How to Get Over Mom Guilt + Successfully Write Your Book
Let’s be honest. Writing a book is a huge commitment that requires time, patience, and dedication. Between cooking dinner, breaking up sibling quarrels, and making sure your boo thang doesn’t feel forgotten, you probably don’t have much time to dedicate to such a massive undertaking. Before you tuck away that dream of becoming a published author, let’s talk about one reason you’re struggling to write that book: mom guilt.
Being a mom is a challenging yet honorable role. In fact, Psalms 127:3 reminds us that “children are a heritage from the Lord; the fruit of the womb a reward” (ESV). However, it seems as if many of us think that dedicating time to write a book means we no longer cherish the fruit of our womb. This is simply not true, friend.
Why We Experience Mom Guilt
I hate to say it but the real reason we experience mom guilt is due to our interpretation of a “good mother.” Oftentimes, we create our definition as a result of our childhood experiences. We look at the areas in which our parents failed to meet our needs and make a solemn promise to do better and be better to our kiddo(s).
We also face mom guilt when we try to live up to what we think society views as a good mom. Instead of writing our book, we find ourselves signing our kiddos up for every extracurricular under the sun. When our kiddos aren’t at practice, we try to spend every waking moment with them (when our pre-teens and teens let us, right?).
I’m not saying there is one way that works for all moms; however, I’m asking you to evaluate your behavior and thoughts and the rationale behind them. Do you really not have five hours per week to work on your book? Or are you simply not willing to show your kiddos that it’s important for you to have interests outside of motherhood?
You can be a good mom + write your book
If you’re like me, you’ve probably had moments where you thought you had to choose between being a good mom and pursuing your book dream. For example, you’ve already planned to wash and braid both your daughters’ hair for school next week into cute yet simple styles. You also made up in your mind to squeeze in a 30-minute writing session because you know, your book can’t write itself. Suddenly, your oldest shows you this beautiful yet elaborate hairstyle she wants instead of the braided ponytail you both already agreed upon. The mom in you wants your mini-me to feel as gorgeous as she is; however, this style will take a lot more time than you allotted.
I see you wrestling with what you should do. Can I tell you something though? There’s absolutely nothing wrong with wanting our princesses to look and feel royal. However, choosing to stick with the original plan doesn’t mean you’re not a good mom. Our kiddos need to know that our interests outside of motherhood are just as important, too. Saving that elaborate hairstyle for another weekend is totally fine. Choosing to write your book means you’ll help change your readers’ lives and show your kiddos that they, too, can achieve their goals with a little hard work and sacrifice.
Getting the kiddos onboard
Have you ever heard the expression “you don’t know what you don’t know”? This is especially true when it comes to writing a book as a mom. Let’s face it, we all have a tendency to be selfish--including our kiddos. They want you to look at every brush stroke as they paint and at every twirl as they dance around the crumb-infested living room floor. This is all normal behavior.
However, this also means it may be difficult for your kiddos to understand why writing a book is so important to you. They have always known you as “mom”. They weren’t around when you were writing creative stories or when you started that blog. They don’t know how invested you really are into changing your readers’ lives.
Depending on how old your kiddos are, you may want to have a sit-down and explain why you’re writing this book (you need to know, too). Tell them what your goals are for writing the book and how you plan to accomplish those goals. Let them know how many drafts you have to go through to make a polished one that’s ready for print. They probably have never seen someone write a book before so they don’t have a clue about what it really takes to write and self-publish your masterpiece.
Gently remind them, however, that you won’t neglect them. You’ll still have those special one-on-one moments. You’ll still attend their extracurricular events and help them through their life crises. You’ll just be working on a book to help your readers, too.