By Kathy Lipscomb
I’ve heard a lot of bad talk about women who have interests other than just their children. Sometimes I hear of someone complaining, “So and so told me I don’t spend enough time with my kids because I like to write on the side,” or something to that effect.
People can be so rude.
I’m one of those doting parents that posts too many pictures of their kids on Facebook because I can’t handle how adorable my two children are. I know I post too many pictures. Everyone else knows it. I dote on my son and daughter. I spoil them with my affection. I’ll be the mom who is still trying to kiss her son on the cheek when they head off to college. And he better kiss my cheek back, dang it!
But despite my love (possibly borderline smothering affection) for my kids, I don’t think there is anything wrong with pursuing a dream for ourselves.
Becoming a mother is a sacrifice. I totally believe that. There are a lot of things I give up to provide my children with what they need (uh, my sanity, my time, friends and other family members get bumped down the list, my appearance…), but that doesn’t mean I can’t ever do something for myself. We all choose something different, but mine, like many of yours, is writing.
Being a writer does not make me a bad mother. I still put my kids first. And if being a writer means that a few hours a day (mine are often interrupted and spanned out over the 24 hour period) are spent writing instead of keeping the house perfect or whatever, then I think that’s fine. Following my dreams will show my kids that they can do that too. That determination and hard work will get them somewhere even if it takes longer. It will also show them that I put them first, because I stop to help them. I stop to play with them, to make them food, to snuggle, and to kiss an owie. And when I leave for a several day or week-long writers conference, it shows them that I am goal-oriented, that I am not perfect and need help, and that I am willing to work for what I want. It also gives them extra time with their daddy, which they love. J
I’m lucky to have supportive people in my life, including my wonderful husband. To those of you
who may not have that, you have us. The writing community is amazing. We help each other, not just with plot holes and problems concerning novels, but with personal matters of when life or writing gets you down. If any of you don’t know how to connect to the author community (I’m unpublished myself, so you know they don’t discriminate!), connect to us on Facebook through iwritenetwork. It’s not a place of spamming books, but of sincere questions and of supporting each other.
A support group is important, especially when others ridicule or say your worth less than you are.
You are a great parent.
You are a great writer.
You can do both.
But sometimes we need to hear that from people who understand what we’re going through. J