Mother, Writer, OMG Insanity!!!

Mother, Writer, OMG Insanity!!!In the 5 minutes it took me to write 300 words my 3 year old son had found a way to get all the water out of the toilet and onto the bathroom floor without making a sound.  Did I mention there where wet bits of toilet paper covering his dark spiky hair?  How did that happen, you ask.  Well, let me start by saying that if you are a parent who spends any time with your own child you know exactly how it happened.

I had just started his favorite movie as per his insistence.  He sat in the miniature rocking chair to watch.  I sat down at the kitchen table with him in eyesight to start writing a little.  I kept an ear out for the movie.  I turned my head and he slipped past me.  I wrote for a bit, but as the mommy radar goes off periodically (mine being about every 2-5 minutes) I looked over to see him gone.  I called and he came running out of the bathroom naked and wet with toilet paper in his hair.  The ensuing investigation revealed his mischievous deed.  I ended up cleaning while he was plopped in the shower.  And that is just a typical moment in my days as a writing mommy.

My kids provide me with plenty of laughs, headaches, and things to write about.  The problem is that I don’t want to spend my time writing about them all the time, nor do I want to spend every moment cleaning after them.  There are actually other ideas in my head that demand to be written about.  Some are just musings on life, but I actually have manuscripts of fiction I’m working on–slowly.  I have other writing projects, blogs, and jobs.  That means I’m all over the place, and not everything I touch results in a byline.

I only have two kids, one in school, but I know some writing mommies with multiples.  Those women are truly amazing, but even in my amazement I wonder how they cope with those bouts of overwhelming chaos that lead to the temporary insanity that punctuates motherhood.  I mean sometimes I feel like I’m going to lose it, like when incidents like the one I mentioned above happen.  It’s pretty to think that a good mother would never allow anything like that to happen, but we ALL have our stories.  Kids act in less time than it takes us to blink.

Once when I was 2 years old I managed to catch on fire while my mom went to the bathroom to pee with the bathroom door open.  In that two minutes I brushed up against a heater and my winter coat lacking the proper flame retardation caught on fire.  My mother beat the flames out with her hands.  She is one of the most vigilant women I know who just took a two minute pee break before taking her daughter out to the park.

Sometimes I can’t do anything, but keep after my kids.  My mind becomes cluttered with all the things I have to keep in it because I don’t have time to write.  I literally feel my sanity slipping away, and become extremely anxious and agitated.  I need to write.  It is a compulsion, an escape, and my therapy.  Not everything I write can or should be shared, but I find that when I go too long without doing it my ability to cope is stressed beyond belief.  Unfortunately, being first and for most a mother, the writing must be put on hold.

I write when I can, in little tidbits and snatches.  Post-Its are like little flares to signal that I may be lost in the jumble of my thoughts, but I know how to find myself in the chaos.  The bathroom floor can be cleaned, and thanks to the liberal use of Clorox the likely hood of E coli is fairly low for my son.  One day there will be time to write without interruption.  Until then, this is how I work.

*Photo: My actual hallway/kids’ bathroom.

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