Heck yes you can be a mom and write a novel too!

Guest post by Rowena Murillo
This beautiful painting was done by Rowena!
This beautiful painting was done by Rowena!

I wrote three pages for my novel this morning. Not in the loveliness of silence and time to myself where the brain is functioning and uninterrupted. No. I wrote in the chaos of post-breakfast, children running around the house pretending to be dinosaurs or cats or superheroes or whatever it was they were pretending to be.

I wrote with Sesame Street singing about lightning bugs in the background and little girls tugging on my skirt and boys yelling to be let back in the house from making mud pies in the garden, and having tantrums about how there was no way in the world that he could take off his own shirt by himself even though he did.

And I kept writing when the boy came up and asked what all the words on the page were.

Well, no. I stopped then. And I stopped to get a glass of water. And I stopped to let the boy in. And I stopped to change a diaper and put on shoes and clean up the spill and hand out goldfish, and do a time out or two and praise for accomplishments and hug for booboos.

But I kept going back to work.

I know this is not the ideal situation in which to write a book. I know that I should probably get up at 4am (!!!!) before the kids wake and just get at it, but my brain does not function that early and yipes.

I didn’t know if it would work. I’ve never tried to write while the kids were running around the house, only during naps or on rare days off. But you know what?

I did it.

It worked.

I thought for sure that I couldn’t write while the kids were howling around me. I am not speaking euphemistically. AWOOOO! And yet. The howling did not stop the writing.

I could indeed write.

I’m a little amazed. I wasn’t expecting it.

And there is yet another “I can’t” that has been tossed away. You mean, it’s possible to write a novel while watching a toddler and a preschooler without any help at all? You mean it’s possible to be an artist and a stay at home mom? You mean it’s possible to get that mommy brain back, or keep something of my pre-kid dreams for myself, or be an artist and not be a totally selfish, crazy lunatic?

I guess when we break down the boxes and definitions of what it means to be an artist, or a mom, or an American, or a human being, well, perhaps a lot of the can’ts become possible. Oh, it may look like a holy mess, without those neat categories and separations, but it is possible.

So AWOOOO! to you. Celebrate yourself for something you didn’t think you could do, and once attempted, found out you could.

Comments on Heck yes you can be a mom and write a novel too!

  1. Well done! I have two kids and (5 and 3) and am two thirds of the way through a Phd which i kind of accidentally started when they were 9 months and 2. Tough going, but I love my kids more for the head space I get at uni, and I appreciate my work better for the chaos at home. And imagine how inspired your kids will be by you when they're grown. xx

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