I was a mom today
I’ve struggled to take time to write any posts lately, partly because I often feel I don’t have anything new to add to the blogging community at large, and because my brain always tells me that the few minutes I have to write a blog post could be the only few minutes in the day that I’d have to work on a story. Then, in the middle of today, the idea for this post came up, and it seemed like a worthy post:
Today I woke up, fed my daughter breakfast (successfully, thank you very much), and in between putting various shoes on my daughter and reading the board books she brought me, I prepared the Crockpot of Awesomeness for the Beef and Broccoli it was going to be cooking up all day. I considered taking her to the zoo, but ultimately rejected the idea when considering how close her naptime was. Pretty soon she got tired and I put her down for a nap. While she napped, I read a book, and when she woke up, we cuddled, she nursed, and we both kind of fell asleep for another hour.
Eventually, somewhere around 3, we left the house and ran errands, lost a shoe in Target, found it, and finally dropped off those disposable cameras that have been hanging around the house for the last 8 years. (Now I can see what’s been on them all these years.)
Merrit was home from class when we got home, and the evening was spent eating, watching a few shows on Netflix (a rare thing for our family), and of course more board books. She went to bed, and I finally finished the book I’d been reading, the first book I’ve had the luxury of finishing in months.
I played the role of mom (and wife) the whole day, and it was nice. I wasn’t a Pilates instructor, and I wasn’t a writer. These are things I love, things that I am proud of, but I made a conscious choice to be as in the moment with my daughter as I could, and I don’t regret that.
Most days since my daughter was born, I’ve waited for naptime and bedtime, biding my time before I can attempt to get a few minutes of writing in. Today I considered it, and rejected it in lieu of my book (it’s far easier to break away mentally from a book I’m reading and not feel cheated than a story I’m writing that I have now lost my train of thought). I’d like to say that I generally enjoy the time that she’s awake, and that I’m generally there, but her entire first year of life also consisted of being dragged around town for Pilates and dance classes, and you know what? The girl deserves a break.
Obviously I’m not going to stop writing or teaching Pilates. Those will continue, hopefully forever, for many reasons. However, I know that some days just need to be Mom days (or Mom and Pilates Teacher days). I hate not producing 2 novels a year and 8 short stories. I hate looking at my WIP that creep along, begging me to finish them so they can finally, FINALLY, be fully formed and run around Submission Land on 4 stout (but elegant and finely crafted) legs and find magazines that they can call home.
It also makes me a little sad inside to see my friends making amazing sale after sale while I can still count mine on one hand. But I feel much sadder at the idea of looking back, knowing I didn’t try to find a balance that errs on the side of being a parent. Because as much as I dream of and aspire to be a writer that makes an impact on a wide readership, none of that success would matter much if I didn’t first make a positive, lifelong impact on my daughter.