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Mom Bloggers Club: Timing is everything

mombloggersclubaprilbannerfallNo offense, Mom Bloggers Club, but the recent post on My Favorite Writing Habits and Approaches left a few rather gaping holes.

This part was reasonable enough: “To develop your writing and/or passion, first make your presence with it a priority. It is simple. Make time and space for it.”

But this is all that the author has to offer for making that time and space:

Find the ideal pocket of time in your usual routine. Whether you develop a little bit of it daily or focus on it once every week, find the spot that is just right; one that flows with your energy.

Use this as a “rock” in your flow. Allow other things to move around it; keep it your priority.

I prefer mornings when the energy is fresh and it is more likely to be nice and quiet so that I can really be with my self and am not as easily distracted.

Set up a space customized for developing your passion; one that is attractive to you and draws you in. Place all the essential tools customized for you and this project within easy reach. Make it so that it prompts your creative flow and feels great to be in.

Visit it every day, a few times. Even if just for a check in. Allow it to serve as a keystone to always keep you connected.

Uhm….what about the kids who are climbing up onto your lap with peanut-butter fingers, impaling their thumbs on your stapler and trying to electrocute themselves by sucking on the end of your PC’s power cord?

I think the topics of time and space merit more exposition. For content geared specifically to mothers, we need HELP. Well, I do, anyway. Perhaps, given that this post was directed toward bloggers, not “writers,” I’m being too harsh. I probably shouldn’t critique ANY attempt to be helpful. I’m sure the author has the best of intentions, and judging from the comments, there were those who found inspiration in the post. But considering that this piece was featured in the Mom Bloggers newsletter, I think there is room for a little more exploration.

Glossing over this terrain only adds to my existing frustration. There are mothers who want desperately to express themselves creatively — mothers who are crying in the frozen food aisle right this second, because they are so painfully separated from the creative part of themselves and can’t figure out how to reconcile the dichotomous pieces of their lives — and this kind of advice doesn’t really apply to them. When you have very young children at home — and limited resources — I don’t think that it’s as easy as finding a pocket of time in your usual routine (let alone a pocket that actually optimizes your biorhythms), and setting up some space for your work. Isn’t that the whole reason why this blog — our blog — has the following that it has? This stuff isn’t easy or simple, even though we wish it were. Maybe, for some women, it isn’t so complicated. Those are probably the women who have FINISHED their novels, too.


9 Comments Post a comment
  1. Brittany Vandeputte #

    I’m not crying in the frozen food aisle, but reading drivel like this does make me feel a little enraged. Exactly what part of my morning should I carve out? The five am wake up call from the other room, the time spent nursing one while the other climbs on me demanding videos and bathroom trips and potty treats and breakfast. And should I just allow all the drool and the crumbs and the poopy diapers to flow around the house while I sit serenely at my computer so I can really be with myself?

    More and more I feel real honest-to-God anger at other women who smugly assure me that it is possible to balance writing and motherhood. Who estatically exclaim, “I balance it all! I’m living the dream! You can do it, too!” I want to go feral and chew off their faces with rabid frothy-teeth-gnashing because I can’t. I’ve tried.

    October 14, 2009
  2. I have to admit this post and Brittany’s comment made me laugh. This reminded me of the rant I made in the comments on Cathy’s post here: I’ve had very little time to catch up on blogs lately so I came to Cathy’s post late and it ended up being just a rant from me with a quick conversation with Cathy.

    That Mom Blogger’s story hits me the same way. There is mindless drivel and then there is REAL LIFE. Really. That’s why I quit reading the Mom Blogger’s stuff shortly after I found it. I’m sure there’s some good stuff there but truly not much that relates to my life in the real world.

    October 14, 2009
  3. amen, to both of you!

    personally i want to see those women in the dark of night, alone with their thoughts, if they really have any left. i like to think they’re happily faking it when they write sh** like the above. while in the dark recessess, they are just as crazed as i. if they are not, they are stepford wives.

    the more exposition needed on this kind of a statement is that there is no way in a regular day to to CONSISTENTLY carve out that time, when the baby is napping, your creative juices are flowing and the house is not a distracting disaster, with the added bonus of trying to figure out what the family will eat tonight that isn’t the same old tired four meal rotation including something from a box in the freezer while the breakfast dishes are still waiting for the dishwasher to be emptied for room. frankly, the only time i can get anything done in the house these days is when c naps, which can be a struggle in and of itself, but it’s because if i try to unload, she’s in the dshwasher grabbing the knives by the blade, or wandering the garage amongst the bikes, tools, extraneous furniture and cat box, dog and cat food dishes… while i’m loading the washing…..and i just need a mental break from the exhaustion!

    when i force myself to take a break and try to write every day, for my blog, that’s what i can manage because i don’t have to keep in mind the plot points or think too deeply for a poem, and in the meantime, c for instance, right now was just clinging horrendously through most of my writing the above, but has disappeared around a corner, and i’m sure is eating something miniscule from the floor, or is climbing the video cabinet or the kitchen counter to the toaster oven, because she has gotten that resourceful and skilled in the past week or so.

    October 14, 2009
  4. Gosh, I have 4 kids off this whole month…12 month school here arrhh. Now,we are almost 1/2 way through it. My huge issue is I have a few commissions to do and obviously before Xmas. AND WE ARE 1/2 WAY THROUGH OCT!! which means it Nove in 2 weeks !!!!!! I don’t have cable to constantly babysit while I get on computer to work. But They know ( kiddies that is) the internet has all sort of cool games for kids…hence the need for quiet moments are when they take over this computer. I get to do needed repetative housework stuff instead. Another day goes by ..I beat myself up think I have to not sit with hubby in the evenings and have wine. He’s totally o.k with me working …still feel guilty and also want to chill. So I have to make myself become more diligent.
    Back to the ideal blog above…of course I have my own place dedicated to my ceative stuff. My desk is void of the tape I replenished , covered with hotwheel cars, pens missing and in the background now… is the blame game and silly giggles…

    October 14, 2009
  5. I can’t even look at that logo of the women without wondering. I don’t know how they got time off to get makeovers, a nap and clean clothes to wear!

    October 14, 2009
  6. Kristine #

    I also get enraged at moms who claim to “do it all” and then proceed to preach to others how to do it. I share all of your frustrations.

    Everyone’s situation is different and for working moms, carving out creative time can be difficult, if not impossible. We shouldn’t have to sacrifice our creativity for motherhood (and vice versa) but we also shouldn’t have to berate ourselves for not being able to make everything in our life fit into a nice, neat package as some people claim to be able to do.

    Yes, I make my writing a priority and yes, I try to devote time to it every day. Does it happen all the time? I wish. Do I have to sacrifice things–like sleep!–in order to write a few pages after my little ones goes to bed? Absolutely.

    I wish I could quit my part-time job and afford to have someone clean my house and watch my daughter so I can have unlimited time to write, but that’s not my reality. And I’ll bet it’s not reality for 90% of the moms out there–like us.

    The danger with articles like this one is that they set up unrealistic expectations for moms, who have a hard enough time trying not to feel guilty when we have to push our creative pursuits aside to care for our children, tackle those household chores, or work for a paycheck.

    October 14, 2009
  7. bingo, kristine!

    “The danger with articles like this one is that they set up unrealistic expectations for moms,…”

    i know that’s why i got my knickers in a twist.

    October 14, 2009
  8. Liz #

    I have known some “supermoms”… or they looked the part, spoke the part and then you find some little things out. Like they’re on Adderall, or they ignore their kids while they do their hair and “achieve their goals” all week. Or they wake up at 4:30 in the morning and do it all until they are perpetually a hair’s breath away from snapping like a matchstick. Or they’re marriage is empty.

    There is always something, because no one can “do it all.” This is not to say no one can achieve a goal or accomplish something creative, it’s just you can’t have it all at once.

    When the kids get older it will be easier, but for now, we need to just advise each other to keep at it, but have patience and not give up because it takes us longer.

    Besides, can you imagine? “No, my kid won’t make it to school until 11:15 every day because 9-11 is my “rock” and everything must flow around it.” or “Sorry guys we either have to eat dinner at 4PM or 8PM, because my rock time is 5-7. I know you’re hungry and have to go to bed, but it’s about when I’m ‘flowing’ the best, okay?”


    October 14, 2009
  9. emmajaner #

    The women in the banner photo are plainly too clean to be the mothers of small children! And where ARE those children? That image alone would deter me from reading what anyone on the Mum Bloggers site has to say, since it seems to have been wiped clean of any evidence of either motherhood OR creativity.

    October 15, 2009

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