Twitter is a great tool. I’ve connected with a lot of brilliant aspiring writers, agents willing to give advice, book bloggers, and cheerleaders for writing. One feature I enjoy is the ‘litchat’ or ‘writechat’. Tweeters (writers) discuss different topics, ask questions, and answer them. I love listening in and learning.
Recently, I asked a question geared toward the woman in the chat, particularly the moms, wondering how other Mothers found the time to write. With small children ages 6, 4, and 1, I have difficulty finding time and energy for it all.
Most of the moms that replied were more than encouraging. One woman wrote “Bless you for even trying” I felt elated with their writing suggestions.
I did ask for their help and should have been prepared for advice I did not want. One woman wrote. “Motherhood is a time when it might be better to not attempt another career ... unless you have nannies.”
I love that we live in a free country where we can have our own opinions and express them. I wasn’t really offended by what she said, but surprised. This was a woman, a writer-published one at that-recommending I not write while mothering. Really?
Let me write some notes in the margin for a minute. I consider myself a stay-at-home mother and I’m so thankful for that privilege. It truly is a gift, in my opinion, to stay home with my children and have this time with them. I have the utmost respect for working mothers. I don’t see how you work a 40-hour week, come home, take care of your husband, family, and home. Kudos to you. No, not kudos-peanut butter Reeses cups to you. (Unless you’re allergic to peanut butter.)
Back to the writer’s comment, I realize she wasn’t advising me not to write, but not to attempt another career. Which, in today's world is opening a whole can of conflict considering all the full-time working mothers out there.
What if I took the career aspect out of it altogether? Are you still advising me not to write? What if I were a pianist? Would you advise me not to practice? What if I were an artist? Would you advise me not to paint? A dancer? Should I stop dancing? Do you tell all these mothers to put one of their loves on hold for 18 years? Reading is a great love of mine. Do I give up reading? Should I get a nanny for it?
A lot of my short stories are based on things I see as a mother. Writing them down helps me process things. I realize she was coming from a desire to help, and I did ask for advice from all the twitterverse and should have anticipated all every opinion imaginable, but I respectfully disagree. My family will always come before my writing. If there is a way to balance (and I believe there is) I plan on learning how to do it and do it well.