Margin Mom · motherhood · writing

Why I Can’t Coupon,Wrangle Laundry, and Write a Book at the Same Time

This week alone my three-year-old dressed himself three times.

Each time we had to negotiate a change of shirt or shorts or underwear because he was dressing himself from the dirty laundry pile on the floor.

We ran out of milk, lunch meat, bread, peanut butter, and fruit all on the same day. I packed my kids cheese and crackers for lunch, fixed grits for breakfast, and promised them I’d try to go to the store. They’d been telling me for two days we were running out of food. (We have plenty of food. It’s just all in the freezer or requires prep more advanced than my six-year-old’s skills.)

I should also mention that the freezer is hidden behind the piles of clean clothes that haven’t migrated out of the laundry room yet.

I used all my brain power writing and editing yesterday morning so I gave up the idea of price matching and instead came home with the biggest jar of peanut butter I could find.

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I should also mention that at this moment Gus is eating powdered donuts for lunch.

People love to remind me I can’t do it all. Nope, I can’t.

People also ask me how the book is coming. Well, I’ll tell you. Pretty much everyday I hold my head in my hands and wonder how bad the reviews will be and why I can’t think of a phrase other than “tilted his head” to use in conversation.

I get a little sick to my stomach thinking about how I can never write as well as ________________ (insert name of whatever author I’m currently reading).

I wonder if the story is too idealistic, too flawed, too close to my home and heart. I wonder if my grandmother would be proud.

Then I start writing again and every now and then, I think, maybe it won’t be so bad. Looking forward to our annual Edisto trip helps. Planning interviews and excursions all in the name of research helps. Drinking iced coffee in the library while there’s a babysitter at home helps.

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Remembering that this the story God gave me–word by word, moment by moment, through the eyes of editors and friends and in the windows of my own heart–that definitely helps. My novel is about letting go, embracing grace, appreciating how every flaw in your past can make you who you are today.

Mine has certainly made me. And my present re-makes me every day.

So some things have to go. Like clean floors and big savings and making sure Gus matches. For now, it’s just enough that his clothes are clean.

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