Being a mom is an adventure comprised of a series of challenges that leave you alternately defeated and triumphant. You never know what tomorrow will bring; you just hope you have enough brain cells and patience to persevere and end the day laughing instead of crying.
Though we don’t all get the chance to chronicle our journey, some moms do manage the seemingly impossible task of carving out time to capture their thoughts and experiences. A very few even manage to pull them together into an actual book. That’s just what today’s guest writer, Carolyn Coppola, did with the recent release of her book, Minivans, Meltdowns & Merlot.
We asked her to share a bit about what it was like to write a book while in the throes of motherhood. We hope you find her story inspiring. Who knows? Maybe we’ll be featuring your book soon!
The day my first baby started his thirteenth week of life I held him in my arms and cried because I felt like he was getting too old to say his age in weeks. He was four months old now, what a big boy. So many aspects of motherhood are a surprise, but nothing surprised me more than how fast these precious little gifts grow.
I captured as many moments as I could in my son’s baby book, keeping it up until he was a little over a year old. Writing has always been a wonderful form of relaxation for me. My mother gets a kick out of telling stories about how, as a child, I would lock myself in my bedroom and write chapter books for kids. As much as I adore motherhood, I also enjoy doing something that gives me a little escape. Writing gave me that outlet.
As a mother, I quickly found that my most useful tool was my sense of humor. My son never slept for more than two hours at a time and he loved to shock me with his crazy toddler stunts. For instance, there was the day I found him sitting up on top of the refrigerator. I was only in the bathroom for a minute (I had become a master at peeing in record time). I still don’t know how he managed to get up there. He also had a habit of picking up bad words from his big brother and using them at the most inopportune times. Once, while we were trapped in an airplane ten thousand feet in the air, he kicked a guy’s martini right out of his hand and yelled the “F’ word. Laughter is what got me through those moments, that and the fact that he was adorable. (I’ve always heard people say they make the difficult kids extra cute so that we can bear it a little easier.)
When my son, Tommy was in preschool, I was lucky enough to become friendly with a great group of moms. It didn’t take me long to realize they were in the same boat as me, and sinking quickly. I was glad to have them on board and to share many laughs over the crazy things our kids did. I wrote my book because I hoped by sharing some of my stories, it would help other moms to feel less alone.
It was a lot of fun and very fulfilling to compile all of my favorite stories into a book. God knows my son gave me plenty of material and I was never at a loss for a funny story.
Sometimes the most difficult part of being a mom is finding time for you. We have to embrace those moments whenever we can get them, even if they come in the wee hours of the night. Usually that’s when it’s perfectly calm and quiet, and I can actually hear myself think. This is when I wrote most of my book. I also didn’t hesitate to enlist the help and support of my fellow moms, my own mother, my husband, and any family member who was willing to lend a hand. I feel fortunate to have such a great support network. Without them, I could never have made the time to write my book. It really does take a village.
The day I first held the finished product of all this labor in my hands, I felt a deep gratitude and sense of personal accomplishment. The best part, however, was knowing that I had successfully preserved so many wonderful memories of raising my children. They grow so fast, and we forget so much. I feel blessed to have a record of my journey and will treasure it always. I know that I will blink my eyes again, and as fast as they went from being infants to toddlers, they will go from being adolescents to teenagers. In two more days that baby who was just turning thirteen weeks old will be turning 13 years old. While I’m a bit frightened by the teenage years, I know my sense of humor will get me through. Besides, there will definitely be another great book in there somewhere!
Carolyn Coppola lives in North Eastern Massachusetts with her husband, and two children. A writer for many years, she has recently released her first full-length book, Minivans, Meltdowns, & Merlot, a humorous look at parenting. For more information or to share your crazy motherhood stories, visit her Facebook page.