Hope all the mamas out there are having a great day, and if you’re not one, hope you get to spend some time with yours. When pondering the holiday, it occurred to me 1) that I haven’t blogged in a while (well, I warned you) and 2) that I have very few parents as main characters in my romantic shorts. I came close, featuring an uncle and his niece in “Tingle All The Way.” I took the plunge with single Marnie and her daughter in “Spooked By Love.” There’s also one lurking in my soon to be released “Wedding Flirts!” (Won’t ruin it for you.) But for the most part, I find it difficult to write a romance where the main character has a kid.
Why? Because the kids need to be cared for. And that takes a lot of time, and brings along complications. You’re not going to be able to linger over a blind date that’s going well when the sitter’s waiting at home. Or do the one-night stand thing, unless the rendezvous goes down at their place where the kiddo’s sleeping—and my characters aren’t going to do that. It takes some maneuvering to include a child in the story. Plus, it’s a reminder of responsibility and sacrifice when you might want to be writing about fairytales and romance.
Not to mention what a child does to the character’s emotional motivations. When you’re single and dating, you have to find someone worthy to love you. When you’re a single parent and dating, you have to find someone worthy to love you and your kids. I can’t imagine the pressure of that. The first mean word or hairy eyeball given to my kid, and that guy would be gone. It’s gotta be tough to be single and looking for love. Tough to write it, too.
I even find it difficult to give my characters dogs, because I just got my first dog and one of the top things always on my mind (besides what to feed the kids for dinner and figuring out how to squeeze in some writing time) is getting home to let the dog out. It’s like owning a ticking bomb, really. I feel like those guys on Lost, who had to push the button in that capsule every few hours or the world would end. If you’re single with a dog and meet a hottie on Friday night, you’re not spending the night at their place if you’ve got a dog at home, are you? Cats, no problem. But when writing a character with a dog, I always have that in mind. What about the dog? Doesn’t it have to go out? (Or is it just me?)
But there are plenty of folks out there in the real world who are single parents looking for love. I’m going to make it a point to include a few more in my stories. But not today. Today I’m going to enjoy my own kiddos.
And let the dog out, of course. (Wait, I’ll get the kids to do it. Sometimes, it is good to have kids in the picture.)