Everyday Life

Why Writing Moms Need Alone Time

John ran as hard as he could, pushing himself more than he ever had before. Still, his destination didn’t appear to be any closer. He tried to take a few seconds to catch his breath, but the sound of horses behind him compelled him to keep moving forward.

The horses—

“Mom! Mom! Look at my robot! I built it!”

“Wow, Wolfie! That’s great! What does it do?”

“It cleans up with its vacuum hand.”

“That’s awesome. I could use a robot like that.”

The horses moved closer and closer. John knew he could no longer outrun them. Soon, they—

“Mom! I need a drink.”

“That’s not how you ask, Wolfie.”


I get up and he follows me into the kitchen, where I pour him water from the pitcher in the fridge. “I want to help!” he exclaims, trying to twist the lid onto his cup while it’s in my hand. I have to grip it tightly to keep the water from spilling on the floor. He runs off, happily sipping.

Soon, they surrounded him. (What were those words I was thinking a few minutes ago? I’m sure I had thought up a better sentence than this.) He had run too far and too long to keep up his speed and strength.

“Mom! Mom!” Wolfie shouts in my ear, turning my face away from my notebook with his little hands.

“Yes, Wolfie?”


“Hi, Wolfie.”

Panting, he fell to the ground as the circle of horses closed in.

“John Blacksmith,” the leader of the horsemen said in a booming voice, “you are under—

“I need a treat.”

“That’s not how you ask, Wolfie.”


“OK. Brunhilda, do you want a treat, too?”

“Treat!” Brunhilda says.

We go to the cabinet and I grab a couple of fruit snack pouches. I open the first one only slightly so Wolfie can “open” it himself (and feel independent), then open the second for Brunhilda. They go back to the living room to eat their fruit snacks while playing with their toys.

—you are under arrest for high treason.”

(High treason? Is that a thing? I hope so. I’ll have to look into it. Now, where was I going with this?)

Calmly, John looked from one man to the next, then a smile crossed his lips. “I don’t think so,” he said. Holding up his hand—

“Poopy!” Brunhilda says, appearing next to my chair.

“Let’s go change diapers.”

We go upstairs and I change both kids, hoping to buy myself some time before the next interruption.

Holding up his hand, lightning danced between his fingers. He thrust his hand forward, shooting lightning bolts at the—

Brunhilda screams from the couch.

“Wolfie, don’t sit on your sister. Wolfie. Wolfie! Get off of her!”

I get up and pull him off, setting him on the floor as Brunhilda whines and throws her arms around me. I cuddle her until she calms down.

—shooting lightning bolts at the men. Their horses reared. Some men… Some men… (Where was this going, again? Oh, yeah.) Some men managed to hold on while others were thrown to the ground. (I don’t think I like the way this sounds. I’ll have to fix it in revisions.) John raised both hands—

Brunhilda grabs my clothes to pull herself up as she climbs into my chair, sprawling across my chest and smiling up at me.

John raised both hands, alternating…

“Brunhilda, you don’t need to sit on me. You’re making it hard to write.”




(Oh, forget it. I’ve lost the flow. Hopefully I can pick it up again when they take a nap. If they take a nap. Or when they go to bed. If I’m not too tired. Or in the morning. Definitely sometime tomorrow. Maybe.)

Originally Published July 2018

Published by Vibeke Hiatt

I am a wife, mother, and lifelong writer.

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