I'm Not Sure I'd Be Much of a Writer Without My Children

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When I write about my children, I don’t feel very original. It's more like I’m just organizing their material. They give me brilliant stuff to work with.

My girls are currently ages four years and twenty months. I try to involve my older daughter in my writing. She helps me record voice notes and take photos. She and her sister are right beside me, or strapped to me, for almost all the craft and garden projects I write up. I talk to her about my 'stories' and call my writing my ‘work.’

I'm Not Sure I'd Be Much of a Writer Without My Children

When what I write concerns her, I ask for my daughter's permission to write what she says or does and to show pictures of her. (Because the verbal consent of a four-year-old is sure to hold up in court.)

I show her my posts and talk her through them. She doesn’t have a clue what it all means. (Do I?) She is pleased as punch (odd phrase) to have so much attention and see herself in the images on the computer. I wonder if she’ll be okay with all of this a few years down the road. How will she interpret my words when she doesn’t need me to read them or explain them to her anymore?

I tell her that if ever she doesn't feel happy or proud to have her words and pictures used, I won't use them.

I tell her I write about her because I think she is funny and smart, because it makes me happy to share and makes other people happy to read about and see her.

I tell her that I sometimes write about how being a mother is hard work. I tell her that it helps me to share and talk with other mothers when I'm having a hard time figuring it out.

I am trying to keep myself in check about constantly cracking jokes over the frustrations of parenting. The jokes come easy, they are funny and I like them. But I want to make sure I remember to also share the positive and the silly.

This is hard because positivity doesn’t translate into humor very well. It wouldn't make for very interesting reading if all I did was spout adoration for my children or rave endlessly about all the cool things they do. I think it would come off as bragging. Besides, the most loving moments with my girls are ones that I want to absorb, cherish and keep just for me.

It is so much easier to write about the trying times, to toss them out into the world and find release from them by creating laughter. Sharing my failure to bathe regularly or keep up with my tornado-like young 'uns, that's where most of the funny comes in for me. There is tremendous value in identifying with other parents who reside in similar pits of filth and insanity. Writing about parenting frustrations helps me through them.

I hope not to embarrass my children with my writing. (But look forward to embarrassing them in other ways.) Most people, these days, share photos and anecdotes about their kids through social media. Though it may appear otherwise, being 'Mommy Blogger' is less common.

I hope that keeping my girls involved in my writing about them will keep me on a positive track and still leave me room to produce honest and humorous quips about mothering.

I hope that my respect for them shines brighter than my jokes and complaints about them.

I hope they stay open to letting me share things about them as they get older. I'm not sure I'd be much of a writer without them.

 

~Carisa Miller:Do you read me?

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