The Woman Behind the Blog
Here’s a summary: I’m a wife, mom, and writer in the business of hazardous waste removal, prescribing kisses for scraped knees, growing babies, nurturing souls, and looking for God (and runaway baby socks) in the trenches of motherhood.
Now get comfy and grab a cup of joe or tea or a glass of vino (whatever you fancy) and settle in for the uncut version.
Comb my archives and you’ll gather a few (too many) things such as: I’m a cradle Catholic. I’m a total Type Aer. I’m a book junkie. I’m a former vegetarian, and I still don’t eat red meat, much to the dismay of my carnivorous family. In my pre-mom days, I taught aerobics and squandered all that free time I took for granted running long distances. I still aim to break a sweat at least occasionally, but these days my workouts often consist of dancing in the living room with my kids or chasing a bare-bottomed toddler down the hallway.
I’d like to write a Great American Novel someday, but I’m okay with just finishing a book. I used to be a morning person. Then I gave birth to an insomniac, so some days I have to summon all my strength just to get out of bed, but I’m (almost) always glad I did.
I had a clinical eating disorder. I’m considered “recovered,” but the relics of my past have a way of resurrecting every now and then. So I write about body image. Because it’s cathartic. Because body image is the way you see yourself in your mind, and positive, edifying words help recreate that image into one of beauty even if you have a streak of diaper ointment in your hair. But no matter how you see yourself, God sees you differently. He sees me differently, too, and as someone who is always worthy of His love even when I really don’t deserve it. I just sometimes have a hard time believing that and even believing in Him. Spiritual dryness stinks.
What’s really crazy is I have a husband who sees me the same way. I never thought I’d find a guy who would unconditionally love me and my perfectionist, stress-ball ways. But here I am married to one.
We have three girls. I try to love them the same way God and their dad love me – unconditionally, patiently, and gently. But I fail sometimes. Good thing I’ve never been afraid to ask for forgiveness, and children are thankfully good at forgiving – and forgetting, too.
I was 23 when I married the aforementioned husband. I wanted a Catholic prince, but God has a way of denying us what we want and giving us what we need. My non-Catholic husband and I met on the Mock Trial team in high school. (He he had me on “Objection, Your Honor.”) We clearly belonged to the “in” crowd.
Okay, so I was (am) kind of a nerd and while I met my future husband in high school, we can’t really call ourselves teenage sweethearts since we amicably parted after (he claims) I dumped him for a beefy jock (I have no recollection of this).
Our “happily ever after” really began when I was getting ready for law school; he was selling cars to save up some cash before starting medical school. He stuck with his dream and recently wrapped up nine years of medical training and joined a private practice in Georgia. We had babies during the lean, chaotic years of medical training despite multiple warnings not to, and the only thing our girls lacked was a Pottery Barn nursery (or any nursery at all; we’d rather have them sleeping close by anyway). I’m a law school dropout and proud of it. I went to law school out of fear. I wanted to write, but I was afraid of putting myself out there. I still am, but I do it anyways.
I always wanted to be a mom, and now I am one. I knew mothering would be hard, but not this hard. How do I do it all? I don’t. But anything I do accomplish is only with God’s grace.
I’m planning on homeschooling at least for now. We’re taking it child by child and year by year. I’m a natural birthing, babywearing, extended breastfeeding, co-sleeping mama because that’s what works for us. (Lest you think I’m completely crunchy we use disposable diapers – and get them from free from my dad who’s been in the diaper business for years! – and Goldfish are an approved snack around here.)
And I’m a woman of many words. Obviously. I have my degree in journalism and once upon a time I worked on the editorial staff of a parenting magazine. Now I blog, ramble, and dabble in freelancing.
I’m also working on my first book, which Servant Books will publish some time in 2011. In addition, I write for a variety of publications and websites. I’m a senior writer and health columnist with Faith & Family magazine, and I regularly contribute to Faith & Family LIVE! and Inside Catholic. Some of my other writing credits include Atlanta Parent, Canticle, Catholic Exchange, CatholicMom.com, Children’s Ministry Magazine, Family Fun, Pregnancy magazine, and Woman’s Day.
I have the privilege of teaching creative writing to kids, too. They inspire me far more than I inspire them. Oh, and one of these days I’m going to wrap up one of my “almost finished” novels.
Aside from this corner of cyberspace, I sporadically share “tweets” at Twitter. Follow along here.
God has been very good to me.
I invite you to share glimpses of His goodness and my badness by subscribing to Momopoly. I’ll try not to post too many photos of my charming children. But when I do, remember the grass isn’t always as green as you might think.
Why I Write
When I was in the second grade, I snagged my first byline. It appeared before a story about a periodontal Tarzan who climbed into kids’ mouths and swung from their molars clinging to floss. The little guy made it his mission to save kids from the ills of cavities. My teacher loved it (she was not married to a dentist to the best of my knowledge) and entered it in a contest. It somehow won even though I used the word “neurotic” completely out of context, and it was published in a children’s literary journal.
I was hooked. I decided then and there that I’d be a writer (or possibly an actress or maybe a horse trainer). And so today I write (because a trip to Tinseltown left a lot to be desired and the reality of training Seabiscuits wasn’t nearly as romantic as my kid fantasy).
As a child, I wrote bad poetry and lots of stories. I started keeping a journal as soon as I learned how to write (I have over 20 old-fashioned journals filled to date). I pursued a journalism degree in college (along with a minor in theatre), and my first real writing job was in the marketing department of an academic medical center where I wrote generic health articles (how to reduce your risk of a heart attack) and more scholarly articles geared toward physicians. Soon I’d carved out a niche in health and medical writing and launched a freelance career on the side. I did some feature writing and corporate PR work, and I also kept my hand in writing fiction – my first love.
Before too long I landed my dream job working as an assistant editor for a regional parenting publication. I actually got paid to write essays and features every day. Then I got pregnant, quit the day job, but kept freelancing because I was our family’s sugar mama while my husband was still in medical school.
I still freelance write when life allows, but I’ve cut way back so I can concentrate on my most important works in progress – my children. (They’re much harder to shape than stories, I’ve discovered.) Since becoming a mom, I also aim to write about what I (try) to live and contribute mainly to parenting and faith-based publications.
I jumped on the blogging bandwagon three years ago, and I’ve never looked back. Unfortunately for you, I write about whatever is on my mind, which means a lot of my posts end up being about calamitous diaper episodes. I can be sappy. I can sound like a 6-year-old (we frequently use the word beanie in our house, which is a euphemism for passing gas in case you didn’t know). I can be long-winded (obviously). I can be brief (I promise). I can be spiritual. I can be goofy. I can be way too stinkin’ serious and annoyingly introspective. I can use writing as a form of catharsis or entertainment. I can be an obnoxious mom and post only the most flattering pictures of my darling offspring. And I can be brutally honest and write about some of my worst mommy moments.
I love to write, and I love being a mom (almost all of the time). I suppose that’s why I started blogging in the first place. It seemed like a good fit to be a blogging mom since both motherhood and writing can be solitary pursuits. But something happened along the way as I started exploring the blogosphere, reading others’ blogs, and hearing from fellow moms in the trenches. Thanks to God’s providence, my blog took on a greater purpose: To support women in their vocations as wives and mothers. That’s really why I’m here.
Maybe that’s why you’re here, too: Because you’re in the trenches of motherhood and you “will work for children” no matter the cost. I hope more than anything my blog will be a conduit of community, a safe space to support one another in our vocations. And maybe every once in awhile my words will give credit where credit is due. Everything I have is because of Him.
“For from him and through him and for him are all things.” (Romans 11:36)
Some of My Online Writing Clips:
My Faith & Family LIVE! Features
Why I Nurse at Mall and Mass
Permission to Be Human
Raising Little Women…Sort Of
The Moral Case Against High Taxation
A Therapy Primer
Augusta Bridal Guide
Catholic Mom Column
I Don’t Always Get to Write What I Want to, But...
Leaving a Pet Behind
Making Peace With My Body
Motherhood is Not a Prison Sentence
What You Should Know About Shingles
You’ll find me hanging out here, too:
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