Showing posts with label homeschooling. Show all posts
Showing posts with label homeschooling. Show all posts

Friday, October 19, 2012

Balancing Act

Working mothers.

I hate that term. All mothers work extremely hard, whether or not they get paid an actual income to do so. We all work hard to make the most out of current circumstances, we all work hard to ensure that our children have a better life than we had, and we all work hard to be the best damn moms we can possibly be, even when we're fumbling and making crap up as we go.

My kid is in fifth grade and I've homeschooled him his whole childhood. Well up until now. He's still homeschooling, but my dear, sweet, handsome  husband had taken a much more hands-on approach with his education and is now the primary homeschooling parent.  He works from home so he's able to break away and teach our son important things like how to convert a mixed number into a decimal. He's being super supportive of my writing and makes a point to send me to my room...er, office...every morning with the assurance that "I've got this. Really. You just go write."

My son is super duper supportive and he sends me off to the spare room with shouts of "Go write mom! We've got this under control!"

Such amazing, sweet, supportive, awesome dudes. I love them both so much it seems like it ought to make my heart burst.

But as the primary homeschooling parent, the primary stay-at-home parent for nearly eleven years, letting go and following my passions is hard. When I hear commotion or my son's raised voice because he's pissed off and confused, I have to turn up the music and fight the urge to run in and fix things. I have to remember that my husband is smart...he's got this. That doesn't stop the guilt, though. I worry that I'm becoming a distant mother, that I'm making all the wrong decisions, and that every hour I spend writing a sex story is an hour I'm not on the couch reading to my kid.

Truth? I miss it. I miss being the on-point parent.

More truth? Working from home is fucking hard. I do have to tune out the noise of life, but all of the stuff that needs to be done still needs doing. I'm not talking just about the schooling. There are still pets to feed and breakfast to tend to. There is lunch to prepare, dishes to clean, laundry to fold, toilets to scrub, dogs to walk, dinner to cook, more dishes to do, cat puke to scrub out of carpets...dear god, the list of shit that still needs doing looms over me and judges me for ignoring it or putting it all on my honey.

I know I've said that my guy is awesome. But have I said he's amazing? He takes on all this extra stuff without complaining. I still do the majority of cooking and meal preparation, but he does almost all of the cleaning. Oh, trust me, Loves, it is not lost on me that I'm one lucky little bitch to have a hot guy who is not only willing to go buy me porn, but will be the primary homeschooling parent AND the primary house-cleaner. Just so that I can spend my time writing. The man isn't just encouraging me to reach for my dreams, he's freaking letting me stand on his shoulders.

And to assuage the guilt I often feel for neglecting my family for the sake of writing smut, I've decided that I'm going to be an example for my son. I'm writing a novel for him. It's something I'm doing under my real name, it's something I can do with the office door open, it's something I can talk to him about. Writing smut with a pre-teen in the house is pretty tricky, but writing a middle grade novel with a pre-teen in the house is pretty awesome. He can see the big outline on my wall, he can help me come up with names and he gets to be involved in the process, even if it's just to a small degree.

Writing two very different genres is somewhat difficult, but it's also completely fun. And if my family is going to be supportive of my writing career, well, then I owe it to them to explore all of the stories I have inside of me. Now I just have to find a way to spread my time between my pouty-lipped sex goddess persona and my wild haired, whooping, tree-climbing adolescent persona with the mother and wife I am.

Life. It is one helluva balancing act.



Wednesday, September 12, 2012

I Write The Stories That Turn You On. What's Your Superpower?

I think it's pretty clearly established that I write smut for a living. Okay, maybe not for a whole living, maybe just for cheap vodka money, but still. I write the stuff that, if done properly, will make the reader need some alone time to take care of urges. That is what I do and it's a helluva lot of fun.

But it's not entirely who I am. I am a wife, a mother, a homeschooling parent, and a leader in my community. I am a blogger, and a from-scratch cook. I am a friend, I am someone that people call when they are confused or have problems. I am someone that is always available to watch a friend's kids at the last minute.

But that's not it, either. I'm a liberal. I'm staunchly pro gay-rights, I'm an atheist, and I'm feminist. I'm strong, I'm a survivor, and I'm intelligent.

But that's not all there is to me. I was an English major with a focus on creative writing in college. I read to escape and I write to process. My husband knows whether I'm depressed, overwhelmed, or just chilling based on the author I'm reading. I have great conversations about Kafka and Bronte and Hardy with my fellow lit-geek girlfriends.

I have worked hard to develop a network of amazing and beautiful people, and to be brutally honest, I'm afraid of the raised eyebrows if it ever got out that I write erotica. I'm afraid that some of those great mom friends would stop letting their kids come over and play with my kid. I'm afraid that my liberal, feminist friends would be aghast that I write stories (and get turned on by them!) of being fucked by strangers or being tied up and made to submit to a man. I'm afraid that my lit-geek girlfriends will look down their noses at me for starting sentences with the word "But" and for writing things with no higher purpose than to make someone all wet between the legs.

Having a pen name allows me to let go of all those fears and all that pressure. Alyssa Steel is able to write the stuff she wants to write without fear of being ostracized or judged, and that is so god damned freeing! As Alyssa, I can say or do anything in my stories and I don't have to worry what my grandmother will think if she stumbled upon my them. I don't have to worry that my kiddo's friends' moms are disgusted by the bondage in my stories. I don't have to worry that all they're thinking about when they're looking at me is whether or not I really enjoy it up the ass. I'd imagine that kind of worry wouldn't make for a very fun moms night out.

When I go into my office to write, I set aside my real name and my real issues. I put on my headphones, turn on Alyssa Steel's Pandora account, put on my pouty lips, and become whoever the hell I want to be. Without my secret identity, I could never reveal this super awesome part of myself.

I write the stories that turn you on. What's  your superpower?