In Which Jackie Gets Ranty-pants About Guilt

I’m going to do a flat-out amazing and thought provoking post on mother guilt today, because you know, I haz it. Summer holidays here and I have edits I have to get in to the editor in the next two weeks. Then I have to write the third book in my Entangled series which is due April. And in between those two things I’ll have edits for the second Entangled book – which I predict will be major because man, I found that book a struggle. And then I’ll have further line edits for my first Entangled book because that’s still set for a May release and they have to be done by March. And probably in March/April I’ll get edits for my July Samhain release. Oh and I’ll be releasing Finn in Feburary so there’s that too…

I’m going to be busy in other words. I’m going to have to take work away for our holiday at the end of January too because when the kids are home from school, I can’t get much done and have to write when Dr Jax is around. Ergo taking work away on holiday.

I feel guilty for doing that. Guilty because you’re not supposed to work on a family holiday. And I feel doubly guilty because actually, I love what I do so it’s not really work for me.

This is where having a job that is also a passion can be difficult because people don’t understand that working makes you happy. Yeah, I take time off, of course I do, but working also keeps me sane.  I’m also at the beginning of my career, where I’m making a name for myself, and that takes time and it takes work. Like when you set up a new business, you have to channel a lot of time and energy in it to get it up and running, so too with writing.

You see what I did there? I justified myself. Because I feel guilty about it.

I feel guilty for feeding my kids ready-made food because I hate cooking and want to write instead.
I feel guilty about my house being a tip because writing is more important than cleaning.
I feel guilty about writing during the holidays instead of doing lots and lots of stuff with the kids.
And I feel guilty about enjoying what I do.

Really, there is no end to the guilt.

Being a mother working from home, is hard because, well, you’re at home.And being a writer makes it even harder because isn’t it just a hobby?  I can ring you anytime during the day or drop round for coffee because hey, you’re at home and you’re only writing. And man, it’s just romance, right? It’s not like that’s even important.

Sometimes I wonder if I’d get these guilts if I was a man. I know some men would and that father guilt can be just as awful as mother guilt. But you know, people judge mothers way more harshly than they judge fathers. And I can’t help wondering how people would view a man working on ‘serious’ literature, or hey, even just a man working hard to feed his family. Maybe they’d find that just as egregious or maybe they’d be okay with that because that’s what men are allowed to do.  

I don’t know. People are weird and I don’t have any solutions to my guilt.

All I do know is that writing makes me happy. And I shouldn’t have to justify doing something that makes me happy to anyone.  Happy mother, happy family right?