Making Time To Write (As a Mom), Part 1

The laundry turns over and over again, in the heat of the dryer, buttons clicking together in the tumbling. Outside, crickets—no heavy hum of cicada, now that fall is here. The children are finally sleeping peacefully in their beds, my husband is in the middle of his late-shift job, and I enjoy the quiet of the last couple hours before I sleep.

downloadExcept the “quiet” of those hours doesn’t mean that they are necessarily restful hours—there’s always grading to catch up on, and dishes, and preparing for meals tomorrow, work tomorrow, odds and ends of housecleaning I didn’t get to during the day.

Even when the girls are asleep and I have time to myself, it is difficult to use that time for writing. Men have their own challenges with finding time to write, I’m sure, and I can’t speak to those, but what I can tell you is that it is difficult to make time for writing, even if it is your passion, when you are a mom.

My family’s needs are more pressing—there’s keeping house, cooking, grocery shopping, and making time for fun, then add a full-time job on top of that and where does writing fit in? Is it that important?

I say yes. Not only as a spiritual practice, but, if you are made to be a writer, like me, then it’s something you need to be doing, it’s part of your DNA, your make-up, making and creating like our Maker, our Creator.

I realize though too that there are some seasons of life where it is easier to put more time into your art than others, and the years where Bryan and I are growing our family are likely Not going to be the years that I am most productive in my writing. At first this idea made me feel like a failure. If I was a man, I would be free to write like I was meant to. If I didn’t have a family, I’d be free to write like I was meant to.

But those are lies! Sure, I probably would have more time to write—but that is not the only thing God created me to do, and God takes as much pleasure in his creation creating at the snails-pace of a work-mostly-at-home poet-mom like me as he does in the super-charged career-poet guy who can wake up writing and go to sleep writing.

So, making time to write—while I do think it is important and can be done in the busiest of schedules, there’s no hard and fast rule as to how much art you must “produce” in a year.

No need to beat yourself up as an artist for not writing as much as so-and-so or as you used to, or winning that prize, or snagging that publication. No need to doubt your calling if you don’t write everyday.

Especially when you are busy raising blue-eyed, lanky-limbed poems, wild and running free.

God gave us art just like he gave us his creation—to enjoy it, and, in enjoying it, to worship and enjoy Him.

31  Days

tomorrow, part 2!

8 Comments

  1. Thank you for today’s post…I needed to hear these words! I would not really call myself a writer OR a poet; I just love to write and, except for in my journal, haven’t done much writing lately – well, at least not until Oct. 1st!! I have renewed my desire to write more – and when I couldn’t sleep early this morning because of a stomach ache – I found myself at the computer putting down the words I had been thinking before getting up…finding time when you are retired would seem to be easy – but then…I’m neglecting the chores, and the hubby, and the daughters and the grand kids – actually, I am taking care of most of those parts of my life, but have been spending a lot of time at the computer. I am praying my desire to write will come back in full force so I can fill up my blog with my poetry – not the OLD stuff I am bringing out, but NEW stuff, too! Thank you thank you thank you! I will be back to read more…

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    1. I’m so glad you liked the post! It is so difficult to find time to write, at any age i think–our world is such a busy world! but it is important–i hope that you find more time to write, and i would love to read your poetry sometime!

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  2. Writing with little ones is very tricky! Mine are growing up and less demanding but I still find it difficult to prioritize at times. I found a lady who writes in 10 minute increments. Life changing for me!!! Look for the group she created on Facebook…a great resource! 10 Minute Novelists also the website http://www.10minutenovelists.com/

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  3. I enjoyed this. I think most of my writing when my kids were little was poured into letters to my m-i-l. I wish I had copies of those now! I put more about the kids in there than in their baby books. Now we’re on the opposite end of the spectrum with my m-i-l in our home needing full time care. Sometimes I struggle with the desire to write – whether it is just my dream or something God has called me to. It seems like if it was His calling there would be time to do it. But every writer I have ever read of struggles to fit writing into the rest of life’s responsibilities, and ministering to the people He has placed in our lives takes top priority. If it is His will that we write, I trust He will provide the outlet. I’d love to have that outlet in hours of uninterrupted time, but so far it hasn’t seemed to work that way very often. 🙂

    Not to sound self-promotional, but some years ago I wrote an article about having to put things on the “back burner” as a mom, yet how things that simmer on the back burner end up richer and more flavorful for their time there. If you would be interested in reading it, it’s here: http://barbarah.wordpress.com/2008/01/15/the-back-burner/

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