Let’s have a little bit of vulnerability and honesty here.
In the past week, I’ve done two birthday parties, one camping trip, three back-to-school shopping trips, two doctors’ appointments…and more sleepless night than I can count.
My oldest is starting kindergarten this year. My youngest is starting preschool. That means I will have two days a week all to myself.
All. To. Myself.
This has not happened in over six years.
Part of me is celebrating. But the other 95% is absolutely terrified.
For six years, my life has been wrapped up in naptimes and playdates and diapers and feedings. And now my children are little people who don’t need me quite so much and are going out into the world. At least for a few hours each day.
I’ve spent the last few years working on novel after novel during naptime and weekend, and I feel like I have nothing to show for it. I’m struggling to take it to that next step. No one seems to notice. No one seems to care.
But I always had that fallback “Well, I’m a stay-at-home mom. THAT’S the most important thing I’m doing right now. Taking care of my kids.”
Don’t get me wrong: I’m not an empty-nester or anything. And taking care of my kids still IS and always will be the single more important thing I do. I will still be shuffling my kids around town, packing lunches, helping with homework, volunteering. All the stuff that moms do.
But I’m finding “SAHM” is no longer the excuse I’ve always relied on. I will now have a designated writing time each day that last more than an hour. I will have NO ONE in my house to tell me they need milk or to go potty or oops–they dropped their favorite toy out of bed.
And I guess what scares me is: what if, even with all this newfound freedom to explore my dream, I still don’t succeed? I still can’t make any notice my writing or like my writing? What if I upgrade to giving my passion 110% now instead of the 100% I’ve been giving it, and I STILL don’t ever get to experience the feeling of having something I wrote in hardback form in my hands?
The threat of failure is always hanging over my head. And my children skipping off to school, leaving me home with JUST my writing, is making it all the more real. Will any of this ever pay off? Do I really have what it takes?