I love writing (mostly). It is my job and I am fortunate to do it. I consider myself a working parent with flexibility in her schedule. And that can get a little sticky when it comes to parenting.
Many of us parents are caught in this very public white water rapids childrearing right now. And even if we want to free range it, if there are 8000 child activities going on, I feel like we should try to attend at least four of them.
Of course we all should and want to be “there” for our kids (wherever that is – I’m thinking “there” is the ball pit at Chuck E. Cheese) but the extent to which we can/want to held up against what is expected (and tempered with YOU MUST LOVE THIS IF YOU ARE A GOOD PARENT) is tricky, rough, rocky terrain with lots of gross, skin-splitting barnacles tacked on for good measure.
So, like all parents, I try to balance work time(whatever that means for you) and me time (whatever that means for any of us) and parenting (and God knows we’re all falling short of the child-centered gold standard there. Don’t Dr. Spock me.)
This last week was a full-frontal parenting one, showing up, cheering on, making plans, and taking notes, all amid the usual dentist appointments, homework supervision, and those deep soulful conversations about existential shit that seem to only happen at the kids’ bedtimes.
Somewhere on the ENOUGH graph where the axes are “good” and “time,” I couldn’t seem to plot one point in the right quadrant this week. If I was giving a lot of time to being a good parent, I was not a good writer. And I really try to avoid dipping into the “negative good” zone for parenting and writing. (But I’m there often for the housekeeping thing. Don’t KonMarie me.)
I know there are moms who look at my setup as the most enviable one. And there are those who think it’s the worst possible one. We’re all trying to be present and be good moms and it seems we’re momming harder than ever. Such is life.
I write. I don’t clock in my hours the same way as other jobs, so my job seems less…jobby. (Don’t Merriam-Webster me.)
All of this is to say I wasn’t nearly as productive a writer this last week as I was a parent, although I did manage to submit one piece that I’m thrilled about.
This week will be about setting the rewriting schedule for the book and getting back to the routines from one week and three thousand years ago.
I’ll be at my desk if you need me. Unless I’m parenting.
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