The thing about mothers who write

The heavy little head rests against my arm, sweaty thickness pressed between her face and my elbow. Her hair sticks to my upper arm as I try to lean away enough for my fingers to find the right letters. It's well past bedtime, but an odd nighttime round of crazy cat vs. noisy toy drove her into a fit of the I Need You's. 

the thing about mothers who write

And I'm sitting here really trying this write every day thing, not because I have much to say, just because the voice of every author I respect is synonymous in this. Write every day, that's what they say. No matter what, find your time. Write every day.

Only, the thing about mothers who write is that we just simply cannot write every day. Yes, we all have the same 24 hours, but where do we put our working hours, our meditative/prayer/Scripture study hours, our self-care/exercise hours, our meal prep hours, our family time hours, our service to others hours. Where do we put our writing hours?

I haven't found mine.

The thing about mothers who write is that we - as mothers and as writers - are wired to notice things, things that maybe other people don't notice. And though that is a gift, it also feels like an ironic little curse because we're so covered up with the things to notice, the living of life with these wondrous little beings, that we hardly have time to actually write them out.

We get to think it, we just don't always get to tell anyone about it. Or not the way we originally thought it, thanks to the adorable little distractions in our life.

The thing about mothers who write is that we often approach another dance with the blank page out of inspiration to write about a thing we have seen or heard or read or felt or thought. And often we are hindered by the hard little sweaty heads on our arm as we type, yanking us away from the memory of that thing we saw or heard or read or felt or into thought and swiftly into the moment of focusing on the current or next thing or just the breathing in of them. And thinking about the thinking about the breathing of them. And thinking about how to write that out.

The thing about mothers who write is that we {Mama. Mama. Mama, come here.} are often {Mama, look at this. Hey, Mama. Mama! Mama, watch me.} interrupted {MAMA. MAMA. MAMAAAAAA!} by our children, despite the {Mama. Mama, can I? Mama, will you get me something to drink?} mountainous effort we place on {Mama, I'm hungry for a snack. Mama, will you get me a snack?} trying to dig our heels in and {Mama, I don't want to go to sleep. Mama, will you let me watch something on your iPad?} really try hard to do this thing of writing every day.

*Not an exaggeration.

The thing about mothers who write is that we miss writing down so much of what we see and hear and feel and think. Before we can snatch it out of the distraction or the edges of our memory, it's just gone.

The think about mothers who write is that we want someone to tell us the secret. We just want someone to tell us how to do it all right. We want someone to tell us how to get the words out and shaped into meaning, and the exact right meaning, mind you, and quickly for heaven's sake because there is no time. We want to know the secret of doing this while also not letting down the people who want to tell us things and show us things and rest their damp little noggins on our arms. 

The thing about mothers who write is that we want so much for our words, but we want even more for our mothering.