Writer | Teacher | Mother

Month: April 2016

How to help single moms this Mothers Day

Know a single mom who needs a break this holiday? Maybe it’s you. Maybe it’s your best friend or your sister. Maybe it’s the woman who lives in your building, who you don’t even know that well – yet.
Here’s a contest. Let her know that you are thinking about her, that you see how hard she is working, and you’re proud of the job she is doing. Trust me. That’s all she really wants anyway – to know she is appreciated.
You can nominate a mom, nominate yourself, or make a donation. Spread the love!
(But do it quick. Deadline is May 6)

Click here for UrbanSitter’s Mothers Day Contest

SMN - Urban Sitter Single Mother's Day Giveaway

Write Now.

Last week at AWP, a national conference for about 15,000 writers, a very well-known author told a single mother/struggling writer in the audience (whose baby was sleeping in a stroller next to her) that she could put pen to paper later, that now was the time to spend with her baby because these years are fleeting. They would be over before she knew it. Cherish it, he said. There’s time to write later.
I think this is total and utter bullshit. Of course we should cherish our children, but if you have something to write, write it now. When your children are sleeping. When they are napping. When they are watching television, playing on the floor, eating lunch or splashing in the bathtub. Write your story in a notebook that you keep in your purse, in the diaper bag, on the nightstand. Write it in a notebook that you keep in the bathroom.
Write it on a fishstick coupon, a Friendly’s receipt. Write it on the back of an envelope, a business card, a Starbucks napkin. It doesn’t fucking matter. Just write it.
There’s time to write now AND later. This isn’t an either/or scenario.
Writing is a practice. Nobody is born good at it, not even this very famous author at AWP. I don’t know him personally, but I’m fairly certain he wasn’t born writing books that get turned into movies. We all suck at first. We all write crappy first drafts. But if we keep telling ourselves later, later, later – then there will never be any first drafts. There will never be any practice.
Here’s the truth: There will always be something standing between you and the page. Maybe it’s the baby’s first few months of life. Maybe it’s the baby’s first day of school. Maybe it’s the baby’s soccer practice or orchestra practice or art class. Maybe it’s those pesky teenage years, or the stress of sending your baby off to college.
Maybe it’s guilt. We shouldn’t be writing! We should be cherishing! We should be watching our children as they sleep, as they eat, as they play. Writing is selfish!
I call bullshit on that.
Here’s what isn’t bullshit: If you don’t practice writing now, then you won’t practice writing later either. If you don’t start sitting with the guilt of balancing motherhood with writing, then you will never learn how to let that feeling go. And we all need practice with letting that feeling go.
Cherish your baby. But cherish yourself too.
And write, write, write, write.

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