By Nancy Farrier
My mother had it so easy. While I went to school and did chores, she was a stay at home Mom with nothing to do. Sure she cooked meals, did laundry, and a few household chores, but what’s so hard about that? I knew that most of the work around the house and farm fell to my sister’s and me. At least, that’s the way I viewed life growing up.
Then I became a Mom. Suddenly, I understood what kept my mother so busy. Cleaning house doesn’t happen in a few minutes. I found out it can be hard, tiring work. Cook, laundress, dishwasher, organizer, taxi driver, arbitrator of fights, and teacher are only a few of the hats my mother wore. I found that to understand and appreciate a mother’s role, I have to be one, or to be very observant. What looked simple carried an underlying degree of difficulty some will never realize.
I don’t know how many times I’ve had people say something about how easy it is to write a book. How hard can it be? You get an idea and you write it down, right? They have no concept of how character, plot, and setting interact, and that doesn’t even include the finer intricacies of developing a story that makes sense to someone other than the writer.
Many people also believe that once you’ve written the book, the volume should be on the shelves of the bookstore the following week. The editing process is a complete mystery to them; they don’t see the number of people, or the work, involved in making your book available to them. Only those in the publishing industry, or those who take the time to be aware of the process, truly know what’s involved.
Mothers and writers have this in common. Their job is not as effortless as it looks. Yet, as both a mother and a writer, I would not give either one up. I love being both. So, I’d like to say thanks to my mother for doing her job without complaint, and for teaching me to be gracious to those who think what I do is so easy.