HOW BAD DO YOU WANT IT

When it comes to any kind of success, the question to ask oneself is: How bad do you want it? With any type of creative success especially, one has to want it very badly, because the competition is fierce. Sure, if you look like Megan Fox, chances are you’ll get work in the entertainment industry, but truth is most of us resemble Zach Galifianakis, from The Hangover movies instead.

Mega-stars and bestselling authors have admitted to wanting success more than anything else in their lives—more than their families (evident by those who are on their third or fourth divorce), more than upholding their morals (casting couch, anyone?), more than success in any other area.

I don’t believe women can have it all, like the glossy magazines suggest. Unless you’re taking your child’s Adderall, something will suffer. My stepmother’s sister works as a lawyer in a “prestigious” firm. She recently had a baby. Everyone seems to think she can work from home a few days a week and everything will be fine. Seriously? Unless she gave birth to a Stepford baby, their full-time nanny will be mostly raising that child. You’ll never convince me she’ll be able to make partner in her firm AND be an effective full-time mother.

My stepmom couldn’t understand why I wasn’t willing to commute for a higher-paying job. I told her I didn’t want strangers raising my son. What’s the point of having a child if other people get to see him more than I do? Now granted, she was a stay-at-home mom for both her kids. She never had to make the dreaded Money vs. Welfare of my child decision, so as I always say, “Until you walk a mile in my shoes, shut the duck up.” Besides, who can take advice from someone who has NEVER made Mac n’ Cheese out of a box?

I find myself having to make difficult choices constantly with regard to my writing career. Writing is a full-time job. So is raising a child. Serious decisions have to made, like: I’m in the middle of my work-in-progress, words are finally flowing, my son has had only Cheerios for breakfast. It’s now 2 pm. What do I do?

Okay, so that’s a no-brainer. I haul my butt up and feed him, of course. Ah, but what do I make him? Something microwavable or chicken soup from scratch, like my stay-at-home mom friend does? You got it. And if I don’t have something microwavable, anything from a can will do, as well.

Scenario # 2: I’m trying to figure out something on the computer, like how to separate my Facebook personal page from my fan page. I’ve already spent sixteen hours on it, but I’m stubborn, so I’m willing to spend sixteen more. I hear shouts from my son’s room, obscenities being yelled. My son and his friend are getting into it over who knows what? It sounds like it’s escalating to something physical. What do I do?

Let them duke it out, muttering, “boys will be boys” under my breath, while continuing to read yet another post of how easy it is to do what I’ve been trying to figure out for hours and hours.

I’ll admit that sometimes my maternal skills are crappy. I spend more time on the computer than I do making homemade Play-Doh, or taking my son to the park. More often than not, my writing and all that’s involved with it takes precedence in my life. Does that make me a bad mother? I’m not satisfied being just a mother. And while I admire mothers who can find fulfillment in, well, mothering—who embrace and commit to it 100%, I am not one of them.

I try to be both—mother and writer. At times I fail; sometimes I do a half-assed job at each. At least I’m the one picking up my son from school and helping him with his homework, rather than a day care or a grandparent. With any luck, the only gripe he’ll have about me in future therapy sessions will be the fact that I was a crappy cook.

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Menopausalmama
    Aug 12, 2012 @ 14:37:04

    You nailed it with this one! I can relate 100% to this. A million years ago when I was fresh out of college with a writing degree in my hand, I thought for sure I was going to set the world on fire with my new writing skills—that’s what the teachers told me,so it had to be true, right? Helloooo, reality check!!!!! I worked as a damn dental assistant for years and spent my lunch hours trying to crank out romance novels that never got published. I did have some minor success publishing poetry for a few years, but once the kids came along (4 of them) all writing stopped and I just focused on being a mom. But deep inside, I kept feeling like something was missing—as much as I loved being a mom, I didn’t want to be solely defined by that role. I wanted more. It wasn’t until this past year that I discovered blogging and now I have finally found the outlet that I have so desperately missed all these years. Fortunately, 3 of my 4 kids have grown up and moved out, but I still have a teenager at home and a husband who gets a bit annoyed by the amount of time I spend on the computer blogging or talking to bloggers. Like right now, I should be putting together some decadent casserole for dinner, but what am I doing? Writing to you because this is just way more fun! Thanks for sharing this post–I think a LOT of your mom readers are going to relate to this one!

    Reply

    • Tiffany N. York
      Aug 12, 2012 @ 17:50:26

      I can’t believe you had 4 kids! There’s hardly time to go to the bathroom, much less do anything else. I only have one, and no husband to take care of either. I don’t know how people juggle all three–career, relationship, kids. Like I said, I can do two of them, often half-assed. So I’ll have to wait until my son is out of the house before I can tackle a relationship–which is why I guess I write romance. So I can live vicariously through my words.

      Don’t stop blogging. You’re great at it!

      Reply

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