NaBloPoMo: Writing and parenting and self-care

I have a 20 month old kid who is bursting with life and inarticulate personality. There is truly nothing better than this kid of mine. The human race should really just throw in the towel, because we’ve peaked, and the peak is my kid.

My kid is a toddler, and that means it’s harder to get things done than it was before. It’s definitely harder to write. Zadie loves a computer, and especially loves to smash them with  sticky baby fingers. This really sucked for a long time, and then I thought about it, and maybe it doesn’t suck quite as much as I thought.

My writing is more deliberate now, precisely because I have to work around the demands of this child who has no concept of writing and really only knows that when I’m doing it that means I’m not paying attention to her, which is a crime. There’s less dicking around now when I sit down to write. I no longer have hours and hours to wallow in. Writing from midnight to 2am is no longer an option. Things have streamlined.

The times I get to write at home – almost invariably while she’s napping – underscore how much I like writing and how (typically) restorative it is for me. It emphasizes that I write for me, not really for an audience, and that reminder is welcome because I have a tendency to psych myself out when I think about trying to find an audience, trying to publish, how I measure up, etc. And those are important things to think about, but not to a point where they actually overwhelm my ability to get the writing done in the first place. I love my kid more than anything, but parenting a toddler is hard work. It’s exhausting mentally, emotionally, physically, you name it. And it makes me remember that for me writing is a form of necessary self-care.