Kate, tell us about how writing plays into your life as a mom.
Since becoming a mom, I stumble across column and/or blog fodder even when I’m not looking for it. In fact, my biggest challenge is not writing everything that’s on my mind or in my heart. I’m notorious for trying to do too much, in the writing realm and beyond. I want to blog, write in an old-fashioned journal, keep a fiction journal (where I write the “seeds” for stories), jot down favorite Scripture passages and my thoughts based on them, etc. (I’m a journal junkie.)
The problem is sometimes I’m spending so much time writing or brainstorming about what I’m going to write about that I’m missing out on the very things I surely want to remember.
Motherhood demands I be present in my children’s lives, not just a passive bystander or even a careful observer. I always want to carve out some time to write, but I might not have time to reflect on all of life’s mysteries or to write thought-provoking prose. There will come a day for all that. Maybe. I often say my children are my most important works in progress. I *try* to live a life that reflects that and keeps my other priorities in line.
All that said, I’ve discovered writing complements motherhood well. I was a writer before I became a mom (more on that later) and both pursuits can be solitary. Both demand vulnerability and trust. Both demand labor and sacrifice. Both take a lot out of you sometimes, but they give back plenty.
Perhaps that’s why I keep stringing words together. It’s definitely why I chose “will work for children” as my blog’s tagline. Motherhood evokes a lot of different feelings in me from joy and awe to exhaustion and frustration. When I’m having a rough day on the domestic front, I pray, I often write, and I try to remind myself that despite the challenges, my children not only give me glimpses of pure joy virtually every day – their smiles, their laughter, the way my baby tenderly holds my shirt while I nurse her, the way my older children say, “I love you, Mommy, so much,” when I least expect it – but they are also offering me the possible gift of eternity.
Motherhood is sanctifying. It is the essence of sacrificial love. The holy office of motherhood acts as conduit for graces to flow throughout the entire family unit. Like writing, it demands putting yourself out there. So I do. Over and over. Even when the urge to dig a hole and hide (or cry) is great.
…More from Kate tomorrow, when we talk writing inspiration.