Welcome to A Mom’s World! This is where I try to make sense of my wonderful, wild and wacky life as an at-home mom of four young children and wife to an amazing husband — and as a writer for both children and adults. Here is where I vent, reflect, observe, rant and obsess over everything, small or large, that touches our world. Feel free to hang out, share, play nicely…and don’t forget to wash your hands!
contact me at jennifer (dot) clark (dot) estes (at) gmail.com
I knew at an early age I wanted to write. After all, my favorite thing to do was to read. I hoped that some day I would be able to captivate audiences in the same way I was held by the words in front of me, huddled long after bedtime with a flashlight, under my blankets, unable to put the book down.
I wrote and wrote, mostly for myself, but sometimes to score A’s in English and to help friends who had trouble putting sentences together. It seemed I had a knack for lending aid to those who struggled with their homework. I focused on writing in college, in addition to the study of literature and education. Teaching, for me, was joined with writing. I couldn’t separate the two. I wrote and I taught. This is what I was meant to do. It’s what I wanted to do. And soon enough, it’s what I did.
Eventually I ended up in Boston, where a kind city editor at a major newspaper looked at my poetry and teaching experience and gave me a position as editorial assistant on the news desk, the lowest of the low on the journalism ladder. From there I progressed to feature writing, editing, and essay writing. My time at the newspaper was invaluable, and solidified for me that, if teaching was my craft, then writing was my passion. Or maybe the other way around.Years later, I still don’t know.
Journalism also led me to my husband, whose path I would never had crossed had it not been for writing at the newspaper (his best friend was a newsroom buddy of mine), a surprise gift in my ever-changing life in this New England city. Ray and I married in 2000 and haven’t yet looked back — or had time to breathe.
The classroom called again, and after a few years I left the world of print journalism to return to middle school, and thrived as a teacher once more, keeping my writing toes wet as a freelancer, until the consecutive births of my babies number one (2002) and number two (2003). I stayed home then, to answer a new calling — motherhood.
This led to the question that kept me up at night — could I balance all of these parts of myself?
Ray and I added two more children (2005, 2006) to our family, and both teaching and writing took a passenger seat to my job as mom, one that daily provides me with a spectrum of emotions and experiences that consistently inform my teaching and writing. These two parts of me became my late-night bedfellows, the friends I sought after a few glasses of wine, the pals who reminded me of who I was before, who I still was, and who I had yet to become.
My youngest child is seven years old, and I can actually avail myself, alone, of our home bathroom facilities, among other things, on a near-daily basis. So unencumbered, I am returning to the other parts of myself, my writer-self and my teacher-self, and am trying to align these with my mommy-self.
It’s a tough road, with many facets to attend to, many things to experience, but I try to enjoy them all every day. Each morning I wake up eager — or at least hopeful — to balance all of me — mom, writer, teacher, and more — as best as I can.
(You will notice that “housekeeper” and “chef” do not top my list of personality goals, although I hope to maintain sanitary conditions and provide edible cuisine on a regular basis. For this my husband and children are grateful.)
What is indescribable is the way (and apologies to my brother for the trendy lingo) that each role informs the other — my teaching makes me a better mom, my writing makes me a better teacher, my parenting makes me a better writer. I am not perfect, but I strive daily to improve all parts of my self.
In my writing, in my teaching, in my parenting, my single message is exactly that — none of us are perfect, but we each are perfectly ourselves, individuals who are given each day to make ourselves better versions of who we were yesterday.
Now, in addition to my passion for non-fiction and essay writing (and my blog), I have embrace a more ancient urge — to write for children. After all, it was as a child that I came to books, to language, to stories, as a child I was captivated by books, for life. It was Dr. Seuss, Laura Ingalls, Judy Blume and a hundred other authors who lit up my world — as a child, a tween, a teen, and an adult — with their words. It is my dream that I can create the same for a new generation of readers.
A lofty goal, to be sure. But I feel I’m up to the challenge.
I am humbled and proud to join the legacy of moms/writers/teachers, all of whom inspire me every day. Thanks for stopping by!