Don’t forget the chips and salsa. {Perspectives on Motherhood and Writing}

I‘d seen Briana Meade here and there on social media, but it wasn’t until she graciously agreed to share her perspective for this series that I really got to know her and her writing. I’m so glad that I did. We are both in the throws of figuring out what it means to be a mom, an adult, a writer, and a Christ-follower. I hope you enjoy her thoughts as much as I did!

Don’t forget to check out all the past posts from this ongoing series on the Perspectives on Motherhood and Writing archives page.

Motherhood and Writing Briana

Why do you write/blog?

I first started writing and blogging because I wanted to have a voice and I was inspired by other bloggers who consistently posted about their messy lives. Reading Glennon Melton (of Momastery fame) helped me to realize that I could be honest and true in a blog post, while simultaneously exploring the ways I hadn’t “arrived” yet. The reason I blog has changed over the course of this first year though.

I no longer feel like my worth “hinges” as much on the blogging world. I don’t track Facebook like a fiend, or crumble when a post falls flat (or nobody reads it). I have bad days with blogging, but I’ve realized that blogging is more about community and conversation than anything else. That is to say, for me it’s more like an intimate party with chips and salsa than it is a place for me to have my “say.” That has started to free me from my own high expectations of what constitutes success. There is no “success” when I’m in a conversation–a conversation is all about listening and responding, giving and receiving.

How long have you been writing/blogging?

I’ve been blogging (regularly) for about a year, about twice a week. I took a break this July because I realized that I couldn’t do everything–something had to go. I felt like I was losing myself in what I was going to write next. In addition to my blog, I also work part-time as a resume writer (I get to write and make money doing it?!). In between all of this, I take care of a 3 year old and a 1 year old. Needless to say, I have about one breakdown a day (my husband can attest to this). I’m not proud of it, but I wish I could find a way to give myself grace and slow down. I don’t think there’s anything to laud in being ‘over-busy.’

How has your current season of life impacted your writing/blogging?

To be honest, being a mother has been the source of so much writing material! There is an epic amount of drama in parenting, and I feel blessed to be able to ‘exploit’ that. That being said, I often feel like I have taken on too much and I struggle daily with my priorities.

In addition to the blog, I’m working on a book with my agent about millennial life that is tentatively called “Love In Fast Cars.”

How has this season of life changed your writing habits?

I try to strike a balance by maximizing my use of the YMCA–which offers childcare for a ridiculous $15/month for both of my kids for 2 hours (another reason I love North Carolina!). Sometimes I seriously wonder if I am dreaming. Every single day we pack up the diapers and wipes and drive to the Y around 9am. I work for 2 hours in a corner of the YMCA, read a few blogs, drink a cup of coffee, and call the plumber, or order those curtains off of Target. I also call clients during this time and write resumes.

When I pick up my kids, we drive home for a lunch of PB&J and chips. Then it is off to bed (if I’m lucky) for both of them. This gives me an additional hour of work and cleaning. Then the rest of the day involves 15-minute increments of crying, playdough, paint, crayons, screaming, etc. Both my kids follow me around while I try to wipe down the kitchen counter or do one of the five loads of laundry that are pending.

Sometimes we drag out the kiddie pool or go visit a friend. Mostly we stay home and go crazy together!

Around four, I’m about ready to call it a day. Zoe will watch TV for an hour while I alternate between catching up on email and rescuing Kaiden from climbing up the stairs.

If I’m lucky, I’ll start cooking dinner around 4:30, but most days dinner is a scramble of randomness. If I have a main dish, it’s a good day. If I have a salad complete with croutons, it’s a miracle.

When my husband comes home, we’ve usually already eaten dinner and (very often) I’ll pass the kids off to him for an hour. This is probably the only time where I mindlessly lay around or browse the internet. Generally I end up pitching in with all of the bedtime affairs. Sometimes I work on resumes after the kids go to bed. My husband and I will work together on the couch or in our bedroom. Some nights we watch a TV show. In general, we stay up far too late and have to drag ourselves out of bed the next morning.

Briana Meade

What is your writing/blogging battle cry?

The main focus of my blog is the messy aspects of faith from a millennial perspective. I write about growing up, botching motherhood (occasionally), and young marriage. What I most hope to communicate is the vast narrative drama that is life. I’m super amazed, as a new-found adult, at how complicated this whole grown-up thing is. I’m having to rearrange my thoughts and values to make sense of it all, and I think a lot of people my age feel that same dissonance–between what we thought our lives would look like, and what they actually look like, between what we thought it meant to be a grown-up and what it actually looks like. I thought I would have it all together by now, and I often tell my husband that I feel more confused than ever. The stakes are higher.

How does faith, writing, and motherhood intersect in your daily life?

Gosh. Those three are 100% of my life. Faith, writing, and motherhood are all so crucial to my identity. I find that I consistently feel overwhelmed by all three, am passionate about all three, and am simultaneously running ‘away’ and ‘towards’ all of them at once. Its like that three-stranded cord metaphor that is constantly used for marriage + God. Faith, writing, and motherhood are a three-stranded cord for me. They are so entangled that its hard to tell where one starts and the other begins. I’m hoping that’s a good thing!

Briana MeadeBriana Meade is a writer and blogger who has been published at Christianity Today’s Her.meneutic’s blog, The Christian Post, Forbes, Mamalode, Scary Momma, and elsewhere. She is learning to rely on other people, drinks coffee like a fiend, and can’t wait to attend her first Lorde concert with her husband in September.

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