The Best & Hardest Job in the World
by Mysti Parker
As an author/mom, I sometimes wince when some of my writer peers say things like: “I’m glad I didn’t have kids.”
Sometimes, for a brief moment, I let out a little sigh and think, “Yeah, you’re lucky.” Then I take a look at one of my kids and I think, “No, they don’t know what they’re missing.”
Now, I’ll be the first to tell you that having kids is a BIG job and a very personal decision, and no one should be judged one way or another for choosing to be a parent or not. But I’ll also tell you that being a mom doesn’t mean your life is over and that every bit of your creativity will be sucked down into the whirlpool of diapers and laundry. In fact, I’d say my writing life is much richer now, because having kids has taught me a great many things, like:
- Patience: If you possessed none of this virtue before parenthood, you will learn it the hard way. Whether it’s nonstop colicky crying or breaking up the 119th argument between “He hit me! She hit me first!” you will acquire the patience of Job or you will take a nice vacation in the loony bin. This little virtue has come in quite handy, not only in keeping everyone alive, but also in the constant waiting game that goes along with writing and submitting things to be published. Weeks or months may pass before you hear anything. You better have patience or you’ll go blind checking your email every 5 minutes.
- Perseverance: It never failed—when my kids were babies, just as we were walking out the door to go anywhere, they would spit up or have the Worst Poop Ever. You either persevere and change that baby for the umpteenth time or you never leave the house. Perseverance is a necessity for a writer too, when that umpteenth rejection or wince-worthy review comes in. You clean off the poop of negativity, keep writing, and keep submitting!
- Contentment: A quick glance around my house would suggest a troop of wild baboons came raging through not so long ago, strewing a random assortment of things in their wake. Stepping into the kitchen, I realize I can’t find the sink. It’s hidden under Mt. DirtyDish at the moment. At least I have a clean cup for more coffee. See there? Contentment. Yeah, the house is a mess, but in order to write, I have to let go of perfection, apply butt to chair, and write. I’ll scale Mt. DirtyDish later…or better yet, now that my kids are 12, 9, and 6, I’ll turn them into little mountaineers when they get home from school. Hee hee.
- Love: One of the best times of day is an hour or so after the kids have fallen asleep. I’ll tiptoe upstairs to check on the sleeping angels, and my chest literally tightens with the love I have for them. I can’t stop smiling—even seeing my 12 year old all curled up with her stuffed bunny still makes me giddy. My husband and I created these wonderfully unique little humans, and God blessed us with the opportunity to be their parents. Then, the 12 year old wakes up and says, “Mom, you’re being creepy,” and I have to flee back downstairs. Needless to say, though, this depth of love has enriched my writing. It’s easier now to tap into those emotions, even when a scene calls for something heart-wrenching, because I know what it’s like to love someone so much it hurts and how much it hurts when that love is put to the test.
Sure, I might be more prolific and have more things published by now if I didn’t have kids. I might not have Mt. DirtyDish or the clutter of baboon carnage, but I’d not be the person I am today. My kids have taught me so much about life. I’ve learned to put others first, but I’ve also learned to better appreciate the writer side of me and to carve out that time for myself so that I’m a balanced person and therefore a better mom.
Motherhood is the hardest job in the world, but it’s also the best job, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.
About the Author
Mysti Parker (pseudonym) is a full time wife, mother of three, and a writer. Her first novel, A Ranger’s Tale was published in January, 2011 by Melange Books, and the second in the fantasy romance series, Serenya’s Song, was published in April 2012. The highly anticipated third book, Hearts in Exile, has already received some great reviews. The Tallenmere series has been likened to Terry Goodkind’s ‘Sword of Truth’ series, but is probably closer to a spicy cross between Tolkien and Mercedes Lackey.
Mysti’s other writings have appeared in the anthologies Hearts of Tomorrow, Christmas Lites, and Christmas Lites II. Her flash fiction has appeared on the online magazine EveryDayFiction. She has also served as a class mentor in Writers Village University’s six week free course, F2K.
Mysti reviews books for SQ Magazine, an online specfic publication, and is the proud owner of Unwritten, a blog voted #3 for eCollegeFinder’s Top Writing Blogs award. She resides in Buckner, KY with her husband and three children.