I'm a big fan of Mslexia, and find it a thoughtful and thought-provoking read. I'm always intrigued by the pen profiles of their contributors. I can't help thinking that if men had a writing magazine of their own, they wouldn't all feel the need describe how they fit their writing into their busy week.
When my children were much younger, a postcard above my desk read: 'I would take over the world if only I could get a babysitter.' I finally had to admit that this was a little disingenuous. Now I don't need a babysitter, am I more creative and productive? No, I don't think so. It's true that as children grow older, a parent's role does change. Football matches replace playgroups, but teenagers still consume a remarkable amount of emotional energy. Like Pavlov's dog, I can't help jumping out of my chair to respond to my children's needs. Even when our children were toddlers, my husband could look after them and still watch a whole day's test match. I, on the other hand, could barely get through a whole page of a novel without having to do something.
I wonder if mothers have to grow out of this extreme state of readiness. I can mull over a poem whilst I'm chopping vegetables. Conversations overheard in the playground can hold the germ of a character sketch or short story. Sometimes, however, I do just need some headroom of my own for the proper, big thinking.
So today I shall ignore the washing, ironing, gardening and those missing buttons. I shall enjoy some thinking time, at least until the school bell rings.