It’s a great pleasure for us to have guest mom and fellow writer Christina Hergenrader at Peanut Butter on the Keyboard today! Welcome, Christina–we’re so glad to have you here!
Thank you, ladies, for inviting me to guest blog.
I love this blog and all of your witty and realistic takes on mothering and writing.
As the mother of so many little kids, I’m a walking magnet for advice. Truthfully, this could also be because I don’t really have my act together.
If I go to Target with all four kids some older woman will stop me to say, “Wow. You have your hands full.”
Yes, I often (literally) do have my hands full with kids or Kleenex or something, so I smile and nod.
Then I try to leave. Because I know what she’ll say next: “Enjoy every second of these years. They go SO FAST.”
Which I’m sure they do. I mean, they don’t seem to be going all that fast this week as all four kids are battling a stomach virus.
Actually, last week didn’t go all that fast either.
BUT I can appreciate what this stranger is warning me about…look past the minor inconveniences (is a stomach virus for four kids with questionable toilet skills really minor, though?) and soak up the fun.
Here’s what I wish other Target customers would say to me instead: “Sister, it’s a marathon.”
If you’ve ever cheered on marathon runners, you’ve seen that they pace themselves. They reserve passion and energy for the trials and excitement to come…including the finish line.
Recently a friend of mine had her first baby. She had waited a long time for this baby, and his birth was a VERY BIG DEAL. (It takes one to know one—I was the same way.)
As she obsessed over breast vs. bottle and co-sleeping and Ferberizing, I shared that advice: It’s a marathon.
You have to save some passion for the potty training, and school choosing, and virus fighting to come.
Coincidentally, I recently told a writer friend the same thing: “Sister, it’s a marathon.”
After years of trying, she had just landed her first book deal. She became obsessed with the contract and writing and edits like I had about my first baby—and my first book. At lunch she complained about how hard the publishing process was and how she JUST WANTED TO BE DONE!
I felt like those well-meaning ladies at Target as I told her, “Cherish this time. There’s, really, nothing like the thrill of writing your first book.”
And I meant it. I may have become wiser with subsequent books, but I’m also more cynical. I know about the book signings when no one comes. I’ve had my heart broken when even my closest friends forget I have a book coming out.
But there’s nothing like the anticipation of having an actual editor, of holding your first book, of signing your first copy.
And, really, there’s nothing like the career of writing. Or the joy of being a mom.
As long as you remember that they’re both marathons.