Mommy, Please Listen.
Motherhood and Writing Online is a Balancing Act
Angie was excited about her newest writing project as she guided the children out of the house and into the car. Her writing skills had become much better since she joined two different writing communities online.
She dropped the children at the bus stop just as the school bus pulled up. She drove back home, cleaned the house, prepared dinner and put it in the fridge, then hopped in the shower. She was ready to write by 9:30 a.m. This was to be her new weekday routine.
Shane was late leaving for work this morning and she felt annoyed. He could feel it.
“Hey, honey, I’m hurrying as fast as I can go. I know you want me out of here. “
“It’s not that I want you out of here, I just want to be able to concentrate,” Angie said as she typed, not looking up.
Shane walked over to the computer and stood quietly before speaking. “Angie, do you think maybe you should pull back a bit from the online-writing-thing? I mean, it seems like you’re not really tuned in to the kids anymore. They miss their mommy.”
I Am a Good Mother
“What? That’s ridiculous. I’m here every day with our children. And I’m a darn good mom!”
“Angie, I know you’re here in body, but are you really present? Charlotte asked you last night to read to her and you were too busy. You used to love reading to the children for a half hour before their bedtime. You said it was important. And Little Jack, if you haven’t noticed, is getting very hyper – trying to get your attention. You’re always saying to him, “In a minute, hold on. I’m comin’.” But I’m especially concerned about Charlotte. She looks so sad lately. You’re always busy on the computer.”
Angie had stopped typing. “Are you leaving for work now?”
“Yeah, I’m leaving. I’m not saying you should give up writing. I’m just saying maybe you should try to balance it a little better with your other hobbies – such as our progeny.”
Angie smiled a very fake smile. “You’d better go. I’m not happy with your comments, my dear.”
“Yeah, I can sort of sense that. I’ll see you at the Jeffersons at 5:00 for the barbecue, right?”
“Yes, Charlotte and Jack are really excited about the barbecue with Lily and Jordan. They love those kids. Don’t try to make me feel guilty about my new writing hobby. I’m a good mom and our children are just fine.”
Angie Receives an Email from the Lady who Adopted their Dog
Shane went out to the garage. Angie could hear the car’s engine and the opening and closing of the garage door.
Freedom of thought. Freedom of responsibility. Five hours of freedom for whatever she wanted to do. And she wanted to write.
Angie checked her emails first. To her surprise there was an email from Chris. When Shane and Angie had decided a year ago that they couldn’t handle the responsibilities of owning three dogs anymore, they had carefully screened several people before they chose Chris and her husband to be the new humans to adopt their littlest dog, Lily. Angie loved Little Lily, a Pomeranian-mix. Charlotte loved her even more.
Angie had asked Chris and her husband to promise that if for any reason they could no longer keep Lily, they would contact Angie and bring Lily back.
Angie opened the email.
Angie, we’ve really loved having Lily, but I’m going back to work – unexpectedly – and we’re just not going to have time for her. Do you want to take her or shall I find her a new home with someone else?
Let me know. Thanks.
Little Lilly, the Pomeranian
Mom, please don't go....
“Drat!” Angie exclaimed, rolling back from the computer. Angie didn’t want to have three dogs again. It was so much work. But Angie pictured Charlotte and how happy she would be to have Lily back in her life. She rolled her chair forward and typed a reply to Chris.
At 5:00 p.m., Angie, the children and Shane rendezvoused at the home of the Jeffersons down the street. After a delicious barbecued dinner, the adults and children played flag football. When darkness fell, the adults and children played hide and seek.
Within a half hour of getting home, Angie had bathed both children, sent them to bed and promised she would read to them one evening soon. She went in to kiss them each goodnight. It was a school night and she wanted them to get to sleep. Well, yes, she admitted to herself, she also had some writing she wanted to do, so it wouldn't hurt them to go to bed early. She and Shane each kissed Jack goodnight. Shane went ahead to Charlotte’s room and kissed her goodnight and then headed for the livingroom to relax.
Angie tucked Charlotte in. Then, remembering about Lily, Angie sat down on the bed.
“Charlotte, I have a nice surprise for you. Lily is going to come live with us.”
Charlotte was feeling cozy under the covers. She bolted straight up.
“How come? What about her own family?”
Angie gently pressed Charlotte’s shoulder until she was lying down again. She pulled the quilt up to Charlotte’s chin.
“Lily’s family doesn’t have any time for her anymore. Life has just become too busy in their household, so they had to make this decision. It’s not good, but it happens.”
Tears welled up in Charlotte’s eyes.
“What’s the matter?” Angie asked, thinking, “Oh, boy. I shouldn’t have brought this up tonight when I want to get some writing done.”
Charlotte’s eyes were flooded now. She was having a hard time finding the right words. She had a thousand questions and could not articulate them.
Angie could see her daughter’s emotional state.
“You’re overtired, Charlotte. Now you get some sleep.” Angie leaned over and kissed Charlotte on the forehead in the darkened room.
“What? Hurry up, what?”
Charlotte felt like she could hardly breathe. Tears were falling. She did not want to displease her mommy. Her world was caving in and she felt so scared.
“Mom wait! Please don't go. Why can’t Lily’s family just keep her? Don’t they love her?”
“Oh, for heaven’s sakes, Charlotte! I thought you’d be happy to have Lily come live with us. I just can’t please you. Now go to sleep.”
And as Angie closed the bedroom door and hurried back to her computer, she couldn’t hear her little daughter asking, sobbing, “Won’t Jordan miss her?”
.32 second video. Good One. Used with permission.
© 2012 Pamela Dapples