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Most days, life as a mom writer means I meet deadlines at nap time. It’s a job that excuses missed showers and understands that changing into clean PJs constitutes getting dressed for the day. It’s my husband who leaves the house each morning with his packed lunch and briefcase in hand. I typically shovel Cheez-its into my mouth, dropping crumbs on the breastfeeding baby while I dictate an article to my smartphone. Autocorrect errors are child’s play compared to what my phone’s voice recognition comes up with.

April means it’s time for the Erma Bombeck Writers Workshop in Dayton, Ohio. Erma was the original mom writer. She inspired us all. She could write about defrosting hamburger under her arm and have us roaring with laughter. Oh yeah, she got it.

Professional development is great for all of us, and a big part of being a writer is getting out there, meeting potential readers, and asking-and-answering a million questions about the business. I look forward to the camaraderie at the Erma workshop and judging by the comments in the workshop’s Facebook group, I’m not the only one searching for the lipstick I last wore six months ago.

As the parent whose career is more passion and less cash, it’s hard to lean on my husband to help me pull off the trip. I feel I’m asking him for too much, but as my biggest fan, he keeps telling me, “Go for it!”

Our son, Ezra, is just 5 months old and refuses to take a bottle. The freezer is stocked with expressed breast milk. I’ve left him with Dad in the past only to return to a ticked-off infant. It turns out he has both his mother’s stubbornness and his father’s impatience. I had originally thought I’d sit this conference out. The logistics would just be too difficult, I thought. Then, I had the opportunity to participate for just one day. So, I jumped and amazingly, my husband did too.

My husband will push the stroller around the University of Dayton  to meet me between sessions so I can feed our son. I think Erma Bombeck would approve. After all, Erma’s husband, Bill, retired from his work and helped manage Erma’s writing career. (No, honey, you can’t retire yet.) Plus, Ezra is already a Facebook celebrity. I’m sure if he gets fussy my husband will have 300 workshop attendees eager to help.

I’ll go back to PJs and writing at nap time on Monday.  But first, I’m fulfilling dreams with Erma and reaffirming once more why marrying my husband was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.



Bonnie Jean Feldkamp is a writer, wife, and mom of three kids whose ages span two decades. Her work has appeared in the New York Times; Brain, Child Magazine; Scary Mommy and more. Her Cincinnati Family mom blog earned Best Overall Blog in the 2017 Ohio Society of Professional Journalists Awards. Find her on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram @WriterBonnie or on her website at

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