS come first, because sometimes they don’t. I don’t ALWAYS listen intently to my son telling me about his new Pokemon card for the 100th time that day, or ALWAYS immediately drop what I’m doing to splatter-proof my kitchen and get the paints out when my youngest son asks for them, or ALWAYS leap off the chair during Jamie’s 30-Minute Meals to be goalkeeper in the doorway and have balls pelted at me for an hour, or ALWAYS have my husband’s favourite meal pre-planned, cooked and served every day whilst I wear sexy lingerie (actually I don’t think that one’s ever happened).
You see, I also love my job and my writing, and often I want and need to disappear into my own world, to stop serving everyone, to not be positive and reassuring all the time, to be more than just a pair of ears. I want to do the things that make me excited, that provide my buzz, and feed my passion.
But, as you’ll know if you have both a hobby and a family, balancing self-indulgence time with your posse time means dealing with THAT emotion. The king of all feelings. The one that knocks the others out the water. Even the big players like grief, like elation, like desire.
Yes, GUILT. Along with its close relations: failure and regret. And I’ve found there’s no escaping this evil since becoming a parent. It's always there, peeping round the corner, watching and listening to every decision I make, hiding in my kids' expressions. Then laughing and mocking me when I think I’m doing OK. A cruel, cold blooded emotion that forces me to tears, pushes me in the corner, keeps me up at night.
But then comes the dilemma.
I’ve learnt that if I don’t give myself the odd hour of me-time, be it as little as once a week, I will eventually crumble. And this means my family will, too, because I know it’s me who holds them together. I am the glue. I don’t want my gang to crack and break, and I don’t want myself to dry up, lose my stickiness and start peeling off (I’m still the glue here in case you’re not following). I need my job, I need words. They’re like water to me. I have to stay hydrated for the sake of my family.
So sometimes, I find the only way to fit both in on a daily or weekly basis is to face the guilt demon head on. Smash it straight in the face and deal with it.
So I say no, sorry kids, sorry husband, sorry puppy. And the TV goes on. A DVD gets slotted in. The X-box springs to life. The DS goes on charge. The take-away menus come out.
Yes! Come and get me, guilt, because I'm ready to take you down with one knockout punch. I need writing to stay sane. That’s it. Be it, 4pm on a Wednesday afternoon, or 10am on a Sunday morning, writing is in the diary, on the calendar and in our lives. You'd better get used to it!
I hope you've enjoyed my blog, and please leave a comment if you wish. If you're ready to move straight on, check out the list of other participants below! Thank you so much for stopping by. Enjoy.