Literary Mama writing about the many faces of motherhood
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A guest post to motivate, encourage, and inspire...


Still a Role Model

Shortly after my second daughter was born and not wishing to return to an office job, I took up yoga. Within one year, I was teaching it. Within two, I was running my own business. By four, I had opened up a studio. Yoga had become not only my passion but my office job. I felt proud of what I was modeling for my growing daughters: independence, risk-taking and physical and mental fitness.

But eventually, my business collapsed, for reasons both complicated and common amongst business partnerships: divergent visions, money worries, personality conflicts. Once it had gone up in a cloud of incense, I found myself stuck between picking up the pieces to begin again or starting something I'd always wanted to do but had never found time for: writing.

Before deciding, I reflected upon my options through my daughters' eyes. I wanted them to talk about their mom with the same pride that they talked about their dad—who traveled on airplanes, had important meetings and wore fancy suits. I didn't want them to say that their mom typed at her computer all day and didn't make any money.

But I'd been spending the last decade following my soul, a characteristic that will likely never change. So, at age 40, I took a deep breath, shed the last of my yoga teacher skin, and slipped into that of a writer. In the beginning, taking classes and workshops, I wasn't sure I'd fit in with writers, having spent so many years with yogis. Yet, I found where these seemingly dissimilar groups of people merge: they are both willing to see human beings as complicated combinations of soul and ego—wisdom mixed with sometimes utter buffoonery.

I've been writing exclusively now for almost four years. My girls are teenagers. Here's what they've seen:

—Tenaciousness and Courage: I write and rewrite dozens of times to get it right. Sending out queries, I've learned to accept no-thank-yous with the same grace and renewed passion that the yeses give me. I hope that my daughters cultivate this same grit to put forth their best work. I hope that when they embark on college-hunting and job-seeking, they remember that every "no" is one step closer to a "yes."

—Passion: work and pleasure are one and the same for me. I hope that they, too, will seek work that feeds their soul.

—Artistry: Whether a blog post, an essay, or a book, writing is an art form that adds needed color, depth, inspiration, and perspective into an often rules-oriented, right-or-wrong world.

Maybe it's because my daughters' generation doesn’t define "work" in the way that older generations do. Maybe they don't put as much value on outer validation. But my daughters do not see their mother typing away aimlessly at a computer. Instead, they see a courageous, passionate, artistic role model, encouraging them to follow their souls. I know, because this describes the kind of women they are becoming.


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.

Keri Mangis is an activist, writer, and mother of two teenage daughters. She likes to dig deep and write about how politics, parenting, current events, and more are as much “spiritual centers” as anywhere that goes by this name. In a world divided, she seeks unity, compassion, and connection. She is currently pitching her memoir, entitled Skin by Skin: A Soulful Affair, in which she has blended her personal story of transformation with elements of magical realism to make a story that is lighthearted at first touch but penetrates deep down to the soul.

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