Literary Mama writing about the many faces of motherhood
For Your Journal: Writing Prompt

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Do you keep a journal – or wish you could get one started? Literary Mama wants to help. Several times a month, we'll post a writing prompt. Open a notebook and write for 10 minutes. Don’t worry about grammar or punctuation – just write. 


It was that kind of morning. It started with a far-too-early wake up to greet the arrival of three eight-year-olds to add to my one. Some friends needed childcare on this in-between day while they had to work but school hadn’t yet started. Yes, I agreed to have them all, but still, I’m not a morning person.

Then my first sit on the toilet had me sitting in someone else’s pee. Not sure which of the charming little angels was the culprit, I didn’t chastise anyone. I just cleaned it up, and hoped they would grow up soon.

By eight o’clock, the quiet morning calm had shattered with the screams and laughter of happy children. I was glad they were happy, but even when I retreated to the office, their shrieks still pierced my brain like so many cat claws stabbing into your skin.

Their gleeful play echoed through the house, but when I heard words like “slingshot” and “breaking” I left my room to investigate. I intercepted a plan to use the slingshot in the house, though luckily the only slingshot they had was broken. Still, I have no doubt with their brilliant brains they could have made it work somehow.

Then I turned past the living room, where I found the normally brown carpet covered in a layer of pink, blue, green and yellow Perler beads about an inch thick. Great fun was clearly had in throwing and hurling the tiny, colored plastic beads across the entire room. It was then that I lost it.

The four children were summoned back to the living room and reprimanded. It took most of the cells of my being not to scream at them as loud as they had been screaming earlier, but I didn’t. They were instructed to clean up every last itsy bitsy bead before they went on with their play. After fifteen minutes of picking up, they had done a pretty good job. And I sent them outside with instructions to stay out until lunch.

They went like a tornado, giggling and laughing, bumping into each other, and slamming the door behind them. I went back to my office and checked the time. 8:45. Then I sat down and took many deep breaths, hoping that those mediation sessions would finally pay off.


In your journal today, write about what makes you angry. Does it take a lot or a little to push you over the edge? How do you cope with your anger? How does your family deal with this powerful emotion?


Do YOU have a writing prompt to share with Literary Mama readers? Send your 150- to 300-word narrative and associated writing prompt to lmblogeditor (at) literarymama (dot) com. We'd love to read your ideas! 

Amanda Jaros is a freelance writer living in Ithaca, NY. Her essay “Blood Mountain” won the 2017 Notes From the Field contest at Flyway Journal. Other work has appeared in numerous journals and magazines including, NewfoundLife in the Finger Lakes Magazine, Highlights for Children, and Cargo Literary. She holds an MFA in creative nonfiction from Chatham University.

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This is hilarious. I love the "laughter of happy children" shattering your peace. How it "pierced my brain like so many cat claws stabbing into your skin." This is a tough emotion to deal with but it really can build to the point where even happy sounds take you right over the edge. Well done!
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