Being a writer and a mother
Once more I resolve to spend more time on my blog, to put a bit more of myself ‘out there’ – as if being a writer isn’t putting myself ‘out there’ enough.
Sometimes its hard to remember to blog, sometimes there doesn’t seem to be anything to blog about, sometimes there just doesn’t seem to be the time. So I thought that I would be kinder to myself – if I only post a very short post, then that’s better than no post at all – right? And from here on in I’m going to be blogging about more than my writing – I’m going to be blogging about the experience of being both a writer and a mother.
Anyone who has read my history on my website knows that I have two children and that I drafted my first two books when they were babies. They are now both of primary school age. Maisie is nine and Riley is six.
Their dad, Andy, works away from home Monday to Friday, so I’m basically a single mum during the week. It’s okay – I’m used to it now. In the evenings I get to write or watch my own telly, I get the whole bed to myself and at the weekends Andy comes home for family time.
I’ve got a book to write at the moment – the sequel to Phoenix Rising, which comes out in June. It’s due with my editor at the beginning of April, so I’m very busy with my writing at the moment.
Luckily Christmas is over and there are no big events to plan (Christmas in my house comes with Riley’s birthday as a hidden extra so December feels like one long party planning month) and I’m knuckling down to write two chapters a week.
In terms of a job that actually earns money (because we all know that writing doesn’t – I’ve blogged about that before), I also read for Cornerstones, so I’ve a few reports to write over the next month or so too.
This basically means that the house is going to go to hell. The floors will be lucky if they get hoovered, the bathrooms might, if we’re lucky, get a quick squirt of bleach every so often. When I’m working this hard, as far as housework is concerned, I focus on the kitchen and the laundry. That’s it. The kids get fed and clothed but otherwise they just have to put up with their mess. I’m hoping that one day I’ll come down and they’ll have worked out that it is, in fact, possible for them to do some of their own cleaning and tidying. I live in hope.
Yes, having been a mother for nine years I’ve worked out that it simply isn’t possible to ‘have it all’. I think of it as the triangle: Clean house – Happy kids – Work commitment. Pick two as three isn’t possible.
Frankly I’ve never been a fan of housework anyway, and given the state of Maisie’s bedroom and the fact that she insists she prefers it messy, I’m sure the kids could give two hoots about clean floors. Not.
So I picked my corners of the triangle. Happy kids. Committed to my writing. Anything else is a bonus feature (and I try not to imagine my house-proud mother spinning in her grave).
I’m not always successful. I don’t pretend that my children live an idyllic childhood, that there isn’t often yelling, door slamming and the chug-chug of the upending wine bottle the second their little heads hit the pillows. But the children are best friends (the worst thing you can do to my two is separate them), their school reports are excellent, I regularly get little love notes delivered by small hands and I’ve never missed a deadline in my life.
What I’m not looking forward to is the week after deadline delivery – which will be a solid week doing three months worth of cleaning.