Writing, children and ‘work’

Apparently, there’s a cyclone coming to Brisbane. It’s the only possible explanation for the amount of groceries I bought today. This shouldn’t make me excited – that would be quite macabre if there was actually a cyclone coming- but I have never enjoyed strolling down those aisles more (Oh, look, two free wine glasses when you purchase two cream cheese products. They do know me. And I thought all that marketing business was a waste…) And yesterday, I did thirty minutes of housework and it put the biggest smile on my face. I miss my routine, and I think the kids do as well.

They don’t understand that for the past month I couldn’t go shopping, that I couldn’t move their clothes from the lounge room to their rooms, that I couldn’t muster the energy to move items from tables that have been piling up. I feel like I’ve been moving from the PC to the kitchen to school and then back. Sleep is in there somewhere. Two days ago I had some downtime and I decided to read. It was bloody nice! I missed it so much. But do you know what happened? I found that someone had used the word barrelling and used one ‘l’ where I used two in my synopsis. That was not a pleasant few hours.

So anyway, to the point. We’ve asked the children to appreciate the time they have at home and to behave because I ‘work’ from home and work around them. They are only children, right? They don’t understand. I hear you. We have it drummed into us so often, that I don’t need to tell myself – someone else is already doing it, and they are doing it louder.

But I can’t help but look at this differently. We were lucky growing up that Mum didn’t work and we were able to have a parent home before and after school and weren’t rushed around. I appreciate that so much – now. Maybe I didn’t then? Maybe I was a brat? I don’t know, I can’t remember. But I know that I would never have spoken to my parents the way mine speak to me.

So my daughter doesn’t classify what I do as work.  And I tell her – it’s work.  Just because I don’t get paid and just because I love it,  doesn’t mean I’m not doing this for them and the family as a whole.  She can’t see it? She’s just a child.

But again, I can’t help look at this differently. I want them to appreciate what they have. If they don’t take things for granted, then I believe it makes them a more respectful person. Writing is work. I’m doing this because I want this to be my career. I’ll be writing even if I don’t make a cent. If someone is building a business and they don’t make any money for years, does this mean they aren’t working? Those people will tell you, it’s work alright, and it’s hard because you don’t make cent.

I know that I don’t have to justify myself to my children, and I don’t expect them to bow down to me for writing while I’m raising them. I’ll never claim to be super mum.  But I do want children that understand what it means to be passionate about something enough that you are willing to fight for it.


5 thoughts on “Writing, children and ‘work’

  1. Shopping/cleaning/kids not work?!? HAH! and again I say HAH! Only those who haven’t done it would say it, so to speak. But I’ll close my spleen and get to my real point.

    When I was growing up my mom was ‘the perfect housewife’ for the first few years of my life and school. Then she had to go to work. Dad always worked. Always!

    So am I a brat? Spoiled (probably)? Latch-key kid? The answer to that is a resounding NO! My dad always worked because he owned a dairy farm! That’s a 24/7 job with no sick days, no paid vacation and no benefits included; at least not the kind most people think of when they hear the word.

    The biggest ‘benefit’ my dad had was working from/at home. Even though Dad was always working it was only a few hundred feet of driveway from the house to the barn.

    That few hundred feet was MY UNIVERSE!!! Whether I felt like a space explorer complete with a taped-together ray gun or a fantasy fighter with my trusty magic sword (stick), that few hundred feet of land with some old farm equipment, boxes and trees was AWESOME!!!

    My point is this. Just because you’re working at the computer doesn’t mean you’re not there for the kids! I promise you when they grow up they’ll remember Mommy doing her stuff in the office-room, always there for skinned knees or squabbles over the toys. They might not understand work but they understand ‘Mommy here!’ That absolutely trumps ‘Mommy not here’ in even the smallest way!


  2. Thanks Matt 🙂 I think a lot of the time I am trying to convince myself. I think I’m so used to doing all the cleaning and what not that when I put it on hold to write, I feel guilty. When that was what I did 100% of the time, at least I was getting that stuff done. Yeah now I can say I’ve written 2K a day – but it doesn’t translate with the kids – and our life was becoming chaotic! Putting it all aside to work in the school hours is a big culture change for me. I loved having Mum at home – it really grounded us as kids I think 🙂

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