Saturday, August 25, 2012
Seize the Mommy Moment
But then...twelve-year-old son tapped me on the shoulder. "Mom, wanna play Mexican Train with me?"
My sons know how seriously I take writing. They tease me about it all the time. And I knew at that moment all I had to say was, "Not now. Maybe later." He would've asked one of his brothers, or he would've found something else to do. I came *this close* to brushing him off.
In that moment, the golden scales of Parenthood teetered in my brain. Which loss would be worse? Not working on my manuscript, or not seizing a moment with my son? We all know the answer.
I closed my laptop, cleared the kitchen table, and played Mexican Train for the next hour. And guess what? My manuscript was still there, waiting for me. The writing world did not come to a complete stop because I played a game with my son.
Writing is important. Super important. But so is parenting--no other responsibility carries more weight. So I'll stop and play Mexican Train whenever my son wants me to. The special people in our lives deserve to know how important they are.
How do you balance relationships with writing? Do you ever feel guilty for paying more attention to one over the other? How do you juggle it all?
If you have a few minutes, take a moment and watch "Don't Blink" by Kenny Chesney. I dare you not to cry.
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I don't have kids, but I do have to balance my time with my wife. She wants to go snuggle on the couch and watch a movie, I always say yes.ReplyDelete
You're a smart man, Alex. I'm sure your wife appreciates you.Delete
This is a tough choice, especially if writing spurts are few and far between, but oh boy, you made the right one! I'm not going to even watch that video because I'm sure it will dissolve me into a puddle of guilt. :)ReplyDelete
Amy, I tell ya, I had big plans for those two hours, but the alternative was darn fun :)Delete
I'll have to look up Mexican Train - things that can bring pre-teen boys and their moms together are precious! (and that song is a good one)ReplyDelete
Erica, Mexican Train is so much fun! Another game we all enjoy is after-dinner poker. Nothing like a game of Texas Hold 'Em to bring the family together.Delete
Amen sista! Oh, the parenting and writing and housecleaning are all so hard to balance, but you definitely made the right choice in my eyes. :)ReplyDelete
It is a tough balance, right? When I'm doing one thing, I feel like I should be doing another thing. Oy!Delete
I always weigh opportunity Vs importance. If it is a strict deadline I'm trying to meet, meaning I'm obligated to someone else, then I have to tell family, friends, etc. no. Especially if it it's a one time obligation (if I'm constantly telling them no for work, I'll readjust my priorities). However, if it's just something I "need" to get done, I often put it on the back burner to spend a little quality time.ReplyDelete
Writing can be done at any point, but you only get so many opportunities to take a walk with your elderly parent, or play a game with your teenage son. You might not even keep that two hours worth of writing in the end anyway. But I bet you have the memory of playing with your son (and he'll certainly remember it... I remember every single time my mother stopped long enough to do something special with me) for a long time. :)
E.J., my son's memories are on my mind a lot. How do I want them to remember their childhood? Not ignored, that's for sure.Delete
I have two under two which means naps! But i try to do writing while my toddler is awake sometimes. Some days it's easy, others not so much but he is learning to be content by himself and to focus on his own work - play! Of course he gets me most of the time but i think it's important for him to learn this bit of independence. And its beautiful - i turn around and there he is, ignoring his toys and examining the clothes pegs!ReplyDelete
Often i try to do other non-writing things like housework with my toddler. He loves it and then the chores are done, freeing me to write later.
Amy, I totally remember those days. Nap times are when moms get so much work done!Delete
Yay you!! One of the mantras I use to keep myself on track is 'real people before fake ones'. :)ReplyDelete
Jemi, that is a brilliant mantra! I think I'll use that myself :)Delete
Of course you made the right choice. This is something I have to weigh all the time. This summer was full of that, and I will say I chose my kids because I wrote 2 shorts and did a little editing on the ms, but that was it. Didn't even blog every week, but boy, we had a really fun summer! All worth it.ReplyDelete
Michele, those are the memories our kids will hold dear. They grow up way too fast as it is!Delete
Hi, Julie! You definitely made the right choice. The kids grow up way too fast.ReplyDelete
Of course I cried while watching the video. : )
Susanne, nice to know I wasn't the only sucker who cried during that video. It gets me every time!Delete
My writing has been whimpering in a drawer for two weeks while I've been launching my youngest off to college. As much as writing is my life blood, my kids are the heart that keeps it moving.ReplyDelete
Amen to that, Leslie. Can't wait to hear more about the "launch to college."Delete
I'm torn between yesterday and the future when it comes to my kids. Everything feels like it's slipping away and yet for them, it's just beginning. So, yeah, seize those moments.ReplyDelete
Traci, once my oldest started high school last year, I felt it slipping away WAY too soon. *sigh*Delete
Such a great post.ReplyDelete
My kids are older now...they have their own lives, and I have more time to write.
Still, nothing is more important than family time. The writing will always be there.
Loree, already it seems like our kids are growing way too fast. I'm trying to savor each moment.Delete
my only obligation when home (aside from the mundane chores always waiting and easily ignored) is my dog who would dearly love to get and do something, anything, anytime, especially now! I don't always oblige but I always make time because I didn't get a dog so he could lay around and wait to do stuff with me.ReplyDelete
Awww, our four-legged family needs our love and attention too :)Delete
Good for you, Julie!ReplyDelete
I feel guilty constantly. :) It's SOOO hard to balance motherhood and writing. But, I agree with you. I've never regretted leaving my manuscript for a while to spend time with my kids.
It really is a tough balance, and as moms we tend to beat ourselves up over everything. But you're right. We never regret spending time with our kids :)Delete
I'm lucky in that my son was a high school sophomore when I started writing. But even still, I knew I only had a finite number of days with him, so it was always an easy choice when it came up. Now that he's gone off to college, I find myself crying instead of writing. But at least I have no regrets.ReplyDelete
You get the mommy of the year award. I have to say, that last week I came home with one day off, before I had to fly. I was going to take one granddaughter on a date. She's not yet two. We hadn't told her in case something came up.ReplyDelete
Oh... I had a million things come up. But I told my husband, all that came wait. 3 hours with that little girl will mean so much more than all the things that I needed to get done. I just stayed up an extra three hours.
So yes... the MS will wait. The laundry will wait. If only I had these lessons 30 years ago.
Thanks for sharing this important reminder.
I feel horrible! I'm a work from home mom all week long (not just the writing, my day job is from home too). I do my day job on weekends while my hubs is home, and I hired a babysitter for Monday afternoons to write. But I feel horrible. I steal moments away from the baby whenever possible to write/blog/work, and it seems like on weekends, I don't spend enough time with her. Then again, Tues-Fri I feel completely overwhelmed. (She's 3 months old and screams like a banshee).ReplyDelete
Uhh! Julie! Gah. :o( I don't balance it all very well, and I've just come off a weekend of single-parenthood (hubs is out of town) where I felt all touched out. It's hard... HARD! But you won this round. Mexican Train. I don't know what that is, but it sounds awesome. :o) <3ReplyDelete
So glad I read this tonight. I'm not sure I've got the balancing down pat, because spending time with the family means writing into the wee hours, which equals less than sweet the next morning. I'm hoping to reverse the process now that my little one sleeps all night and go to bed and rise early for writing.ReplyDelete
Keep reminding myself that I will enjoy with the children and not hermit away and write on this upcoming holiday weekend. Thankful I discovered your blog!
I constantly struggle to find the balance with my husband, three girls, and writing. But, those moments with our family need no editing - they're perfect! (and the reason, I'm so late to comment on blog)ReplyDelete
And yes, I cried!
I say many thanks to Mr. admin website I read this, because in this website I know a lot of information information that I did not know before hisReplyDelete
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