When I published my first book, a children’s non-fiction, titled, NEBRASKA, eight years ago, I was tossed into the ‘deadline’ world clueless of the work involved and the time entailed. Needless to say, my family was less than happy, and I was tired, stressed, and instead of being excited when I handed the book in, I felt more like a burden had been lifted from my shoulders.
Instantly I questioned, what the heck was I doing? After all, I worked hard to write and sell that book. and I deserved to see it through to completion. I should have been fulfilled, excited and elated when I finished. So, I knew to maintain my sanity, I ‘d have to make some changes in my life if I wanted to be a successful, published author, and I had to make them fast.
I think it’s important to note that my husband and daughter’s are my biggest cheerleaders, my website designers, my promo gurus, if you will. They are proud of what I do and often brag until they’re blue. . . but they’re also human. And being human, they were used to my being at their beck and call without my writing getting in the way, so in a sense, their negative reactions to my deadline schedule were my own fault, simply because I hadn’t prepared them.
So, I sat them down and explained how important meeting a deadline was and how I much I needed their help. Once I put it that way, they smiled and said they wanted me to succeed and they hadn’t understood how important my deadline or my daily writing schedule was to me. After all, I usually wrote while they were in school and stopped when they got home. This change in my schedule, and theirs, had pulled the rug out from under them. They promised to pitch in around the house so I’d have more time to write.
Hence, my daughter’s began doing the laundry, keeping their rooms neat, and cleaning the bathroom they shared. My husband began dropping off his own dry cleaning and running the vacuum through the entire house once a week. As my girl’s have grown, they’ve taken on more chores, and I am beyond grateful for all their help. To a layman this may not sound like much, but to those stay at home mom’s out there doing their best to keep all the balls happily in the air, you know any help is good help.
And, no, these changes didn’t happen overnight, but the point is they did happen. And please don’t tell me talking to your kids won’t work for you because you have sons, because, let me tell you, I have a friend with three boys and they do a better job of cleaning than some women I know : )
As my daughters mature, so does their understanding of what it is I do. They share in my happiness when a sale occurs, and feel the sting when I receive another rejection. In my heart I believe their increased support and pitching in all took place because I sat them down and gently, yet firmly, told them years ago that ‘this is the way it has to be’.
Children never cease to surprise me. They adapt fast; they can bend to new situations when they’re asked to, and they come out shining and proud of what they’ve done in the end.
The important thing to remember is, a child won’t change merely because he/she can: you, my friend, must first ask them to.