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Things that get in the way of writing when you are a stay-at-home, trying to be a work-from-home, mom

Things that get in the way of writing when you are a stay-at-home, trying to be a work-from-home, mom

I’ve been trying to work on an honest-to-goodness sciency parenting piece of writing.  When (not IF, note the confidence here!) I finish it, I’ll post it on this blog.  This particular piece is about iron nutrition for babies transitioning from a milk diet to solid foods.  My baby hates cereal, in fact hates eating anything with a spoon, and I’ve been fretting that she isn’t getting enough iron since I can’t feed her that disgusting fortified baby cereal (Preview:  I did enough research today to ease my fears a bit, but you’ll have to stay tuned for the fun sciency details.)  My goal is to write pieces like this on a free-lance basis for parenting magazines.  You can laugh if you want.  Or if you have any advice about this dream of mine, please let me know.  I’ll write more about my plans soon, but first let me tell about why I’ve made so little progress today.  If you are a parent and/or a writer, I’m sure you can relate.

I feel like I am finally getting to the meat of the issue.  I have even gotten to the point of building a spreadsheet with lots of confident little numbers.  I run to the kitchen for a quick glass of water.  Husband, who often works evenings and nights so is kicking around the house in the middle of the day, says: “Baby is napping… I think we should go take a “nap” too (wink, wink).”  Are you kidding me?  But I’m trying to work… No, nobody is paying me to do said work.  No, nobody is making me do it, but I need it.  (Husband is surprisingly understanding and supportive despite my weak argument.)

Later, husband is off to work and baby is in bed.  The evening is all mine.  I schedule it out in my head:

7-7:30 – eat and flip through a cookbook to try to make a grocery list for tomorrow;

7:30 – 8 – clean up kitchen, feed the pets, throw in a load of laundry, etc. ;

8-10 – WRITE;

10-10:30 – get ready for bed and do a little reading, then sleep!

Problem is, that “etc.” turns into a million things.  Have you ever read “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie”?  I know you have, probably million times, right?

Here’s the version that I lived tonight:

If you give a cat some cat food, you might find ants in her dish.

So you dump the anty food into the trash but then realize that if you don’t take it out now, you’ll have ants all over the kitchen.

So you take out the trash, which means pulling in the cans from the curb.

As you drag the cans up the driveway, you realize the plants are looking sad and droopy, and you can’t remember the last time you watered them, so you stop to water the garden.

The garden is happy, so you go in to take care of those ants, which means squishing them with a wet paper towel since you aren’t sure if there is a safe ant killer with a baby crawling around the house.

While you are on your hands and knees, you realize just how dirty the floor is, so you get the broom out and start sweeping.

After you have swept the whole house, you have a really impressive pile of dirt, and you are glad that you took care of that job, you really are, but it is now 8:40 and time to write.

So you sit down at your computer, but before you get back to the iron question, you have to cruise around a few blogs (important research) and then you decide to jot down a few notes about how difficult it can be to get any writing done.

OK, so I’m no children’s book writer.  Can I make a career out of writing about how difficult it is to write?  Because it is 9:45 and lots of questions about iron remain.

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3 Comments
  1. I never fed Bug the disgusting cereal- I tasted it once, decided it was for the birds, and read probably a lot of the same papers you have. And seriously, good luck getting real data into parenting magazines. I shudder every time I flip through Parents; a friend of mine once described science-in-popular-media as "Something YOU use EVERY DAY could KILL you!". Also, yuck, ants.

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    August 15, 2011
  2. I am a little concerned about iron – I don't think I do a good enough job of getting it into BabyC's diet. It is a really interesting issue though. The cereal is gross, but it, along with iron-fortified formula, have improved a public health problem. My baby eats just about anything you put in front of her, but not that cereal. Iron-fortified cardboard. There's so much fluff in parenting magazines, and all the moms I know have real questions that have probably been answered by science if you can take the time to evaluate the papers. Why do you think the magazines shy away from these kinds of pieces?Thanks for commenting. I'm so new this and slow to get it off the ground.

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    August 16, 2011
  3. I think fear sells better than "life is full of risks, and everyone dies of something." Then you can get rid of your 'chemical-filled' household cleansers and replace them with a chemical-free substance, incidentally winning a million pounds in the process, and feeling like you've regained control.Alas.

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    August 18, 2011

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