Mothering and writing

Writing when you have a five month old baby is hard.

You don’t have the hands. Or the time. Or the quiet. Or the necessary mental energy.  I’m here now though, typing this with my right hand while I cradle my napping son in the left.  Since he was born, I’ve wanted to write but found myself, with every slim, time-sensitive window of opportunity, choosing to do different things instead. I’ll put the washing on. I’ll go on Facebook.  I’ll clean the sink. I’ll rush around completing half of about seventeen chores. And with every three minute window in which I prioritise something else, the frustration of not writing collects. It doesn’t get swept away like it usually does. It’s settling like sediment, it’s compressing, it’s warm to the touch.

I don’t know how much time I have before he wakes and requires my attention (and my right hand), so I will press on.

I barely wrote in 2017 for various reasons and excuses. Pregnancy and then having a baby are two of them. 2016 wasn’t much better. In 2014-2015 I’d pretty much lost all confidence in myself that I’d accrued up until that point. I’ve not felt like a writer for years, have been startled and embarrassed when old friends and acquaintances ask me ‘how my writing is going’. I’ve not felt very alive.

But motherhood is changing things. It’s the main reason why I currently can’t write (easily, without trying really hard to find the time, the mental wherewithal and the free hand), yet it’s brought me back to this neglected blog.  I am rusty with words and my re-wired brain (yes really) feels blunt and muddled, and my thought streams are shallow, but I want to – need to – write.

Surely, surely new mothers can write. New mothers do write. I owe it to myself. I owe it to him.

(He’s awake.)


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