Thursday, October 16, 2008

Stay-at-Home Mom and Writer

A neighbor recently discovered I'm an author and she stopped to talk with me over the weekend when I was cleaning up the flowerbeds in front of the house. Instead of the--"Oh, isn't that wonderful" reaction I usually get, the lady couldn't imagine why I'd want to stay home all day and write books.

Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine I'd be a stay-at-home mom who writes romance novels. Do I have any regrets--heck, no! I'm home to nurture, support, care…or as my teenage son and daughter prefer….nag, monitor and interfere in their daily lives. After those tasks are accomplished and the kids hop on the bus each morning I spend the next several hours creating stories about what I love most: home and hearth.

But writing is a high-stress job--really! I've got only a few hours before the bus returns to make my stubborn hero (I'm married to one, so I have plenty of experience with this kind of man) come to his senses and admit he loves my spirited, independent and determined heroine (that's who I want to be when I grow up).

Okay, so that's the fun part of my job--if my subconscious cooperates… "There's mold growing in the toilets!," it nags. "The dirty clothes in the laundry room won’t jump into the wash machine on their own!"

And the worst offender…the treadmill--"Hey, baby, remember what you looked like at twenty-two? Give me a half-hour a day and I'll turn you into a sex goddess! "

I attempt to convince the nagging voice in my head that I'm saving those activities for when I suffer writer's block--which happens often enough to add a little extra stress to my life. On those days, hubby comes home, takes one look at the clean house and says, "Tough day at the office, honey?" Grrr!

If a nagging subconscious isn't enough to distract a serious writer, then the occasional unexpected phone call…Teen number one: "Mom, I forgot my English paper would you bring it to school so I don't get an F?"

Shoot, now I have to actually wash my face, put on makeup and change out of my tattered sweats because I have to go into the school to drop off the paper at the principal's office. Of course, I get a scathing glare from the secretary that says, "Haven’t you taught your child better?" I schlep back home wondering what good it does to be a stay-at-home mom if I can't even teach my own kids responsibility? Well, you can darn betcha the kid in my next book will tow the line!

Writing and being a stay-at-home mom is challenging, but I can’t imagine my life any other way. I count my blessings that I'm able to work in my home at a career that inspires me and allows a certain amount of freedom. In a few years my teens will leave the nest and then I'll grumble that the house is too quiet, that I miss the chaos and heaven forbid that I'm lonely. And one day if my daughter or daughter-in-law asks me to care for their children so they can pursue a career, well, I'll just say…Have you considered being a stay-at-home mom and writing romances?

RT TOP PICK The Cowboy and the Angel Nov 08


Gillian Layne said...

Oh my goodness, have I been on the receiving end of those phone calls (and secretary stares) this year! I informed my girls they have each had their one "forgetful" moment for the semester, and not to call again until after Christmas! :) Alas, I also work in the schools, so heaven knows what that says about my organizational skills.

Huge congrats on the Top Pick! :)

Estella said...

Congrats on the Top Pick!
Being a stay at home mom has it's own rewards.

Ellen said...

"The Cowboy and the Angel" deserves a TOP PICK...I was a wonderful story with two strong characters.
Your teenage daughter sounds normal and only someone without teenagers could think you can train them to get everything they need at school to school.

Marin Thomas said...

Hi Gillian, Estella and Ellen

Sorry for not responding earlier to your comments--I traveled to southern Illinois to watch my daughter compete in the State High School Golf Tournament and just returned home late last night.

Thank you all for the congrats on the Top Pick--this book is one of my favorites and I'm glad it's being well-received.

As a parent I struggle like many others to try and balance "rescuing my child" and "Letting her learn to sink or swim on her own". I suspect it won't matter how old our kids become, we'll always feel a need to protect them and save them from themselves :-)