Wednesday, December 01, 2004

The other half of this blog

The title of this blog says it's supposed to be about motherhood and freelancing, and I just noticed that both of my posts are about freelancing. I guess it's time to talk about motherhood.

Or rather, how I manage motherhood and freelancing. They are, after all, a vocational duality. Solitary profession vs. dependant. Demanding editors vs. demanding small person. Deadlines vs. the near-subconscious drive to drop everything and simply, adoringly watch my son play.

I noticed myself doing this the other day as I edited a story. Before he woke from his nap, I'd been on a roll, in the zone, crossing words out and replacing them and moving paragraphs around. I felt it still in me as I sat down to work while my son entertained himself. I figured it would be enough, as it frequently is, for me to look up every once in awhile to check on him, interact with him, be proud of him.

But my heart had other plans. My son's obsession with shoes was leading to his sitting in the midst of the shoe pile near the back door, first taking one shoe and putting it in front of him, then taking it and putting it back, only to replace it with a different shoe altogether. He was completely absorbed in his "work," and wouldn't have minded at all if I'd been completely absorbed in mine. Instead, I was completely absorbed in him.

I'm trying to figure out how to reconcile this instinct of mine with the need for income, especially now that he's down to only one nap a day. I didn't get much published this year, and it hurt. (Our pocketbook, not my sense of pride.) We can't afford daycare or an in-home nanny, and I don't want to have to get a second job. (I suspect it would quickly become my only job.) I'm inclined to call the Grandma brigade. The one day she came to entertain the boy while I interviewed a source worked out very well for all of us. He had someone to be completely emotionally available to him. She got bonus grandson time. I had someone to take him out of the house for a few hours. Life was good.

I have this idea in my head that freelancing is one of the only jobs in which you can actually work less and make more. I tell myself that once I get published in those $1/word magazines, I won't need to work so much anyway. Or if I did, at least I could afford a nanny. The whole point to my working at home is to be there for my son as he grows. To that end, is it really such a bad thing that his cuteness distracts me from work?

More on this as the 2005 editorial season kicks into gear.


Blogger Michael Krahn said...

This post sounds so much like the way I try to arrange my days... at least the 2 weeks I have off from the job that pays during Christmas. 8:00am to roughly 10:00am is coffee and pen and paper time, 1:00pm to roughly 4:00pm (IOW right now!) is typing time.

I've never had anything published. Maybe you can help me get my feet wet.

28/12/05 3:54 PM  
Blogger Michael Krahn said...

...and like clockwork... it's 3:54pm and one of the girls is waking up...

28/12/05 3:54 PM  

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