I get asked this question a lot. Like a lot, a lot. While some people assume my job is easy, the majority of you see me struggling to balance writing, fundraising, marketing and mommyhood and wonder out loud about where I find the time and energy to do ALL THE THINGS. I’ll admit that sometimes I wonder this myself. I mean am I crazy? Wait…don’t answer that.
Recently, I read a few articles and Facebook posts that addressed the unique challenges women writers face, especially when they are also someone’s mommy. One of them perfectly put into words exactly how I feel as a mother of two small children and a fledgling author of two book babies: Mother, Writer, Monster. [Totally read this y’all].
If it’s so hard, why do I do it?
Why do I write if it means that I have to sacrifice so much? Can’t I just be happy raising my boys into fine upstanding individuals? The answer is simple. No, I can’t. I write because I have to. If you are an artist you know what I mean. There is something inside of you that doesn’t let you rest until you express yourself in a creative way. For me that is writing stories. I’ve always been a storyteller. Always. It is who I am. While I’m also a mom to two wonderful boys, that I love dearly, their existence doesn’t define me as a person and it shouldn’t. By putting Kelly first I’m actually a better mom. I know some amazing women who dedicate their everything to their families and then one day wake up and find themselves asking…”What about me? When is it my turn to follow MY dreams?” That’s a bitter and angry road to go down, but at the end is a fork where YOU get to chose whether to keep going the course (give up on your dreams) or take the difficult but rewarding path of finding yourself again.
Yes, mom’s have dreams and aspirations, too. I never in my wildest imagination thought I would ever achieve my goal of finishing my first novel, let alone publishing several books that people actually like to read! This still totally blows me away. What surprised me the most about this journey I’ve been on this last year has been the other women I have met along the way, and how they have helped and supported me in countless ways. I love being in a position now where I can actually be of help to others who are just starting out. I love the meme floating around that says, “Strong Women Lift Each other Up.”
This morning, when I dropped my eight year old off for his last day of camp I overhead Rachel Platten’s “Fight Song”, which became my anthem last year when I decided to take my life back . I matter. My dreams matter. It was a good reminder for me on a day when I already felt overwhelmed with deadlines, uncooperative children and a messy house that never seems to stay clean for more than a minute or two. As a woman, a mother, it is so much harder for me to achieve my dreams. It would be so easy to just throw in the towel and say forget about it. So easy. But I feel the the eyes of all of you on me. Offering your silent and often times vocal support for me to keep up the fight. Achieve my goals. Be happy.
Please share this with the women in your life who might need a reminder to keep up the fight. Thank you.
How have other women supported you in achieving your dreams? How have you help others?