“Sorry, hon. I need to finish this before I can play.”
How many of us women writers with children have had to say this and feel our heart clench at the disappointed frown on our kid’s faces? Oh it totally feels like being kicked in the chest but it’s inevitable. You’ll be on a roll, ideas flowing, pen making the paper smoke cause you are on FIRE, baby!! Lo, and behold! The same child who’s been ignoring you for the last three hours will decide your immediate and total attention MUST be paid or the sky will fall down.
So, what to do?
No really. I’m asking. Because I haven’t a freakin’ clue.
I’ve tried bargaining, I’ve tried explaining, I’ve tried running away and hiding (little buggers always find you) and that last elusive sentence that’s DYIN to come out gets lost in a sea of “BUUUTTTT MOOOOOMMMMM!!!!!!” never to be heard from again.
I tell my daughter that if she wants a happy mom, she’s gotta let me work a little. She doesn’t like it but if I promise to play with her later, she usually lets me off the hook for a little bit.
Every time I make a sale or finish a project, it makes me feel so happy, I run to her and give her a great big hug. She looks up at me and says “Mama, I am so proud of you.” That’s why I don’t feel guilt and why no mom should feel guilty. Because when the work is done, we are happier, better people. Every writer, parent or not, knows the feeling of completing a work. You take a deep breath, your muse gives you an approving nod, the sun is brighter, and you wanna run through the streets with all the happiness. Since I don’t do street running, I hug my kid.
Then I play “He Man.”