THE GUILT

March 12, 2008 at 1:49 pm 8 comments

As some of you folks may Know I have a day job, I go to school, I write, and I’m a parent of two lovely hellions. To be honest I’m not sure how I juggle all of it.

But I can tell you I feel guilty as hell about cutting time with my kids to write, and now to edit my book that’s under contract. I just feel so stretched out about all the things I do (most of the things I have to do) that sometimes I don’t have the energy to play with my kids. I don’t have the patience to break up the squabbling siblings are known for. Sometimes I just don’t care what they are doing as long as they aren’t killing each other.

Does that make me a bad mother?

And see the fact that I even have to ask that question bothers me. When I signed on to this writing gig I didn’t realize how much time it would eat out of my life. I didn’t think that promotion, editing, creating, would leave me tired at the end of the day. Dammit it was fun. It still is, but I sometimes wonder is it at the detriment of my children.

And sometimes I think I should just cut the writing out of my life. It’s never going to be truly lucrative. In reality most writers still have day jobs. The ones with the luxury of staying home and writing, are married. I’m a single mother that will probably never be a luxury for me.

But then again if I cut writing out of my life am I making a huge mistake that I’ll regret later? I’ve opened Pandora’s box when I wrote my first book. I can’t see myself not writing. To be honest I can’t remember what my life was like before I penned that first novel. Who was I?

I can’t say, because of writing I know I have a great, but dry sense of humor. I am an hopeless romantic. I can be sociable. And that I am so damn proud of myself each day for doing something I love despite harsh reality. Probably makes me dumb, but I’m content and most people can’t say that.

Hopefully, I’ll find a balance that eases the guilt of sitting at my computer and doing something for me first and foremost. I’ll spend more time with my kids even if that means putting on a Hannah Montanna wig and “rockin’ it out”. Well, I’m lying about that one. We can play Scrabble or make farting sounds, but I can’t stoop to Hannah Montanna.

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Entry filed under: writing woes.

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8 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Amie  |  March 12, 2008 at 6:50 pm

    Your fellow single mom/writer/full time day job haver is weighing in. The fact you asked the question is a GOOD thing. If you didn’t you wouldn’t have even blogged about it in the first place.

    And I totally relate, even though I don’t know how old your kids are (mine are 12 and 14). My 12 is a boy in a hormonal 12YO girl’s body right now. in other words, he’s a total bitch to live with. If it’s not one thing, it’ll be another. And finding balance is HARD HARD HARD. I’m not sure it can ever be done.

    >>Sometimes I just don’t care what they are doing as long as they aren’t killing each other.

    Yeah no sh*t. THis is how it goes in my house.
    “MOM tell Elvis to leave me alone!”

    “Elvis, leave your brother alone.”

    LOL you have to laugh. They’ll be fine. They know you love them and I’d bet you’re a better mom than you think you are. And remember EVERYONE has a burden to bear. EVERYONE!

    We’re single moms.
    Raine works for the post office.
    Vanessa Jaye is a single mom too.
    My friend Denise has FOUR kids (and is married but I figure it balances out at a 1/2 ratio)

  • 2. Amie  |  March 12, 2008 at 6:51 pm

    PS Email me ANYTIME you wanna vent! *g*

  • 3. Mel  |  March 12, 2008 at 7:08 pm

    Amie, you are the greatest. But I think it’s really just Mom guilt. I’m not sacraficing my happiness so I must be a bad mother. It’s complete B.S., but then again that thin line of I’m sacraficing my kids well being for my happiness. So, yes, the next time they come into my room telling me so and so hit me then I won’t feel bad when I ask, “Are you bleeding? If not get out of the room.”

    And I will take you up on your offer.

  • 4. Jess  |  March 12, 2008 at 9:09 pm

    (HUGS) I don’t have kids. There is a reason. I think you’re articulating it for me. 😉

    That said, I think you’re right. So many writers (I think we have some kind of self-deprecating gene — or maybe it’s just WOMEN AS A WHOLE) think that if they aren’t ignoring their own wants and needs then they’re doing something wrong in their lives, and writing is the only solace we give ourselves. Don’t give that up.

  • 5. Amie  |  March 13, 2008 at 2:32 am

    Jess is right. women have martyrdom down to an art form–not sure that’s the right word but you know what i mean. We ALWAYS put everyone else first, and then, when we don’t, we feel like shit. And Sandra Brown used to tell her kids if there wasn’t blood or fire not to disturb her. I’m sure her kids turned out fine 🙂

  • 6. Edie  |  March 13, 2008 at 4:09 am

    Mel, I have nothing to tell you. You’ve said it all. We live with guilt. Big hugs, and I hope you sell for the big money and can quit your day job. Even then, I suspect you’ll be playing catch up. But it’s a nice dream, isn’t it? 🙂

  • 7. Mel  |  March 13, 2008 at 6:25 am

    Jess, have to agree, it must be a gene that makes us feel guilty for doing something without any instant rewards.

    And no I don’t think anything can keep me from writing. Well, a coma, but I think that’s about it. I just have to learn how to balance it with other, equally important things like my children. Housekeeping can always go to the way side.

  • 8. Mel  |  March 13, 2008 at 6:26 am

    Amie, my kids know the blood and fire rule. I figure if I can become a bestseller I can always get them the best therapist alive. 🙂

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