1. It’s hard to make time for things you care about when you’re a mom.
When I started this about a year ago, I think I pictured myself typing daintily at a keyboard and chuckling to myself as I typed witty things and sipped tea on sunny afternoons. I think I thought that I would be able to just carve out chunks of time to do this, and that I’d be able to just “make it work”. That’s not at all what happened.
First off, it was a lot harder than I thought it would be to actually sit down and do the work. I worked full-time. I have two small kids and not a ton of childcare. I would try to occupy these children with something when I thought I could steal 30 minutes, but the moment I sat down with my laptop my kids were immediately aware that I was NOT PAYING ATTENTION TO THEM and they’d either stir up some astounding kind of trouble or would be climbing my pant leg for attention.
Also, I learned that asking for help “because it’s an emergency!” and then following that with “I have a blog due by 10 pm and I haven’t finished the book yet!” will not stir up very much sympathy. People did not volunteer to watch my children or bring me cheese and crackers. So weird!
What I learned from this is that, as a mom, my inclination is always going to be to put aside the things that make me feel happy and fulfilled so that I can care for my family–and that urge is almost always a mistake. I will always take care of them. Always. But I also have to take care of myself, and I have to be very determined to do the things that make me feel like myself. Reading and writing, I have learned, are two very non-negotiable things that make me feel like a human and individual, and I have to choose to take time for that when I can. If that means extra babyproofing, waking up early, or going to bed later now and then, then that’s a requirement and not an option.
Continue reading “Ingrid’s Year in Review”