In honor of Mother’s Day, I’ve gathered quotes from mom writers who have appeared on Writing and Wellness over the past year.
One thing is common: being a writer and a mom is not easy. But these moms are making it work. It helps when you’re a writer mom who has an encouraging mom herself!
Mom Writers Appreciate Encouraging Moms!
“It took a year to write off and on when I felt well. It was like putting together a puzzle with all these random pieces that finally were able to fit together to create a full story.
It was very healing and painful at the same time to recall and live through what I went through again. My mom encouraged me during the whole process and reminded me to do the best I could, rest when I needed and it would be done when it was done.”
Moms Help Writers to Keep Going No Matter What
“Rejections, after all that waiting, were torturous. But I never let them derail my writing goals. My mother, Sylvia Cross, was president of the Women’s National Book Association, and she was always a huge inspiration to me.
My mom had Calvin Coolidge’s motto hanging above her desk; it included this phrase, which became my motto: ‘Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.’ And I did finally land an agent.”
Kids Make Keen Observations
“I never had an issue with being observed in my classroom; in fact, I always enjoyed hosting classroom learning labs for my district, being observed by 10 or so peers at a time while I taught. So when I couldn’t fill out my evaluation pre-observation form with any sort of coherence, I really knew something was wrong.
My children, diagnosed with ADD during college, said, ‘Mom, you have ADD. You’re the same as us.’ I was relieved with that diagnosis and was happy to let the Vyvanse/Lexipro combination help me through the day, functioning fairly well.”
Mom Writers Struggle To Make Money Writing
“I guess the biggest discouragement is when I’ve put so many hours/months into writing books, but then I make very little income from them. It’s especially discouraging this year, when we’ll have three kids in college in the fall! I’m hoping my latest cozy mystery series will take off and that will add more to the family income.
If I’m contributing nothing, I feel writing is just an expensive hobby and I might as well go into the regular workforce. However, my heart is in writing. So it’s kind of a Catch-22….I guess I come back to that conviction that writing is what I’m supposed to be doing with my life (outside being a mom, which is the number one priority).”
Writing Can Help Mom Writers Heal
“I was at Trader Joe’s in the produce section when I saw a toddler fall from a shopping cart…His mom was on him within seconds of him falling, and the kid was screaming in the middle of the store. My first reaction was empathy for the mom, knowing that she probably felt the weight of judgment from everyone around her for even allowing her kid in the basket in the first place. But as she consoled her screaming child, a story started washing over me….
Years before, I’d experienced a stillbirth… At 32 weeks along in my pregnancy, we discovered the baby’s heartbeat had stopped… I went into a deep, dark depression and had a hard time caring for my living children, or even myself…The Road to Hope was my opportunity to write about this loss and its effects on my life, channeling my grief through Jill, one of the main characters….I can honestly say I poured my soul into this book, and into the whole series.”
Kids Can Be Encouraging
“In 2013, when I was a 43-year-old, at-home mom, I made a New Year’s resolution to sort through all those journal pages and see what I could garner from my younger self….Everything I had read sounded like a frustrated, disillusioned, complaining, warped broken record…I was appalled….
So as an experiment, I made a few rules. I let myself have one sheet of 9-by-12 paper at a time. On this paper there could be no words, only images. The images had to be funny, cute, silly, creative, colorful, unique, uplifting or energetic. If I felt good after I finished with a piece of paper then the paper would go into a box. Between the summer of 2013 and the summer of 2014 I had amassed hundreds of drawings in my box.
My kids and my husband loved it. They saw how happy I was every time I added a new drawing. They starting inquiring about what came to be known as Mama’s drawing-of-the-day.
There was no substitute for having these rules and setting boundaries. It was easier to function, stay focused, and be creative. My rules were effective for me and the drawings became my new form of journaling as well as a creative outlet.”
Mom Writers Love Hugs from Kids
“My husband was my rock. He talked me through my feelings no matter how winding their paths and helped me calm down.
Lots of hugs from my kids, too. Even if I couldn’t quite explain what pained me inside, I could tell them how much I loved them and needed them. Their hugs in those dark moments meant so bloody much, I cannot describe it. A silly irony, considering words and descriptions are supposed to be my thing, but it’s true. Some feelings, especially the feelings between a parent and a child, defy all definition.”
Mom Writers Struggle to Balance It All
“I come from a big, bustling family, in which everyone has an open-door policy. There is so much generosity of love and time. However, with the children so young (ours are 8, 5 and 11 months old) there is only a small amount of time available to me to be creative.
Balancing everyone’s needs is a fine art. There is always a slow creep, a blurring of boundaries unless you are consistently resolute. It the difference between maintaining writing momentum, and not. My husband is very good at reminding me that I shouldn’t feel guilty about closing the door.”
Mom Writers Put Their Kids First
“I was achieving everything I planned. I called myself the Cinderella Writer and I’d laughingly say I was worried I might turn into a pumpkin. The Pumpkin Years did come but not in the way I expected. My youngest son developed a painful, chronic medical condition. For the past six years I’ve been a stay-at-home carer and tutor. During this time, I also survived three life-threatening illnesses of my own, including a rare cancer.
Time to write was so meager, fractured and emotionally stressed, even I could see everything I produced was awful. This year my son is coping better and new medical options are providing hope. I’m writing freely once more. It’s like starting all over again.”
But Mom Writers Approach Mothering Creatively!
“ME/CFS is crippling because there’s nothing you can do to make things better. You can’t work your way back to health….All you can do is adapt, learning pacing and staying in your energy envelope—because there won’t be more….
Even with me at home, the stress on the family was tremendous, and increasing, because three young children is a huge load for a healthy mother. I came up with an accidental and creative solution: I homeschooled the kids….And when they were old enough for dad to handle three by himself, I looked for the next creative solution: a course at our local community college on ‘Writing the Mystery Novel.’”
Writers Help Parents Do the Most Important Job
“Parents have the best and most important job in the world – to love, nurture, and educate the next generation. Writers and other teachers are our partners.
What on Earth could be a more valuable contribution to humanity?”
For more from mom writers, check out our post, “Wisdom from Writers Who Are Moms Too.“