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Covered in reminders of things to do, woman freaks out!

I know I joke a lot about the boys. Like, a lot. I post a lot about their funny and absurd situations and sayings. And I share hilarious memes about how insane parenting is. But sometimes, it’s so hard and draining. Really really really really…..hard.

This week has been one of those weeks juxtaposed with incredible exciting news and progress in my work life.

My seven year old being home and not going to camp, like we planned this summer, has made things super challenging for me. I am balancing four different worlds of work, plus two kids, full time.

I have a three year old that hasn’t been sleeping in his bed which means, I haven’t been getting sleep.

I’ve dragged them to meetings and coffee shop write sessions. I’ve carted them to and from swim lessons, piano, summer camp (little one is still in his), doctor appointments, make breakfasts, lunches, and dinners, and snacks so many damn snacks, all while balancing my work load. And this is the job, I know that. I’ve done it for 7.5 years.

Yesterday I had a huge moment in my writing career and they managed to destroy it for me. I am going to say it, and it sounds harsh because they’re kids, but sometimes kids are crazy. Sometimes, they don’t act right. I love them, I would kill for them, I would die for them but yesterday, they didn’t act right.

I had a meeting with my writing coach and what turned into a kid free meeting transitioned to one kid and then after a preschooler morning tantrum begging to stay home, transitioned into me dragging two kids across the city to sit in a coffee shop quietly while I met.

They forgot what the word quiet meant. Erased it from their cognitive function. They were so bad. Jack was challenging me and just disrespectful and defiant. Alex followed his lead. A meeting that I paid an hour for lasted less then thirty minutes. Because I decided to cut it short, after the second “I have to poop, mommy!” statement came. Yes, somehow, two preschooler poops in under thirty minutes.

During one of the brief moments we had to chat before another interruption, she said that the way I was diving into the characters and how I portray these family relationships could really make this book a hit.

Do you know how long I have been waiting to hear those words? I have dreamed of writing a novel since I was a child. And my children, interrupted that blissful bubble within seconds by complaining and throwing things and acting so rude.

I couldn’t even relish that comment. I didn’t even get two seconds of pure bliss about it.

I know this post may seem whiny and complainy, but I truly don’t do this a lot with my kids. I take it all with a grain of salt, mostly. I crack jokes and find the absurd humor in how wild a ride this is. Because it is. And if you don’t fucking laugh, you will just sit in a corner and cry about it. And that’s no fun.

But this time was different. It was too far. This time was a dream of mine and all I asked for was for them to sit quietly on their devices, which you would think would be amazing. Unlimited unsupervised screen time! They couldn’t. They wouldn’t. They didn’t. They refused.

Moms have limits. Edges. Every so often our precious bundles of joy nudge a little too close and, boop, we go over that edge. This was me yesterday. Right over the edge. I am burnt out, to say it gently.

Being a working mom, especially a work from home freelancer extraordinaire mom is fucking hard. I am expected to be a full time mom and a full time writer/officer/director/secretary (these are all the hats I wear). I wear them by choice. They are all passion projects. I want to wear them. But I also want someone to cut me some fucking slack, coughcoughkidscoughcough.

I don’t have a lot of mom in me today. I have been lazy. I haven’t been able to focus on my book, which I should still be riding that comment/thought, but I was just staring at my document and nada. I did feel all of this that I poured into this post. Maybe this will help. Writing is my catharsis, after all. Maybe I will use what happened yesterday in the book somehow, twisting and turning that moment into the story I have been pouring every fiber of my being into. Art imitates life.

But today, today, I wanted to feel sorry for myself. Tomorrow, tomorrow they go away for the weekend with Grandma. Tomorrow, I reset. Tomorrow, I write.

 

 

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Motherhood is transformative. This is no mystery. Talk to any mom out there and she will have a story or twenty on how motherhood has altered the very core of her being. These changes happen on grand and micro scales.

You change our bodies physically, even if we lose all the baby weight, things are just, well, different. Doesn’t matter how many planks I do, I still pee a bit when I jump up and down. No, I don’t want to go on the trampoline. I am fun! I swear! I will just pee my pants a bit, thanks, kid.

You change how we see the outside world, we want safety for you when you leave our grasp. Don’t zoom down that hill on your scoot…..see, see that is why, you fell, it is too fast, you’re not ready! This is why you wear a helmet!

You change how we manage our time. I can work all day, take you to an after school activity, and arrive with one minute to spare. We aren’t late, we have a minute to spare! I am very aware of how to plan down to the minute. Minutes are very important.

You change our multi-tasking functions. I can cook a dinner while listening to stories about the world’s biggest shark and carrying one kid on my hip. It’s a whale shark. We are having pasta for dinner.

As I began reflecting on who I am as a short story author, I found my themes revolve around modern motherhood and womanhood. They are intertwined, much like my actual life. I am a woman navigating this fast-paced world while being a mom. This is a delicate balance, but one many women are familiar with.

I am one draft away from being ready to submit my first short story to Lit Mags. I have been working on it for months, yes short stories take months to create. Don’t be fooled by the short part. I’ve been published before, but not in this genre. I am brimming with anticipation and hopefulness that someone will find my satire smart enough to publish, and maybe even pay me for it. A writer can dream!

My children pop up in my stories. As main, supporting, and background characters. They are there in some capacity. I began to wonder what will they think of this as they grow? How will they feel about the stories, and hopefully one day novels, that so often are rooted in my real life.

Writers have to battle with how that comes across, the lines between fiction and real life. How those in our lives will feel about bits and pieces of real life being pulled into fiction pieces. We either embrace it or hide from it.

To my sweet boys, I cannot unravel my writing from you, ever. You are so engrained in my bones that it would be impossible for me to consciously uncouple you from my writing. You gentlemen, are my muses.

Arguably, you have made me a better writer. You have uncovered parts of my creative brain that simply didn’t exist before I took the time to get to know you. I  grew you from the cells in my body and brought you into this world, sharing every waking moment with you in those early years. Science has discovered that quite literally, your cells traveled through my placenta and implanted themselves in my tissue for years to come. They call it Microchimera.

You are me.

I find joy in your voices. I hope I do your voices justice in my stories. I find inspiration in your thoughts. I hope I turn those thoughts into something worthwhile in my stories. I find creativity in your tough moments. I hope I write about those moments with humor. I find my voice through your awe of life. I hope I truly convey the awe you have with this world.

As I head toward this new chapter in my writing career, I just wanted to thank you for being the inspiration. You have and will continue to inspire characters, plots, dialogue, messaging, and stories. So many stories. Thank you for unlocking a voice that would have remained dormant without you.

And now that I have procrastinated with this piece for you, I must actually finish the edits of this last draft. I have a deadline. It’s tomorrow. Yeah, mom procrastinates too.