Freelance writing for a stay-at-home mom is a tough gig, let me tell you. I’ve tried to keep my pinky-toe in the water for the last several years, and I have been blessed by some really understanding editors who are still eager to receive my work, even when it’s sporadic. Lately I’ve been pretty busy with multiple assignments again, and I find myself daily having an inner battle of excitement (to be doing what I love) and frustration (because life with little kids doesn’t often go to plan).
It’s been a good lesson in time management, patience and, above all, honesty with myself. And here’s the deal – blogging (for me), isn’t really writing. It’s not hard to punch out a bunch of paragraphs about my life on my own time and without anyone expecting perfection. Blogging, for me, is a bit self-indulgent. It’s the result of a random spark of inspiration and a child’s coincidental nap time (like right now).
But, writing as a job is really hard work. It takes constant practice, trial and error, and a rubbery thick skin, to maintain. Hoping to improve one’s writing is all that and an extra shot of dedication, plus having the time and headspace to pitch your stuff and get yourself out there. Trying to write for the last six weeks has driven me to the edge of my own sanity, and I wasn’t even working on anything very difficult. Of course, my elation at being asked to write a few things was quickly snuffed by a toddler who stopped sleeping, a 5 year-old who was constipated, a husband who had to work longer hours, and a dog with skin allergies. Now nearing the end of this little run, I’m finally breathing again, but am also looking back and wondering if I should keep it up or just get a desk job? Regardless, I know my kids and I need more breaks from each other. A lot more.
So while I’m mulling all this over, I’d like to tip my hat to some other moms I know who are trying to do stuff they love while caring for families of (mostly) small children. We are a long-suffering breed, ha ha, who try to find snip its of time to work when our significant others are home (evenings and weekends) or during those few blessed moments the wee ones are sleeping, in school, at a friends’ house, or with a babysitter. While I fill that space with writing (or staring blankly at the screen), the ladies mentioned below use their time in other fascinating creative pursuits. (And I’d like to remind you, dear readers, that there are weddings, christenings, birthdays, holidays and all sorts of things coming up that serve as an awesome excuse to patronise one of these good women. Keep that in mind, and keep reading!)