One of my biggest challenges is balancing being a mom and being a writer. Some days I do it better than others. So I was quite touched when I ran across this quote by GK Chesterton. Just ignore the references to British government.
To be Queen Elizabeth within a definite area, deciding sales, banquets, labors, and holidays; to be Whitely within a certain area, providing toys, boots, cakes, and books; to be Aristotle within a certain area, teaching morals, manners, theology, and hygiene; I can understand how this might exhaust the mind, but I cannot imagine how it could narrow it. How can it be a large career to tell other people’s children about the Rule of Three, and a small career to tell one’s own children about the universe? How can it be broad to be the same thing to everyone and narrow to be everything to someone? No, a woman’s function is laborious, but because it is gigantic, not because it is minute.
(What’s Wrong with the World, quoted in Captivating by John and Stasi Eldredge, Nelson Books)
The last two lines are my favorite because, especially when my children are small, I am everything to them. I am their world, and the import of that can be staggering.
One of the main reasons we moved to Arizona was to be able to live in a place where our kids could have a yard to play in, sidewalks to rollerblade on, and streets for bike riding. Because we had decided that I would stay home with the kids, I knew I wouldn’t be able to do that and remain sane if there wasn’t enough space to expand the massive amounts of energy my kids seem to generate. Wish they’d transfer some of that energy to me.
And over the past three years as various people have asked us if moving to Arizona was worth what it’s cost us, I’ve been able to say yes, if only for the sake of my kids … and my sanity.
My writing hasn’t been hurt, either. In California I had written zero books. In Arizona, I’ve just finished my third.
But for now, I’m going to go make cupcakes with my boy. Gotta celebrate finishing book three.