The Truth About Writer-Moms By Author Lauren Baratz-Logsted

If you don’t know Lauren Baratz-Logsted, you should! She writes women’s fiction, chick-lit, YA and middle grade books. She’s also a kick-ass editor and I should know because she helped me with an early version of what now The Glass Wives.

And, as you may have guessed, she’s also a mom!

Lauren’s “nice guy romance novel”, The Bro-Magnet, has catapulted to the top of the Kindle charts (as I’m typing this, it’s #2!) and lucky for you — it’s FREE until Sunday, May 20th.  Here’s the link so you can check it out yourself: THE BRO-MAGNET on Amazon. 

Congratulations Lauren!  

If Nothing Is Actively Crawling, The Place Is Clean Enough

by Lauren Baratz-Logsted

Recently, the Working Mom v Stay-at-Home Mom debates got a rehearing in the press. There’s one group that is often ignored in these things, the gray area where people like me reside: the Work-at-Home Mom. I’m a specialized kind of work-at-home mom. I am a writer.

Writers can be funny people. Often, you’ll hear women who are writers – or more properly, women who want to be writers – say, “It’s impossible to get it all done. I don’t have time to write because I’m too busy taking care of my family.”

Here’s the thing about lots of writers: They’ll find any excuse not to write.

Here’s the thing about me: I’m not like lots of other people.

True confession time: I am an indifferent housekeeper and an absentee cook. My motto regarding the former: “If nothing is actively crawling, the place is clean enough”; regarding the latter: “The microwave is my friend.”

The way I achieve balance is through multitasking whenever possible. While pregnant with my daughter, I read those books that say you should talk to your baby as much as possible – in the womb and out – to encourage language acquisition. The problem with being a writer is that when you spend whole days in a basement cave alone, silently pouring words out onto the page, you are not necessarily big on talking aloud. This means that the idea of making baby babble was out for me. Instead, when my baby was still inside me, I read Proust to her (no wonder she likes cookies); and a few months after she was born, when she started on solids, I used to read the Letters to the Editor from the New York Times, doing different accents for whichever state or country the letter writer was from, while feeding her in her high chair (no wonder her vocabulary is so good that at age six, she told me the problem with Amelia Bedelia is that “she takes things too literally”). Arguably the greatest multitasking feat I ever accomplished was writing the first draft of an entire novel, Vertigo, while breastfeeding. Obviously I didn’t do this all in one session. Since I was breastfeeding on the left while typing on the right, it resulted in a lopsided look for a time, but at least my child got fed and the book got written.

The best advice I ever got about mothering was from a friend who doesn’t even have kids. While I was still pregnant with what I knew was going to be a daughter, my friend told me, “The best gift you can give your daughter is the model of a strong woman pursuing her dreams with joy and determination. That way, when she grows up, she won’t feel she needs the world’s permission to do the same.”

I have done that.

This does not mean that there is not the occasional twinge of guilt. Occasionally, I ask my daughter, “Wouldn’t you rather have a different kind of mommy? You know, one of those cooking-and-cleaning mommies?” To this, she invariably replies, “No, I want the mommy I have.” Here’s the thing, the best thing of all: She is proud of what I do for a living and she has always known how deeply she is loved.

No, you can’t have it all. You can’t do it all either. But there is no reason in the world why you can’t do what you love.

Lauren Baratz-Logsted is the author of 24 books for adults (The Thin Pink Line), teens (The Twin’s Daughter) and young readers (The Sisters 8 series, which she created with her novelist husband and her daughter). You can read more about her life and work at www.laurenbaratzlogsted.com.

14 thoughts on “The Truth About Writer-Moms By Author Lauren Baratz-Logsted

  1. I didn’t get much writing accomplished while breast feeding–I was probably just glad to shut my eyes and unwind during those moments of peace–but I do remember children crawling on the floor under my feet as I typed. And you’re right: if we’re going to teach our children to complete tasks, to persevere, to be passionate about something, then we must model it. Excellent article.

    Like

  2. Lauren, you sound like the best kind of mom to me. Is your daughter going to remember, when she’s grown and thinking back on her childhood, that the house wasn’t clean? Is that what she’s going to need as she makes decisions for herself? No. She needs a strong role model.

    You are that.

    On the list of mother’s guilt – I’ll take dirty house, any day. You GO, Lauren.

    Like

    • Do writers ever have really clean houses? (She glances around, shaking her head, because if not writing, she’d much rather be reading than ever, ever cleaning–except the bathrooms and kitchen, of course.)

      Like

  3. Lauren, this is so true, and so well written. Thank you! I love your line about some writers finding excuses not to write. I’ve been writing, always, through all five of our kids, and I think nobody has suffered, other than the floors and the fridge. Great post.

    Like

  4. I just recently read The Bro-Magnet — such a quick and fun read! I actually couldn’t put it down. It was very interesting to read “bro-lit,” such an interesting POV, so it was great to read this interview. I love your attitude about housecleaning, precisely echoing my own!

    Like

  5. Thank you, thank you, thank you. Now I’m extra psyched about hearing your keynote at the Backspace conference. I need all the inspiration I can get at the moment. Thanks for the kick off.

    Like

  6. I’m laughing because I took a photo of the hornets nest (empty of course!) that hangs in my living room in the little log house and when I went to look at it on Picasso -what was that? what is that? what is that THING that’s with it? A big arse blob of dust *laughing* — and then I just turned and looked all around me – walked about the little log house going “oh dear – oh dear gawd, my house is a mess!” 😀

    And I’m spoiled – GMR cooks for me and if he doesn’t cook, I eat whatever I can grab out of the pantry or fridge in a hurry – lawd.

    But, I have no children at home, so I have no excuses, right? um – of course not *laugh*

    Like

  7. just stumbled upon this blog. what a great concept! I love the definition of women’s fiction! and I snorked at the image of the lopsided look. now must go take a look at ms. logsted’s backlist.

    Like

  8. This has to be the most inspiring blog post I have read yet. I even printed out the quote from your friend to put on my closet door to remind me to write instead of cleaning the entire day. Thanks so much for sharing!

    Like

  9. That was just the kick up my back-side that I needed to hear! Of course, my children are quite capable of saying that they would prefer a cooking and cleaning Mum (they were heard to mutter the other day that my car was too dirty – as if I am the one eating biscuits inside it?!!!). But in the long run, do I want them to remember me as a normal, sane, happy person doing something I love, or a frustrated, obsessive-compulsive cleaner yelling at them for bringing in muddy shoes and sticks?

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s