Writing while mothering, and writing without Mothering (the magazine)
By now, most readers have probably heard the sad news that Mothering magazine is going to cease publication. If not, read Peggy O’Mara’s explanation here.
I found out in an email from the web editor regarding a piece I was writing for Mothering.com, which is still going strong, she said. I was happy to have had the opportunity to write this report from the Hirshhorn Museum nurse-in.
I also had a March 1 deadline for a feature piece on chiropractic for healthy families for the print magazine. It was an exciting opportunity, but as I kept facing challenges with canceled school due to snow and illness, and canceled work time due to a non-sleeping baby, I questioned the wisdom of the timing of my having pitched and won this assignment!
So, although I am beyond sad for the loss of this important magazine (and so glad that I have tons of back issues!), I was personally relieved to let one thing slide off my plate (through no fault of my own). I would still like to pull together a version of the article for another venue within the next four months (so, that puts us at July 1); I’ve conducted lots of interviews and have some great info. But I still need more time to research and compose, not to mention become familiar enough with the other venue options to make sure my piece would fit their needs and readership.
I’m still finding it a challenge to carve a path as a working-at-home mom, volunteering mom, stay-at-home mom with no childcare or local family, and a mom with health issues that need appointments, exercise, and a high-maintenance diet. That set of roles is in addition to being even a remotely available or compassionate wife, friend, daughter, and sister. And even mother, because while I’m here in person and as logistics lady, laundry lady and cook, I feel like I have been checked out even from my kids. I know that pursuing passions is important to my mental health, and it’s something I want my kids to see, but I also want them to think that they and their dad are supremely loved.
So I’m going to work on that! While I don’t expect to do a ton of saying no to things, somehow this article being pulled out from under me made me feel like it’s okay to throw up my hands and say, “Oh, well.” Not everything can be done all the time. I will not always be mother to a baby who can’t even sit up by herself, and some things can, in fact, wait. So I will probably pursue a little less in terms of new and future projects and try to just stay on top of now. (And by now, I do mean the present moment, but also deal with some of the backlog that clutters my desk and mind).
I still wish I’d been able to have a feature published in Mothering, but at least I did get a news brief about VBAC in last year’s May/June print edition (here is the longer version online). And I hope the new business model will allow them to maintain a strong web presence that I can perhaps contribute more in the future.