Friday, June 14, 2013

On Dreams Perhaps Lost

I know that I probably sound like a tired old book, but I've started writing again - like, REALLY writing.  My book.  Or my pathetic excuse for a book, whatever.

I can't explain it.  Over the last several weeks, I've just felt this palpable tug to write.  I have all these ideas crowding around in my brain, practically begging to get out.  I have no idea, in the grand scheme of things, if I'll ever really publish my book.  I don't know if I'm brave enough to.  But I do know that whatever else I do in my dumb old life, that writing has to be a part of it.

So, today, after putting it off for weeks, I sat down to write.  Caden was outside playing with some neighbor kids, and I thought maybe I'd sit down for a bit at the computer and see what happened.  it ended up being this really frustrating and awful experience.  I mean, I was writing, but it didn't feel good.  It didn't feel right.  Mostly because I was just so distracted.  And it was Mila - she was being a holy terror.  She was mad I was typing and not paying attention to her, so she was crying and throwing fits and pretty much doing whatever she could to climb into my lap and get me to hold her and pay attention to her.  So I'd switch between one or two minute stretches of typing feverishly while ignoring her cries, to then picking her up and placating her for a few minutes before distractedly putting her back down and turning back to my work.  Not a very productive way to write, I'd say.

And, it hit me.  I can't write when it's just me and the kids.  Delving into my book requires too much energy and brain power, and I can't seem to divide it between that and my kids.  So I saved my pathetic start at the book, scooped her up, and dejectedly took her downstairs.  And then I just LOST it - like full on, crying and mad and frustrated LOST IT.  I wanted to write, dammit.  I wanted to do just ONE THING that wasn't about my kids, but about me.  Just one thing that didn't involve caring for them, or cooking for them, or cleaning up after them.  And I couldn't do it.

So of course, once I started feeling bad for myself, I couldn't stop.  I started to think about how I had a whole summer stretching ahead of me, and that the entire summer was going to be all about my kids, and not about me.  Call me selfish, I don't care.  I have never regretted my decision to become a mother yet, and I don't think I ever will, but I'd not be human if I didn't sometimes miss the days when I had all the time in the world to myself.  Today, I just thought, every day, every second is devoted to my kids.  I can't even go to the bathroom without Mila following me in.  And, when summer ends, and Cade goes back to school, I don't get a break - because then Baby R will be here.  And of course while I am entirely thrilled for his imminent arrival, I am also scared crazy to be a mom of 3 rambunctious kids.

So I IM'ed Brandon in quite a state.  Just vented the crap out of everything to him; I feel bad.  I got quite dramatic, I'm sure, and told him about how I was doomed to sit on my fat pregnant butt all summer for hours on end watching Spongebob because we don't have much money to take the kids on outings, nor do we yet have a yard where I can send the kids out to play.  And I told him how sad I was that I couldn't even sit down for 30 minutes to write.  I was sad.  Terribly sad.

And so now, here I am, not knowing what to do.  I am a Mother, first and always, but I also wish I could be more - or, rather, that I could be both a Writer and a Mother.  I know that I shouldn't give up, and that I can always find time to write, maybe after the kids have gone to bed, and this is true.  But it is also very true, and I will not be the first mother, nor the last, who has had to give up some grand dream with the daily monotony of changing diapers and wiping messy faces.  And yes, it's true, that in exchange for doing all that yucky stuff, I get kisses and hugs from my kids, and I get to watch Mila's naked little bum running around after her bath, and I get to look at Cade's sweet little grin with his missing tooth, I still miss More.

I miss my dreams.

And that's all I'll bombard you with tonight.  Just a heavy weight on my mind, that I wanted to try to ease a bit before I headed to bed.  Thanks for reading, friends.


Krista said...

Don't feel guilty about feeling this way. I don't think you'd be human if you didn't feel tired of being a mom sometimes. It's freaking hard! It doesn't mean you love your kids any less. Sometimes I wonder why I decided to get pregnant again and then I almost immediately start feeling guilty because I do want this child and some people don't ever get that chance and I should feel lucky. Why do we do this to ourselves as mothers? We make ourselves feel guilty just for even having feelings. I understand where you are coming from and you are not alone in feeling like you never get any time for yourself and that you might just go crazy if your kids want you to do one more thing. I feel like my only down time is the hour or so I have when my kids are both in bed. Being pregnant makes everything intensified too and all I want to do is sleep sometimes. Heaven forbid if hubby wants to "you know" because I'm either just to dang tired or I want to do something like take a bath or read a book. The joys of motherhood.

KC said...

I'm really glad to see you writing about your dreams. I have noticed how you used to write about aspirations more but lately you've seemed down, if that's all right for me to say. That's gotta be hard--I don't know how I'd survive without dreams. Now that I'm in the publishing world, I'm finding that the vast majority of writers, even the "successful" ones, don't get to be writers all day--they have a day job, a family, responsibilities, and so on, and they just have to write when they can. So I think you can finish your book as much as anyone, you have it in you and nobody else has anything on you. :)

Personally no matter how many things I have going on or have to do, I start feeling nutty if I can't write, it's just something I have to get out and do often enough to be happy. Lately that's been super hard to find any time! I get up at 7:00 to get ready for work, I go directly from work to class (which is another 12 hours a week), and I don't get home until 10 every weekday except Friday. Weekends I'm catching up on chores, errands, freelance, studying, sleep, etc. So the only time I've really had to write is during that precious commute time, which can be difficult with all the people on the train preaching, asking for money, panhandling, etc., or not being able to get a seat, or just being so exhausted I can't think.

I'm not a mom, but I really do sympathize with how hard it is to find time to write when it's already difficult just to make ends meet and stay on top of your responsibilities. But I start feeling crazy and depressed when I don't write. Anyway, I don't think it's so different for most are every bit as good as the rest of the lot, and I think this is an issue that most writers face. I think it's such a valid struggle that so many of us face, one you're definitely not alone in.

KC said...

I think it would be tremendously difficult to be a mother and have to devote all your time to somebody else...I have great respect for what you do.