On Writing and Mothering

This guest post is by the talented and lovely Brittany Knott. Read more of her beautiful writing on her blog Knee Deep in Lovely.

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Nothing motivated me to finish the first draft of my book more than my due date.

Because, really, I could have kept dragging it out. I didn’t have a publisher giving me deadlines or demands (or a paycheck, darn it).

But I knew. I had people warn me that when I had kids my margin for things like writing novels would be non-existent. I knew mom life would be different and I couldn’t loiter over a macchiato in a coffee shop.

So I anticipated August 2nd with so much longing to be a mother and so much apprehension about not being able to write when it had taken me thirty years to shed some of my mounds of uncertainty and finally do it consistently.

They were right, you know. It wasn’t the same after she was born. I did put things on hold. In those early days, I could have done more. She slept a lot. But it was inconsistent and I felt I needed long stretches of time. Also, everything about being a mother consumed me whole. For better, for worse.

My sweet doorman would ask almost every day, “How’s the book coming?” And I would duck my messy head and blush and say, “No progress.”

Meanwhile, motherhood began to give me so many things to write about on my blog. I was being broken apart in a way I never saw coming, and it was beautiful. It is beautiful.

If God can use motherhood to refine me, He can absolutely use it to make me a better writer.

He can show me my surroundings, my relationships, my world through a new set of brown eyes. Having someone to care for can’t keep me from writing, but not observing, not breaking apart and not stirring certainly will.

Of course, on a practical level, it is a bit more complicated than before. She is one now and I can’t write when she’s awake.  I can’t wake up before she does and write because she wakes up too early.

She takes two glorious naps a day. I’m trying to force myself to do “chores” while she’s awake (even though she tries to eat the Swiffer and climb inside the dishwasher), so that I don’t feel the pressure to do those while she’s sleeping.

Sometimes I catch myself prepping breakfast food or whatever and I have to stop and say, “This can be done when she’s awake.” And then I’m brought back to the things that cannot be done while she is awake. (Unfortunately that includes watching Undercover Boss). This morning during her nap, I sat out on the terrace and wrote a blog post so I wouldn’t be tempted to fold the laundry (read: pin 100 pictures of clothes I will never own on Pinterest. Real life.)

I will never be the poster child for productivity. In life or in writing. Motivation is hard especially because I don’t actually earn money writing. I know the years ahead (God willing) include more child-rearing, more chaos and less alone time. I’m praying for the grace to still have writing be a part of my life, bending and twisting along with us.

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Brittany Knott lives in Brooklyn with her husband and daughter. Her book, Viv: The Story of a Stray is in the crazy process of getting published. She hopes to use any profits to help fund an adoption.

 

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My Life as a Work-At-Home Mommy

This guest post is from my friend Bethany, mom of 2 adorable kids and fellow blogger. Check out her blog to see the latest and greatest kitchen gear, recipes, kitchen tips and more! 

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6:15am, I open my eyes. Both sets of those big blue eyes are right in front of me. My daughter wants to know where we are going today. We are going to a dollar movie this morning, but before we go that blog post needs another read-through before publishing. Breakfast needs cooking, teeth need brushing and my son needs help getting dressed.

But I don’t need to look good, right?

It’s a huge blessing to be able to take the kids to a weekday movie, (or whatever we have planned on any given day) and still get to work on earning money from home.

In the past I have earned money by working outside the home. Dropping the kids off at a daycare or mother’s day out, fitting in as many massage clients as I can in those few short hours. Working all day Saturday while my husband and kids go to weekend get-togethers without me.

This work at home thing gives more freedom, but it’s new for all of us.

Balance, discipline, and focus. Have I mastered these traits? Hardly! I still end up on time-sucking social media and have gone a weekend without even looking at my site.

Do I sit and watch a show with my husband some nights instead of writing about the next small appliance? Absolutely! This is definitely a learning process and the above traits are something I need work on. God is helping me, and I want my children to see in me the drive to work, to learn, to focus on what interests them and make that their career. That drive can be invaluable!

So, when I have worked till 1:00am to finish a post I will enjoy the feeling of accomplishment as I fall asleep. I will have a grateful heart when I wake to see those big eyes bright and ready for a new day. I will enjoy the time working next to my husband in the study after the kids have gone to bed while he gets ready for his next test. Even though we are busy, we can be busy together.

This is a new way of life for all of us. It is a great new life, giving way to more freedom and flexibility and hopefully, in time, a decent second income. Cheers to doing something that I enjoy from anywhere, getting out of debt, a REAL vacation, or a new (to us) car someday!

To all the other work at home moms, power on and love on those sweet babies as much as possible!

bethany

I am a Fort Worth, TX  work-at-home mom of two fun-loving and very busy kiddos. I am a wife to a loving, driven man that works full time while in school for his masters. I love kitchen gadgets, appliances, and great food and love sharing about them in my blog, The Kitchen Host.  In another life I practiced massage and still do for a few lucky clients!  -Bethany Chance