When I got home from my recent writer's conference, one of my twin daughters wrote me a note: "Mom, I'm so proud to have an author mom." I think her note sums up the sentiment of my entire family. They're proud of me for working hard, for persevering through the tough times, for finally receiving the reward of publication.
My kids have loved being able to tell their friends that their mom is getting a book published. No longer am I just the weird neighborhood mom who sits out on the deck with her laptop and stack of history books. I'm the cool author mom now.
My husband is proud enough that I may not have to do my own marketing. He's great at telling complete strangers that I'm an author. Every time I'm tempted to hide in the writer's closet, he yanks me back out with his bragging on me!
With all of their excitement however comes a dose of reality. As I scan the road ahead of me, I see the rocky terrain, the sharp twists and turns, the steep climb. Soon I'll be writing my next book and have the added load of editing my first. I wonder how I'll have time keep up with blogging, other social networking, AND take care of my family.
I know I'll approach this new path of my journey the same way I always have--with determination and drive. I'll put my head down, move forward, and do what needs to be done. But here are just a few of the changes I'm making:
I'm trying to plan out more concentrated work time. On the evenings and days that my husband is home, I pack up my lap top and head to a quiet desk at the library. Even if it's only for two hours, without the interruptions it feels like five.
I'm also delegating housework. My husband is perfectly capable of fixing dinner and having it ready when I get home from the library. After all, I prepare supper and have it ready for him when he gets home from work! Fortunately he's incredibly supportive and helps wherever he can. My older children have taken on more responsibility as well.
I'm sacrificing social activities. I've always enjoyed inviting families over for dinner or going to various church functions and hanging out with friends. Over the past year, I've gradually done less and less. Often my husband will take the kids to gatherings and leave me home to work in quiet.
These kinds of changes have been the hardest for my family. My kids don't like having to kiss me goodnight at 6:00 p.m. as I head out the door to the library. They don't particularly jump for joy at folding extra laundry. And they definitely miss having our friends over or going more places together as a family.
Yes, having an author mom is cool in theory. But in reality, there are very tough days when they wonder if they can have their old "uncool" mom back, the mom who doesn't sit behind her laptop every spare moment.
When I wonder if I'm doing the right thing, if somehow I'll "damage" my children, I remind myself I'm teaching them so many things through my passion for writing. I'm teaching them to work hard for something they want. I'm teaching them that they can pursue what they love. And I'm showing them that their dreams can come true too.
What is your family learning from your passion for writing?
P.S. My dear blogging friend Roxane Salonen is featuring me on her blog today. For more about how how getting a book contract has affected my life, check out her awesome blog: Peace Garden Mama.