Writing and the New Mother
More than My Writing Hiatus
Let's be honest. When faced with becoming a parent for the first time, all you think about is the things you will no longer be able to do: going to see a movie at the last minute, sleeping in late, even going to the grocery whenever you need just a couple of things. No, parenthood is a lifelong commitment, one that nobody fully understands until it happens to them. This was my situation, and frankly, the best wake-up call I've ever had.
Everything I Expected...
Sure, my life changed. I don't get to sleep in anymore, I can't tell you the last movie I saw, and I never knew I was even capable of taking a shower under two minutes. However, having numerous nieces and nephews and being from a tightly-knit family, I felt like I had a pretty decent idea about what parenthood looked like: runny noses, boo-boos, constant noise, reading Dr. Seuss, watching the same "Thomas and Friends" movie countless times. Of course, that didn't include the long nights of fussiness, nasty poop diapers, and breastfeeding. But at least I got frequent glimpses into what it meant to be a hands-on parent. I knew, to an extent, what I was getting myself into: giving up a life when my husband and I could do literally whatever we wanted, whenever we wanted. Then the day came when...SURPRISE!...we're having a baby...and low and behold, we had to grow up (even though we thought we already had!).
What I Didn't Expect...
...was believing in love at first sight, being able to fully function on three or four hours of sleep every night, and even successfully nursing my son. The biggest thrill of all was feeling overwhelmed with pride: this was MY son, and no matter what anyone else says, he's wonderful. But here's one (pretty substiantial) thing I never thought I could do: write, even with a newborn. Sure, I don't have endless hours like I did before, but 10-15 minutes here or there makes a huge difference. And as he grows, that time will increase, he will soon be able to help me punch the keyboard! Best of all, he's my newest and best inspiration. Not a day goes by where he's already doing something new, when he does something that makes me laugh or brings tears to my eyes. He's the greatest blessing in our lives, and it's not shocking that it's spilled over into my writing life.
Is Parenthood what you thought it would be?
Advice for the Writing Mother
Don't give up! Obviously, the first few weeks after a child is born is going to be life altering, hectic and simply EXHAUSTING. But rest assured, things with resume with some normality, a newer schedule with evolve around your new family. You'll have to put your notebook in the drawer for a while, but before you know it, you'll be pulling it out and so much has happened. And look at it this way: you have something, or rather someone, new and interesting to write about!
So much has changed for me, needless to say. There's a new character in my "novel"...and he's revealing his personality everyday. But instead of focusing on things I can no longer do, I'm excited to explore everything that's in store for us. Hopefully all writing mothers can do the same!