Several years ago I had a woman tell me that I shouldn't be a writer when my children were small because I was missing out on the joy of being a mother.
That floored me.
I felt defensive. How could she judge me like that? She didn't know me or my family schedule or how hard I work to write in tiny snatches of time because I need to be a mom first.
And then I thought, if I waited for my kids to grow up to develop my talent in writing, I might very well lose that talent and my children would never have the opportunity to see their mom working hard on something that she loves and developing what she's been given.
But the truth is, being a writer can be hard sometimes. It's hard to find time, it's hard to get in the zone, it's hard to learn how to refine your craft. On top of that, you get negative reviews, rejections, people feel comfortable telling you to give up. Some days you just can't dredge up the imagination or creative energy to write even one page.
But then there are those glorious moments where you write a scene that is amazing and you feel it right down to your toes. When you get a five star review, when you win an award, when you get an acceptance. When someone tells you they loved your book. Yeah, there are definite rewards of being a writer.
So, what do you do when you're feeling judged or down or defensive?
I found this quote going around Facebook and I've been thinking a lot about it lately. I really want to print it out and put it by my desk to help me remember that I know what's best for me and my family. To never compare and to be wise in using my agency. And whenever I meet people who are interpreting how my time is spent, I can tell myself, hey, I'm making the best decisions I can. And that's what counts.
I know, for a fact, that when my boys were small, I never could've written. My youngest was ADHD with food allergies, and I was perpetually sleep deprived. I know this is going to sound…odd, but I know God blessed me with a delayed urge to write. I slowly got my degree while the boys were in school, and it wasn't until that last year before I graduated that I discovered my love of writing. The timing was perfect, absolutely perfect for me and my little family.
There will always be women who put their work ahead of their families--if that is who they are. I'm glad you do not fall among them. You're a good lady.
Thank you for this, Julie!! I struggle with judging myself for writing with young children, too.
You're right--we make the best decisions we can. I believe that if we do the best we can as a mother--as a person--and truly consecrate our efforts to the Lord, He can make everything right and just and perfect in His eternal wisdom.
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