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

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


Prior to the birth of my son, I always verged on the edge of “overachiever” status. My every day included a To-Do list that would make the most intense of micromanagers dizzy. I was not satisfied unless I managed to accomplish each of those items in a twenty-four hour window. Attending graduate school was a life-long personal goal of mine, and the opportunity presented itself in my late twenties.

Photo by Jena Schwartz

Photo by Jena Schwartz

At this time, my husband and I were also considering starting our family. Our relationship was nearly six years strong, and no matter how much I chose to ignore my veritable biological clock, it would not be silenced. While higher education and motherhood do not typically occur simultaneously, I was confident in my decision to expand my education and family in tandem. As fate would have it, I became pregnant at the end of my first year of graduate studies.

My son was due in January of 2016. The timing worked out in such a way that I was able to complete my course work prior to his birth. All that remained was the writing and revision of my graduate thesis project. I possessed grand visions of calmly nursing my son whilst typing effortlessly with my free hand. I was determined to have my cake and eat it too.

Hindsight is a funny thing… two days after our discharge from the hospital, we returned as my little baby experienced a severe case of jaundice. Nursing was also slow to start, due to his illness, as well as extreme pain on my part. Needless to say, my thesis project could not have been further from my realm of consciousness.

Fast forward three months. My little boy is thriving. My thesis, however, perpetually rests on the back burner. My original plan of completion and graduation in the winter semester proved impossible. It was at this time that I learned the value of the proverbial “village.” An angel in the form of a church family member reached out, offering her love and assistance with my little one. She watched my son three days a week for a month, of her own free will, while I made my way back to my thesis and, in essence, a little piece of my former self.

It would seem that as a young professional and graduate student in this new millennium, extreme pressure to “do it all” abounds. Add to this the joys and responsibilities of a young wife and mother, and the perfect recipe for a breakdown ensues. If I have learned anything on my motherhood journey thus far, it is this: do not attempt the tribulations and trials of motherhood, or writing in any form, in a vacuum. Reach out. Form a village. Depend on the kindness of acquaintances (in my case fabulous church women). They are angels in disguise. After all, we are in this thing called life and motherhood together. We can have our cake and eat it too, if we are willing to lean on those who lift us up.


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.

Adrienne Fleming holds her MA in Theatre Studies from the University of Kansas.  Her research interests include Theatre for Young Audiences, eating disorders and body image, and motherhood studies.  She is a teaching artist and also serves as the Christian Education Director at her local church.  Adrienne makes her home in the Flint Hills of Kansas with her husband, son, dog, and several chickens.

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