Being a mom, whether you work or stay home, is hard, but there is a special kind of guilt that gets added to the pile when you’re also pressuring creative endeavors. I started to take my writing seriously when my oldest was 2 and I started to feel like my identity was slipping away. My son is now about to turn 6 and while no longer feel like the shell of a person I did at that point, there are times when I wonder how my chasing my writing dreams has affected my kids.
Logically I know that there are a lot of positives my kids can learn from seeing me devote time and energy to writing. My son constantly talks about writing his own stories, currently featuring him as the leader of a super hero team called Team Two who battle his arch nemesis Messer Maker and somehow the Avengers are involved, I don’t know, it’s complicated. My daughter, who is almost 2, would sit and look at books all day and likes to climb up on my desk and scribble all over my notebooks likes she sees me doing. I love the positive relationship by of my kids have with books and stories, though I wish my daughter would leave my good pens and notebooks alone.
But for all of the positives there are a lot of sacrifices my kids and I have to make in order for me to have time to write. I work a full time job outside of writing, so any time I dedicate to writing comes from time I could otherwise be spending with my kids. Last year that time added up to 425 hours. That’s a lot of evenings focused on writing, instead of snuggling on the couch. A lot of Saturdays spent at conferences and events that could have been spent on a family outing. At times it gets hard justify it all, even though I know in my heart that it’s good for my kids to see me working hard and going after my dreams.
I wish I had some answers to make it easier for other creative moms, but I don’t. I’m lucky enough to have an amazing support system in my husband who happily takes on the bedtime routine every night so I can write and supports any time away from the house I need to focus on my writing career. All I can say is your work, passion, and creativity is important and shouldn’t have to give it up just because you are a mom. It’s hard to deal with the guilt at times, but ultimately it’s worth it. Hang in there momma, you go this.