I have about 15 mins to write before my kids are technically allowed to come out of their rooms.
It was one of those nights as a mom. Those nights where your kids just can’t seem to stay out of your room. My oldest came in shortly after bedtime with itchy legs. My middle child who has a cold was coughing really bad, because we forgot to give her some medicine before bed. So I had to get her something to help at 2 am. That’s almost more frustrating because you realize that you might have been able to prevent that from happening if you’d have just remembered to give her some cough medicine! And then that decision snowballs. She then comes in 3 more times because she had nightmares. Once, I’ve got empathy, twice deep breaths, but 3 times I’ve got a clenched jaw and fists and I’m talking with “empathy” through my teeth.
All I wanted to do was sleep in. But, kids. They must have a sixth sense about these things. I wake up again, to my door opening and shutting at 6 am. This, again, is my fault. My girls clock broke in their room months ago so they peek in our room to see the time, and of course kids don’t understand how to shut a door quietly.
I still try to get back to sleep, and again and again, my door opens and closes so by 6:30 I figure, just get up. You’re not getting back to sleep anyways. I figured I will just get some ideas down to write about. I open up my door to go downstairs and find that I’ve got 2 doors open with lights on, one kid in the guest room reading and my sick one just walking around in her room in the dark.
I’m so tired and upset that I actually start to cry. This is MY time. MY TIME. I wake up early to write so that I can do it without distraction. I sit down on the couch just planning to cry until 7 when they are technically allowed to come out of their room. But I think, no you can do some writing. I take out my laptop. Dead. Phone? Almost dead. Forgot to plug it in last night. Typing on my tablet is a pain, so I go plug in my laptop and sit down to do some work. Then, baby starts to scream.
I give up! I walk back up stairs so frustrated. However, I stop right outside my bedroom and think, no. Write it out. Baby stopped screaming so I had 15 mins to write it out. I’ve been interrupted 2 times already, but dangit I’ve gotten some stuff written down!
Pursuing creative passions as a mom can be difficult. Doing anything for yourself is difficult. A lot of days, it down right sucks. This, however, is the season I’m in right now and I’ve just gotta push forward. Things don’t go perfectly like I’d like them to. Somedays I will need to just sit and cry and won’t get anything done. Some days I will just take those few minutes I have to type like a beast without correcting a thing and pray that I will be able to understand what I just wrote when I go back to edit. The important thing is that I do it. Because it makes such a difference in my life. After that 15 minutes of speed writing, my kids came down and I was basically good to go. I did a little something for myself, got my words out and now I could get into mom mode.
I’m not saying that this is the magic tool to becoming a perfect mom. It’s not. (And I hate to burst anyone’s bubble, but there is no such thing). However, for me, writing really seems to help me handle the daily stresses that come with parenting. It’s still hard to push through and write when I hear my kids get up early. My oldest is an early bird like me, and everytime I hear movement in that corner to the 2nd floor my stomach churns, my heart sinks and I just want to cry. Mostly because I know that one will wake up the other and then it’s all over. They will start playing, get loud and eventually start fighting and wake up the rest of the house.
There are days when the writing just didn’t go as well as I had hoped and I’m not ready for mom mode, or that flow of ideas just came right before they came out of their rooms and I just want to get it out. Writing around hungry children does not mix!
From 6-7 a.m. I don’t want to be mom. I want to be me, pursuing my creative passion. But the fact is, I am always a mom. I am grateful to be mom and I love the heck out of my kids. So I need to find a way to co-exist between mom and creative. I’m still working on it. I don’t know if I’ll ever be there all the way. It may take me longer to finish posts for this blog than I’d like. There will be good weeks, there will be bad weeks. For now, I’m just gonna breathe through it and try to roll with the punches and try not to verbally punch everyone back. ;)
What do you do for yourself so that you can be present for your children? Do you write, draw, exercise, read, or get out with your girlfriends? All of the above? I encourage you to do it and fight for some time. Figure out if you need it every day or weekly. For me, I need something everyday which I swap between writing and sleeping. If my inner alarm clock doesn’t go off before 7, then I needed the sleep. Maybe you're a working mom and you need to fight more for significant time with your kids. Whatever it is, fight for what will make you a better mom and a better you.
Now excuse me as I go and buy a clock for my daughter’s room and start clearing out the spare room to move my oldest over. That should help a few things...