Essays

writing while parenting

Pagan Families at Patheos has started a round-robin monthly series called Flash Points. The concept is that each month they post a topic, and some of their writers post on it through the month. Others are invited to post, and this is my first post for inclusion.

This month’s topic:

Beyond Mommy Blogging. How do you make time and mental space to write with babies or small children around? What factors do you consider when deciding whether to write about your children or other family members? Where do you read or publish work on Pagan parents and children – eg. blogs, magazines, books? Why do you write about Paganism and parenting?

For me, writing is as much therapy as a vocation. It is stress relief and creative outlet at the same time. Over the years I’ve written quite a bit about our family on my other blog, Our Little Acorn, because of our fairly unusual situation of being a Pagan family with children with substantial medical issues. I write about Paganism and parenting because I am both a Pagan and a parent – and I want to keep the sense of wonder and magic that I see in my children alive as long as possible.

Because of writing’s dual nature for me, and because of our schedule, I get one solid evening of “writing work” every other week, a little time some nights after the children are in bed, and a few hours here and there between other things. When I am stressed, I try to carve out a few more writing breaks – writing in my library/closet/meditation room is far less expensive than the therapist I used to see.

Over the years I’ve gone back and forth a bit on how much to share, but mostly, I believe that other families like ours benefit from our story being out there. I try to keep family drama out these days, and I try to keep details of problems with schools and doctors to a minimum. But talking about things like being Pagan and having a child in the hospital, or how a Pagan child who is non-verbal learns about things like Sabbats is important for our children, and for our community as we become more mainstream. Facing these issues head on is part of life here, and so is being Pagan.

Where do I write? Currently, I’m finishing up a book on Pagan parenting, titled, “Parenting Pagan Tots.” I write here on JanetCallahan.com on many Pagan topics, but with a stronger focus on parenting these days. I occasionally post on Our Little Acorn too, though posts there are usually more personal. And I recently began writing a column for Sage Woman, titled “Mama Bear: Motherhood for the Strong of Heart.”

I read a fair amount on Pagan parenting – blogs, books…basically anything I can find. I feel like seeing how others are raising their children can give me better insights on my own children, and can help me identify areas that seem lacking, in the grand scheme of things, so I can think about how to tackle them in our own home.

Check out my new energy work page, http://www.facebook.com/GoodVibrationsEnergyStudio

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