Oxymoron: writing mother

Literarymama.com wants me to explore:

The relationship between becoming a mother and becoming a writer
The influence of motherhood on your craft
The influence of writing on your mothering

It’s not a good day for me to write about being a writing mother. Today I want to edit out the mother part.

We began this day quite calmly (that’s a qualified “calm”) getting ready for summer day camp. Out of the silence (again, silence is relative) a blood-curdling scream rips through the house. I run to the source, but before I can even get out the words, “what happened?” my 5 year-old’s eyes bulge and she leans forward, arms akimbo. The words explode out of her usually beautiful, now grape-red face: “I didn’t DO anything!” and she bursts into tears.

I stand there stunned by the vehemence, the unadulterated anger coming out of my little girl. Meanwhile, the 22-month-old instigator of the scene is still crying, profusely.

Straining with the pressure of ignited anger, I manage to calmly respond, “I didn’t say you did…”

Should have stopped there.

“But you screaming at me like that makes me think you did.”

No. No. No. What was I thinking saying that to this little someone who’s so highly reactive, so incredibly frustrated. She opens her mouth, wide. I brace myself…. oh, the ringing in my ears!

Needless to say, we were late for day camp and I couldn’t write all day. My mood was shot.

All is calm (for real) in our house now – they’re both asleep. So now I shall attempt to write about being a writing mother:

The relationship between becoming a mother and becoming a writer: My children give me priceless, endless subject material and then keep me from my computer with their constant needs and wants, frustrating me to all get out.

The influence of motherhood on your craft: See above.

The influence of writing on your mothering: When I do finally do sit at my computer, the world disappears. Their yelling and laughing and smashing of my precious possessions are mere squeaks and creaks in the wind.

Yes, I am a bad mom and a bad writer. Crap.


4 thoughts on “Oxymoron: writing mother

  1. Have you read Shirley Jackson’s book called < HREF="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Life_Among_the_Savages" REL="nofollow">Life Among the Savages<>?Jackson is known for her spooky and creepy fictional work but this book is one of my favorites of hers and it is a memoir. I laughed from page 1 till the end. I enjoyed this book so much. I think your kids would be a great source of inspiration for writing.

  2. I feel your pain. I’ve learned (trained myself, painfully over 7 years) to write when I am NOT in the mood. I can’t afford to wait for the mood to strike me because I need to eat! And writing makes me money! Heathermamaneedsabookcontract.comthewritingmother.blogspot.com

  3. awww- kids are like aliens,aren’t they! Thank goodness each day offers new obstacles. I mean- opportunities.

  4. I have been writing more frequently lately using the kids’ craziness as inspiration. I have to remember I wouldn’t even be home to write if it wasn’t for them. Thank you, my little “aliens”!

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