Authoring and Littles

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It has been said a number of times that friends are impressed with the amount of writing work I can do, and raise two small children ((almost 3, and 7.5 months)) at the same time.
Even now as I write this, I am holding a sleeping baby in my arms.

On the one hand, there isn’t as much work happening behind the scenes as they might believe.  This time last year I was publishing my first short story, The Precious Jewel for debute in Den of Thieves: A Den Of Quills Anthology, I was blitzing through episodes of The Ranger Of Severum, and I was writing my High Fantasy series.

Being able to write and blog are only two hobbies of like, five, I enjoy doing, and it’s becoming difficult to have to choose which one to do in my free time.
Do I read?  Do I workout?  Do I write?  Do I paint?  Or Draw?
Better yet, DO I SLEEP?!?!

The baby has now woken up and every few words or letters, I have to push away at her little smacking hands as they hit at the laptop keyboard.  She giggles, finding it a game, I move the computer, and then she pulls on my clothes, to stand up and reach over my lap to try at it again.

What it all boils down to is time management.

 

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Exercising is difficult to make time for with littles.  Especially when they demand your attention all day long.  But, what I have found is I can get in an hour of cardio by doing squats, and swinging the kids around, and dancing with them, doing jumping activities, all by including them in my fitness goals.  Swinging a 26 pound child up in the air, and down through your legs while squatting really works your thighs, and you feel it for the next three days.  Doing the various leg lifts lying down on the floor, planking, sumo-squatting, bridges, yoga positions, you suddenly become a bridge, or a mountain for cars to drive up and down, all the while you’re toning, slimming, trimming, and making your goals happen without having to duck off to the gym in time you really don’t have.

Painting and drawing can also be activities to do while in the living room.  Set up the canvas on the counter, with all of your tools out of reach, and stand and paint while watching the kids.  Boom, easy.

Reading and writing are the tricky ones, as both are full attention activities.  So, when going to bed at night, or during naps in the afternoon….  I play games and scroll through Facebook, because I suck at time management.  ((I have written 440+ words and it’s taken me roughly thirty minutes, because Facebook))

Usually I read myself to sleep, once my pocket game has been taken care of.  I’m currently beta reading for an author friend of mine, and I find his book is best executed at night before going to sleep.  My husband works nights, so I have from the time the kids go to bed, to when the baby wakes for midnight feeding, to myself.  And again, I have to pick “Do I work, or do I sleep?” and in the end, socializing wins most times.

Mothers are secluded creatures who need to clear their headspace.  Clearing headspace involves mindless activities and SOCIALIZING with other people.  So, my writer friends on the internet are readily available to socialize with when I want to sit and do absolutely nothing when I’ve been going, going, going all day.
This, by no means, means I am inactive during the day.  All the day long, I’ve been working through my writers block lately, to try and plan out the course for action in my High Fantasy series.  One day, I hope to set the world of Eldegras in orbit for the world to see.  I’ve just spent the last two years trying to clean it up and make it ready.  This became an even slower process in bearing children.  Along with the kids comes managing the household, doing laundry and dishes, and cooking and cleaning, and being wifely by spending time with the husband….  All of the responsibility!  Nobody should be surprised when all a woman wants to do is mindless nothing on the internet.

 

My simple advice to mothers everywhere, workout with the kids, do your hobbies with them, and in the quiet moments you have to yourself do whatever the hell you want to.  You deserve it.

Oh.  And Coffee.

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When You Just Can’t Glow

I’m counting down the final weeks of my second pregnancy.  Lord knows I’m done.  With a minimum of two months left, an extremely active baby and a not-so-careful, active toddler, I want my body back.  Pushed, pulled, kicked and smacked from the outside; pushed, elbowed and kicked from the inside, I just want to scream “Enough!”  Especially since I haven’t had my own body to myself for two years and ten months.

When other mothers on social media seem to have great pregnancies, or appear to be doing everything right, always positive and upbeat,  it can make you feel like a terrible mother for not being able to keep up your exercises,  or afford your pregnancy tea, or being incapable of managing your toddler’s every need.
Discouraged, bloated, swollen, tired, cranky, hot and just plain miserable,  you scroll further down your newsfeed hoping somebody else is falling apart.  Surely you can’t be the only person in your circle who hates life today?

Books, toys, complaints, among a plethora of other things, are shoved in my face, forcefully smacked into my limbs, grabbed for across my bulging stomach, or thrown in my direction.
The rumblings of discomfort become more frequent as the “flutterings” of a rolling, stretching, growing baby start to feel more like earthquakes.
Prayers for an early delivery billow more like smoke from a forest fire, as opposed to a waiver from incense.  Each reminder that you’re not glowing and excited making you want to boycott the internet.  When does the misery end?

I read an article from Everyday Family this afternoon,  giving me permission to feel this way.  Finally,  I’m not alone.  And it’s okay to be done.

http://www.everydayfamily.com/blog/ok-like-pregnancy/?utm_medium=email&utm_source=2030&utm_campaign=Blog&gaui=7589455&tc=120085

My friends try to perk me up, some of them never having been pregnant and others who never will experience pregnancy.  It’s nice to be encouraged or focused on other things, but come the end of the day, you’re still pregnant,  you’re still raising a toddler, and you’re still miserable.
The neverending cycle of housework stacking up laundry and dishes, sprinkling dust in the air, mashing food into the floors, pushing toys under the couch, scattering things all over the floors. 
When all one wants is a nap, where is there time to enjoy the phenomenon of Life?

One day, it will end and I can stand straight up and down again.  I’ll be free to bend, stretch, lift and move!
Until then, I endure the moments by remembering my son won’t always be a toddler, he isn’t going to have Mommy to himself much longer, and Mommy isn’t going to have the same kind of time and energy -however difficult it is to come by right now- to spend with him like I do now.  There wont be enough space to crawl into my lap for his afternoon nap, or to watch movies.  He won’t have the same amount of room to snuggle into Mommy’s bed in the middle of the night.  He won’t be the only one demanding my attention.

How precious the moments, even in the tempest of misery.

The other things I look forward to, and anticipate with extreme delight, are various postpartum accessories to aid in feeling better about having two children, without the guilt staring at me from the mirror.  From tummy wraps to a hip corset, I’m looking forward to getting MY body back sooner.  Followed up with a better diet this particular time around, and not making the same mistakes I did the first time.
So far so good and I look better than I did the first time by managing a healthier choice of diet.  Ladies, I don’t care what they say, whatever you put on has to come back off, and it don’t just fall of.  You aren’t eating for two, eat for YOU.
So there is solace, and there is a brightside.  But I’m done.
And I hope every day she comes early.  Healthy of course, but early.

For The Love Of All Things Coffee

I have a severe need for coffee.  Being half-way through my second pregnancy, so close to the end of breastfeeding the first one, has been difficult — but only because, once again, I can’t have any alcohol, or coffee.

How grand it might be to grab a cup of coffee to soothe my raging emotions.  How sweet to savor a glass of red moscato, or a Mikes Hard Lemonade, or a mixed drink from your favorite restaurant, when one has lost the end of their sanity.
Simple relaxing agents that one might use to indulge themselves for just a moment.  A selfish little stimulant that you can wash away your worries with.

No, I’m not an alcoholic.  But work with me people, every once in a while you just NEED a glass of wine, am I right?

When life hands you lemons, they insist you make lemonade.  What I want to know, where do they find the sugar to do that with?

Life is full of ups and downs, and this week I have hit some pretty heavy downs.
From my grandma dying (which didn’t bother me much, she was a difficult woman to love) on Monday morning, to our car not starting on Monday night, to not having funds available to fix it, to several unnecessary things happening with the car in between…..  My saving grace this week is that the landlady is giving us an extension next week, so we can pay partial rent in good faith, up until the extra money starts rolling in.
From Monday, which is Hubby’s birthday, through the rest of the month, I will be in Ohio.  And I’m not sure when I’ll be back home after that.

So this has certainly been an “I need to relax with a glass of wine” week.  It’s terribly inconvenient that I don’t get to use anything to soothe my nerves during pregnancy.  Except like, a Lavender Essential Oils bath— but I’m a mom of a toddler, who gets the time to be in a bath long enough to actually enjoy it?

I’m going to break down and make a cup of coffee……