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Cathy: Room of one’s own?

Lately we have had a few posts here addressing the issue of creative moms having a space to be creative. One where no one else gets into our stuff; one where no one else’s stuff piles into our stuff; a computer, or a desk or a room of one’s own where we can have some clear head space, a view, and the ability to be in a creative mood or mind without interference.

I reluctantly share my writing PC with my children for homework and personal projects. The eldest, K prefers burning CDs to his MP3 while checking his email while making surreptitious maneuvers around parental controls to view videos and play internet games his brother should definitely not be looking over the shoulder to see. However, in general, though he may break my rules, I’ve made him good and paranoid of internet predators, so he’s not up to anything that will get him into any trouble other than with me. He also happens to be working on a couple of novels, albeit a lot bloodier than mine and full of fantasy genre: lone wolf types fighting their way through a world of evil. The second born prodigy, er I mean progeny (right, ma) is obsessed with Windows Movie Maker and typing up titles and credits to his films. He sneaks watching videos on youtube, too, but he’s easier to catch.

I also share my office with my mother-in-law, retired, who really likes computer games. We sit here much of the day together, especially when the boys are in school. Sometimes I am distracted in conversation with her, because I’m trying to write, sometimes, the conversation is just what’s needed. There are many writing rituals I used to do that I’ve given up with her presence: the sing-song reading aloud, the general weird noises and seat dancing, music playing, etc. Just weird writer things, like saying LA-LA-LA-LA-LA while I’m not really sure if the part I’m trying to write makes any sense, but I’m writing it anyway, for now. There’s also the time I tried bouncing a writing dilemma off of her and she was looking at me very strangely. Did I mention she is a retired accountant? She disproves my old theory that all avid readers are writers at heart.

It’s a decent sized room, but there’s a lot of furniture crammed in here, including a full-sized guest bed. Oh and I didn’t mention what I usually mention: the fact that while I’m trying to write, I have squirming, nursing or sleeping baby on my lap.

Today, my husband asked to move in, too. We broke out the tape measure, and technically, we can make it work, but aren’t doing well on agreeing about how. He wants to share the desk. I am going to go wicked eighties for a sec here, but I’m like, totally no way! It’s bad enough with the kids and me. His paper problem is much worse than mine. And mine is admittedly bad. I suggested he bring in the hunk of kitchen counter that’s still in the garage from when we removed it from the kitchen 18 months ago. With some maneuvering of a giant file cabinet and my desk, it’ll be tight, but it’ll work.

It’s really the least I can do. Of course I’ll be more inconvenienced than I am already. I already feel boxed into a corner. But the guy has been a real trooper. He took care of me and my kids from marriage number one, when I was a pain in the butt bedrest preggo for a very long time. He also provides for an increasingly large household through not just a day job, but side jobs. Until we make room for him in here, he wanders the house for an open corner of kitchen counter with stool, the dining room table after dinner and dishes are done. Sometimes I can hear the hum and click of his laptop at two in the morning, when he has to get up and do it all over again in about four hours. The very least I can do is squeeze him in next to me in here. Hey, maybe we’ll even end up spending more time together.

So, room of one’s own? I doubt it’ll be possible until, ah, shucks, I don’t have the foggiest idea! My youngest won’t graduate high school til I’m 60. Even though I do not want to live through another pregnancy like hers, I can’t help having that ‘what if’ in the back of my mind. After all, my late father-in-law still doesn’t have a grandson to carry on the name.

11 Comments Post a comment
  1. This is a little off topic, Cathy, but do the last two sentences of your post really say what I think they say???

    November 25, 2008
  2. Cathy #

    yes…read back of mind thought in huge letters!

    November 25, 2008
  3. Cathy #

    oops, hit enter by accident. my fil on his death bed, 6mos into my relationship w/andrew, told me it was up to me to give him a grandson or the name ends with andrew and his brother, who isn’t going to have any kids of his own. that’s why it’s still a hovering thought.

    November 25, 2008
  4. Liz #

    I’m in the same boat (but at a point in my life where I have more time to have kids whether I want to or not). If We don’t have a boy, my husbands last name is done. …. no pressure or anything, right?

    November 25, 2008
  5. well, you better get on with it, girlfriend! come on, if I have five, the least you can do is come up with four! 😉

    November 25, 2008
  6. Liz–the more the merrier. Really! Because at a certain point you lose your mind so nothing much matters….lol!

    November 25, 2008
  7. Cathy #


    i always said i wanted 4, so everyone could have a bro and a sis. but i’m definitely too old to try for a sister for c and a grandson, too! and s is 4 in 1. i think we’re good at 3. 😉

    if a video cam could have witnessed the yoga session i just had, you’d all be laughing! c was hollering in playpen watching me 1 ft away, the dog wanted in on it and i was calling out ‘you’re okay!!! mommy’s right here!’ all the way thru it, and my mom called, too. it’s only 20mins!!

    November 25, 2008
  8. Kristine #

    I used to have a room of my own until I got pregnant and had to give up my spare bedroom office to make room for a nursery. Now I share an “office” with my husband in our enclosed sun porch. It’s usually a nice space except in the winter (no heat).

    November 25, 2008
  9. Cathy #

    thanks, kristine for getting back on topic! yeah, our office is a 3 season room. mil just bought a space heater. much more efficient than the wall unit, and quiet, too!

    November 25, 2008
  10. I’m WAY grouchy about not having any space tonight. Baby is asleep in my bed and DH is playing shooter game in family room, so I came to living room to work but am plagued by eldest son’s music pouring down from above. I go up and ask him to turn it down and I get a SERIOUS ‘tude. I’m like, I work all freaking day and I can’t even get a little peace and quiet on the the couch at 10:00 p.m.?

    November 25, 2008
  11. Cathy #

    so sorry miranda. hopefully here’s a solution: dh can use headphones, not likely he’s listening for baby sounds when shooting; teen can learn disturbing the peace laws at home? isn’t like 9pm the cut off for disturbing neighbors? introduce concept of littlest 2 brothers need quiet after bedtime? not that i’m suggesting you haven’t, just thick skull time….

    November 26, 2008

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