You might have noticed my absence the last few months (or not!) Just recently, I had baby #2, another little girl to wrap her daddy around her finger, and another little girl to make me wonder where I left my brain. Because yes, being a mother is a hard gig.
I knew this time was coming, which is why I pushed to get my edits done while I was pregnant and only had one child to deal with, even if I did feel fat and bloated and got confused easily. From having a nightmare experience with daughter #1–which was a combination of first time mother inexperience, some insane tearing that left me severely limited, and dramas nursing–I had braced myself for the worst. Thankfully, so far, things have been much easier, but still I am glad editing was finished before dealing with a newborn and a 4 1/2 year old with a strong will and some serious only child syndrome.
Despite this, I love being their mother. I love doing what I’m doing even when I’m so frustrated and I feel like I’ve traded in my looks and super cool persona for borderline crazy person. I gave up finishing a degree to marry and have these nuts-o children.
But having people tell me to set my career as a writer aside and focus on my kids frustrates the heck out of me. Being a mother doesn’t mean I have to set aside my ambition and drive. I need the outlet, for my sanity. I can’t spend an entire day, and currently half the night, focused entirely on children. From my experience, I am susceptible to postpartum depression, and I will do all I can to avoid that. Already I feel the niggling of the baby blues eating at me as I struggle to juggle my new responsibilities with the old, and I will do all I can to stop it from getting worse and sliding into the full blown depression that literally makes me dislike my own child. My husband will tell you that I had him worried at one point when I admitted I did not like our first child. I do love her, I was just struggling, and I see that now, and I don’t want to get to that point again. Which is why I write. I can go into my head, alone, and reset everything. It’s the outlet I need to survive motherhood.
Is there anything wrong with that? I certainly hope not. But I am afraid people will judge me for it. As mums, I think we are the most paranoid about being judged, and I definitely get that way at times when I see others juggling what feels like a million kids with perfect hair and bright smiles on their faces, while I sit here wondering why I’m so run down with just two.
So I write, to let it all out, for my own coping purposes. Never do I regret having my girls, in fact, I consider both miracles considering my PCOS (which is another topic entirely right there!) and I know there is nothing more fulfilling that being a mother. But I will admit that I’m limited, and I’m far from perfect. I write so I can stay sane enough to enjoy the blessings I have.
Katie Teller is a writer of NA fiction. Her debut, Kiya: Hope of the Pharaoh, has sold more than 10,000 copies. You can find out more about Katie, the Kiya trilogy, and her other books on twitter, facebook or at her own blog.