Tuesday, October 28, 2014

What's In A Mom?

There are just those days...

There are days where I rail at being home.  The days where I am worried that this is what my kids will see, the laundry lady, the cleaner, and the cook.  Where I fear they won't see me, but rather this temporary version of myself I have become.  The one who can't always get in to take a shower until night-time, because Rose refuses to take a nap that day.  Who doesn't have the energy to bother with makeup and contacts. They won't realize that there's a writer in there, an educated woman, someone who loves deeply and takes chances by trusting people that don't always deserve it, by believing in people who are destined to fail, by giving my heart not in hopes that it won't be crushed but in the certainty that it will be fulfilled.

They won't see the optimist, only the suck-at-home mom.  They won't remember the woman who got up every day and worked hard at her job as a childcare administrator, but only the one who they come home to, who worked equally hard but doesn't have the pen and fingerpaint stains and folded up latex gloves with tissues from the playground in it (because I don't use gloves to wipe Rose's nose, and most times we don't even get to the playground) to prove it.

Then there are days like today, when I think about my childhood.  Before my parents divorced, my mother didn't work--my father never wanted her to.  (No it wasn't Macchiavellian...it was that old fashioned mentality that a man is a man because he provides.) So my mom stayed home.  Some of my greatest memories are going to Woolworth's with Ma.  Visiting Grandma and Grampa with her.  Sitting under the table at her feet while she played cards on Sundays.  The pretty dresses she loved to put me in (though they were damned itchy, back then, with those puffy, scratchy petticoats.)  My mother was the cook, the cleaner, the laundry-woman.  She was the nurse and the teacher.  I never thought of her as any of those things, but only as my mom.  When my parents divorced, she worked long hard hours, and I missed her, but I was still closer to no one.  

I think about those days, and I think I have it pretty great--I have the chance to make my kids look at me the way I always looked at my mom.  And I can live with that.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Tv and Writing Blocks

     I am experiencing an awful writing block, and it's making it difficult to fulfill my promise to myself to write every few days on the blog.  I'm struggling with the direction of the blog, too--after all, I am the Suck At Home Mom, but I am also a complete comic book/comic characters/Cosplay/Doctor Who geek who writes both non-fiction and speculative fiction.  Where does that put Suck At Home Mom's Cranky Blog? Do I use it for these general rants, or use it solely to show you just how sucky I can be at this mom thing?
     Well, just ranting about that is bringing me a few ideas for writing, so that's partially an answer in itself.  
     This week I'm having a hard time avoiding tv.  I used to keep it off all day, and Rose and I would play games, read books, go outside.  But lately she's been hooked on Sully and Mike (Monsters, Inc., Lalo (Lilo and Stitch), and Doc Masuff (Doc McStuffins.)  One part of my brain is yelling at me to shut that stuff off, to engage Rose in a myriad of fun and engaging activities...and the other half is ripping off pieces of duck tape to quiet the more conscientious side, by force if necessary.  
     Don't get me wrong, I don't want her to be like this all day:  

....but is it so wrong to want a little bit of time to write? To have a cup of tea? To pee alone?  
     I chose to have a baby 10 years after the birth of my second child.  I chose to stay home with her.  I brought her into this world with the hope that I would be enough to keep her learning at an appropriate pace, enough to teach her how to be caring, polite, smart, and charming.  I'm doing all of those things, and yet I still feel guilty for the hour of Disney Jr. she just watched.  
     Time to assuage my guilt with a little snuggle time.  What's your guilty mama pleasure?


Wednesday, October 1, 2014

I'm Baaaacck!

     I haven't done much posting in the last few months, between the kids being back at school and working on both a short story and a novel.  I just finished up the short story, and am submitting it to Tor.com, so let's all cross our fingers that they'll love it as much as I do!
     The novel has been tougher to work on, simply because of its scope and size, and I'm a much more "hands on with a pen" person when it comes to edits.  Hopefully I can carve out a little time each week to work on it and get it ready for publication.  
     Oddly enough, my best successes have been personal stories about my life and family, but my short story and novel are complete fantasy.  The only similarity is that I've been writing these characters since I was 12, so to me they feel very much like my own personal story.  I am pretty hard on myself, so I've edited a lot, which sometimes means big re-writes throughout different sections.  I'm desperate to have my audience love my characters as much as I do, and sometimes I re-read and realize I've got to explain something that's in my head but not on the page.  
     Any fiction/creative writers out there?  What do you find is your biggest challenge?