Literary Mama writing about the many faces of motherhood
After Page One: Balance

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A guest post to motivate, encourage and inspire...


I’m a little stressed. I’m trying hard not to be, but I am. I’m high on coffee. Cup after cup all morning just to, well, get through the morning. I’ve got two kids that don’t sleep and a boat-load of work to do for my Masters of Fine Arts in Creative Nonfiction program. Plus a heap of freelance articles to write, invoices to send off . . . and oh - did I remember to check whether I was actually paid?

Photo by Jena Scwartz

Photo by Jena Scwartz

“Boys!” I yell from my room. I can hear them bickering downstairs. I just need a few more minutes to finish off my book report and then I can pay attention to them. My hands are shaking from a caffeine overdose. My heart is beating way faster than it should. I’m trying to type and concentrate and get an A and respond to emails and suddenly my phone rings and now my kids are in my bathroom doing who knows what.

“Boys!” I scream, this time louder and more agitated. “I said stop it!”

“I hate when you use that voice,” my six-year-old tells me. I hate it too, but can feel myself losing control. I push my chair back and go survey the damage in my bathroom. I hope it’s a huge mess; I’m aching to yell some more.

“Oh my god! What have you done in here!” It’s not a question. In the span of two minutes, my tampons have been stuffed into the toilet, wet and unusable, bubbly soap has been pumped into the sink I cleaned the day before and my newly washed robe, hanging from its hook, is smeared with toothpaste.

“I’ve told you a million times. My bath robe is not a towel. Soap should be just one pump, not 1000, and do not throw anything in my toilet!

I see them exchange smirks and I want to smack them. Not hard. Just on the bum. Just to teach them a lesson. But I wouldn’t. No, that would be crazy. Instead, I start fishing soggy tampons out of the toilet. I throw my robe into the laundry hamper and I leave the soapy sink the way it is. I breathe in. I breathe out. I try to think. Yes, I have a lot on my plate. I want to do well on my book report and succeed in school. I want to respond to my emails and pick up my calls and check on my invoices. And I have two children. Two beautiful boys who need my attention. Badly, it seems.

I close my computer. Turn off my phone. Turn to my kids.

“Boys, come here.” I’m about to give them another talk about the importance of school and how I hope they will be proud of me and how sometimes Mommy needs to work. I open my mouth to speak.

“Who wants to play baseball,” I say instead.

“I do!” they cheer in unison.

One day, I know, I will write about this scene.


Join our After Page One series. We’re looking for 300 to 500-word guest posts that motivate, inspire, and encourage other mama-writers, and we’d love to feature YOUR thoughts about getting started, getting back to a writing project, integrating writing with motherhood, reading, or having a positive attitude. The list is endless, but here are some questions that might help you get started. We’ll publish a short bio so readers can learn more about you and your projects. 

Erin Silver is a Canadian writer and blogger whose work has appeared in The Globe and Mail, Toronto Star, Today’s Parent and Chatelaine, among others. She is currently working on her Masters of Fine Arts in Creative Nonfiction at King’s College. She is a single mother to two boisterous boys.

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