Family, at All Costs

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When I was single, I indulged in Hemingway. I have always been equally fascinated and repulsed by his life. His words – the ones that alcoholism and recklessness produced – sang to me a song my heart knew so well: Love hurts.

Early in my blogging journey it became clear to me that I was no Hemingway – that the kind of sacrifices famous writers have made were no option for me.

My family will always win.

There are certain insurmountable challenges that arise when you decide to begin your writing career after your children are born.

Inspiration is likely to hit when you have no device or pen and paper with which to record your thoughts.

Writing can blur the lines of reality. Sometimes it is a struggle to maintain focus on my kids when the perfect line enters my mind.

And, well, little ones are physical barriers. If I attempt to write during daytime, non-nap hours, there is at least one child on my lap. Because I don’t want to be remembered as Mom the Blogger, I do much of my writing at night.

But, unlike Hemingway, I am plagued by motherhood fatigue.

Last night, an idea for a future post came to me. But Tuesday nights are spent connecting with my husband. We watch an hour of cheesy television and do a little soul-searching. In my heart, I knew the words would leave me if I didn’t type them.

But I closed the laptop and disconnected. This is the choice I often must make as a writer who happens to also be an educator, wife, and mother. Be present, Lauren.

If you are a blogger, I don’t know how you navigate family and writing. For myself, I am finding there is no magical balance, and this challenge only increases as my children grow.

Deep down I know life is about more than my writing and what I can accomplish in the little free time I am afforded. It’s about human relationships.

And I think that’s what haunted Hemingway at the end of his life. I, however, am striving for a different ending.

For when my head hits the pillow, it is my family – not my words – that I see.

One Year Ago: Yoga Lessons

4 thoughts on “Family, at All Costs

  1. Thank You for sharing! I have often felt this way too…And often know I need to make the conscious choice to be present with my family. My husband works long days and the kids are in school( I have three – 2 in school, one at home) and so I try to leave my nights for them. And get ‘my’ stuff done during the day, so we can all hang out and have supper together, work on homework, maybe watch a quick movie if there’s time – But that leaves me to be up at 4:30 every morning to get in writing or exercise, a quick shower, before they all get up at 7 – it is hard to find a balance, But it has made me make an effort to cultivate good habits and a timetable for myself, which I am thankful for. It is nice to know I am not the only mom feeling that! Again, thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You are absolutely not alone! I feel like my days are so incredibly packed, and sometimes it’s hard not to get discouraged. I admire you for those early mornings. Personally, I am lucky to make it to bed by 11:30 each night. But, you’re right – it’s ultimately our choices that fill our days. Thank you for reminding me that we all face challenges in focusing on the beauty of the present. I like to think that ultimately our writing – and relationships – will be better for it!

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  2. Exactly! I struggle with this every day, because the act of chosing one over the other creates guilt for the one discarded in that moment, which ever it may be. So I’m fighting a constant war against myself, no matter which I choose. More often than not, the writing hits the mat. I don’t regret that, but in the late hours when I find myself awake at night, it taunts me. Though truth be told, I prefer writing to take a back seat rather than my family time. Still, it’s not easy.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We are absolutely on the same page! The struggle is daily, and the guilt is not something I anticipated. I am a Type A, so I take on too much then feel like I need to be amazing at it all. Every now and then I have to remind myself that my writing is an outlet, not a stressor 🙂 Thank you for sharing!

      Liked by 1 person

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