Tuesday, June 12, 2012


USA Today Bestselling author Maisey Yates joins the Pink Heart Society as our guest Write-At-Home-Mom this month with a few thoughts on Learning to Love the Chaos...

She sighed and let her head fall back as his lips continued to blaze a trail down to her - MOMMY!!!!



He raised his hands to cup her - AIEEEEEE!!!!!!! HELP!!! HELP!!! MOMEEEEEE!!!!

She looked down at the turgid - STOP IT!! SHE TOUCHED ME!!!!!!!

If any of the above looks familiar to you...you might be a write at home mom. I am. And this is often what happens when I decide to go ahead an try to get a few words down even though it’s me and the kids sitting at the kitchen table. (It almost never works...I end up with...not a love scene but my hero shrieking about how the heroine is touching him and frankly...that’s not all that sexy.)

I think one of the hardest things about being a mom and a writer is that wherever you go, you carry your characters with you. And when you’re dealing with a particularly sticky book it can really take over a lot of brain power.

On the flip side, as a mom, your kids are always with you. I’ll sit down in my office (which is outside my house...kind of in the backyard in a converted shop) and suddenly I’m overwhelmed with anxiety about how the husband and kids are doing inside (cue me sprinting back in to make sure everything is okay.)

One day, I got a Very Important Email and I sat down to respond to it as quickly as possible, only to have my kindergartener start shrieking, “THIS IS REALLY SCARY!!!”

I looked to the left and saw my two year old daughter, standing on a dining room chair, focused on the center of the table, where she’d taken a pair of folded, clean pants and thrown them into a lit candle. And had succeeded in lighting the pants on fire. (I remember hearing Nora Roberts say her kids weren’t allowed to interrupt unless there was blood or fire. With my kids, either is a legitimate risk.)

Everything was fine. I put it out. The email was sent. I don’t light candle in the kitchen anymore. Ever.

That’s the interesting thing about being a write at home mom. Some days (and by some I mean...a lot) the two worlds just sort of mesh together, so tightly you can’t really pull them back apart.

Just the other day I was getting my kids out of the mini-van, juggling old chocolate milk cups from Starbucks while fielding a call from my agent.

I think it’s easy to feel like unless everything is neatly scheduled and compartmentalized, unless the kids are in bed and quiet ON TIME, unless you write x number of words in the day, unless you cooked a great dinner, etc, you somehow didn’t have a successful day.

I’ve been in the process of learning to let go of that. Because I’ve learned to accept, and enjoy the insane mix of the two worlds: personal and professional.

I love my children. I love my husband. They are the most important thing in my life. Without them, I don’t think I would be a writer, simply because for me, that love is part of what fuels my creativity.

I also love my career. I love to write, I want to write more. I want to take it as far as it can go.

I don’t get everything right every day. I don’t basically never achieve organization. But what I do have is the happiest chaos on the planet. Yes, life is loud, and crazy and occasionally (more than occasionally) haphazard, but it’s my life, and I don’t need it to be another way.

I want to enjoy it, even in the chaos. Because very often, chaos is what I have, and if I considered an organized, quiet day the only way to be successful, then I wouldn’t get to enjoy very many successes!

At the end of the day, my husband and I say: Everyone’s okay. Everyone’s happy. Nobody died. It means we won the day.

My life doesn’t look like everyone else’s, but that’s okay. It’s my life, to live and to enjoy.

And lucky for me, there is so much to enjoy! Even in chaos.

www.peanutbutteronthekeyboard.wordpress.com (Blogging about mommyhood)
www.sevensassysisters.com (blogging about writing)
follow @maiseyyates on twitter


  1. When people start talking about chaos, for some reason I start thinking about fractals. You know those totally random things they generate that end up being totally beautiful even though they are sort of out of control.

  2. This is such a great post! I am forever beating myself up for snarling at the kids like a fishwife because I'm trying to write a sentence and the small one is posting toast in the DVD player or similar. I love your victory mantra at the end of the day, that's what I need!

  3. Fiona, I love that!! And it's very true. There is so much beauty in with the chaos. :)

    Charlotte, I'm glad I'm not the only mom who has kids that try to watch toast on TV. ;) Glad you like the victory mantra!! :) We're all just doing the best we can, and we deserve to feel proud of ourselves!

  4. Great post! This sounds like my life (I write this with a little one on my lap). It is good to know that all writing moms have to deal with this. It makes me feel accomplished at the end of the day to get it all done.

  5. Georgie Lee, I've tried writing with a child on my lap but they always commandeer the keyboard!!