My first job is and always will be a mom. I have two wonderful, precocious boys who keep me on my toes. They’re five and four and full of energy. My second job is writing (although my husband would argue it’s being CEO of Our Household). Because I’m a mom, I have to play a bit of baseball, too. Position: batter. Goal: avoid the curve ball.
My husband has been out of town, so yesterday I hired a sitter for a few hours so I could get some writing done at the local Starbucks. My elder son had been feeling off all day, but I figured it was because of a super-busy playdate the day before with his friends, so I told him to take a quiet time after lunch and try to sleep a bit, thinking that some rest would set him to rights.
I got to Starbucks and had begun working only about a half hour when my phone rang. It was my sitter saying that my elder son was beside himself in tears. I quickly packed up my stuff and headed home. Sure enough, my son was upset that I wasn’t there when he called for me (apparently I didn’t communicate my plan to head out to write). He also still wasn’t feeling well, so I asked our sitter to take my younger son to the park while I sat on the couch with the older one, hoping he would drift off to sleep (it was clear he was tired). I figured I could sit next to him and write while he slept.
Moments later, he yarfed all over the couch. My afternoon of writing vanished with one giant urp.
Was I upset to lose the writing time? No…disappointed, maybe, but hey, that’s how it goes when you’re a mom. Something unexpected happens and you’re suddenly rearranging everything from activities to work to dinner in a flash. Or, as in my case, you’re cleaning up a huge mess (yes, on the couch…yuck). And mom typically comes last. I’m not complaining about that…it’s just reality. When everyone else’s life in the family detours, I end up reprioritizing and I typically get prioritized last. My husband is the sole breadwinner, so if he has a late meeting or a work dinner, he has to do it. My kids need time and attention from mom, so I give it. And if there’s any time left over in the day, I write.
A theme this past week on the group blog I’m a member of has been “just write” (the theme was completely accidental). But when life throws me a curve ball, writing takes a back seat to everything else. It has to. Perhaps someday when I’m rich and famous (haha) life will prioritize itself around me, but for now, I’ll step up to the plate and keep dodging life’s curve balls. And maybe, in between pitches, I’ll write.