I recently read a blog about parenting and writing, especially as a new parent. The discussion goes on for everyone with children. Whether you write literature, genre novels, short stories, journalistic articles, or you blog to an audience: children change your life. I read this and saw that she was welcome to responses so I posted my own experience.
"I began my first book while I was on maternity leave. It's been hard since my daughter was born as I live in an area where the cost of living is high when pitted against the national average. She is now two and I am on my final polishing edit before I send out my queries.
I am a little different here too. I had a very traumatic labour that took a lot of healing but I didn't have the support I needed. I wasn't able to pick up writing again until my daughter was 5 months old. She'd fall asleep in my arms after feeding and I'd prop the laptop up on my knee whenever she was asleep. But after a month of this style of writing, I finally gave her to my ex and said, "I'm going to Starbucks to write. Don't call me. I'll come home when I'm done." I wrote for six hours until the store closed.
Too often this family thing can affect one partner more than the other, and that's a shame but the truth. Somehow I managed though. And we all do."
Too often parenting can take away in the early months of new-parenthood. It shouldn't, and both parents should support one another by offering opportunities for support and time away. Unfortunately in the Russian Roulette of circumstance, I found myself parenting alone for a long time in the beginning. This was not something that I necessarily frown upon anymore as I once did. I find it this beautiful blessing now that while I was on Maternity Leave I got to enjoy that beautiful baby girl who held my heart and enabled me to see the true beauty of creation, not only as a creation (of God's, my mother's-or whoever,) but as a co-creator.
Taking the time to enjoy that period of life's changes, at the time, was frustrating. I do believe I needed more frequent breaks, but now I look back and know I can appreciate that I got to stay at home. Feed my little girl, stare into her beautiful eyes and spend the time with her that she deserved.
Now that I'm working and dropping her off at Daycare on a regular basis, I'm left longing for the time I could just sit in my sofa chair and hold her close as she snored in a way only infants do. Only now, she's two and she'd probably just smack my face with that unbelievably strong midget hand of hers-so I'm glad I got to cuddle her while I could.
Meanwhile, the book did get finished.
When you're in the midst of the book and it feels as if something else is preventing you from being able to finish, you can sometimes resent it. I think that's what happened on those days where I didn't get enough sleep, food or alone time: I felt a tinge of resentment.
The incredible thing is that being a "New Parent," only truly happens once. Now, should I have a child in the future I know (sort-of) what to expect and how to deal with it. Also, I'll be better at articulating my needs to my child's other parent....
To all you new parents out there writing, blogging, painting or just doing that thing you do: keep with it. It does get easier, there will be more time for you in the future, and your child's life will not always depend on your continued presence... at the very least, at six months you can put that babe into a jolly jumper or exer-saucer. Yay for neck muscle development!