Friday, March 16, 2007

The worst part about creativity vs. mothering

I'm maxed out today. I told Rain Dog that I keep looking for a reserve of patience to tap and I don't have one. I know exactly what the problem is: I haven't written anything substantive in two weeks.

Two weeks ago, I got to hide upstairs in our "study." (That means there's a desk and two bookcases in a small room, which also contains the diaper changing table and some junk we haven't found a home for since we moved in.) I finished revisions on an entire novel chapter that day. It was excellent.

Since then, however, I've only been able to noodle - sentence here, paragraph there. I have solid ideas in my head and no way to get them on paper. Even when Hamlet is in preschool, Boris usually demands to be held for most of those two hours. Just try to type anything when you've got a four-month-old grabbing for the keyboard.

Times like these, I wish I were one of those mothers who lives for nothing but kids. You know, the ones who run home daycares because they loooove kids so much. I may not have endless patience, but I feel like I might enjoy them a little more.

Which is foolish. I do enjoy my kids, very much. I enjoy them even more when I've had a good writing day. Like yesterday: I did my first on-site interview in four years. Had a great rapport with the interviewee, on a subject I was really into. Got home, spent the rest of the day having a good time with the boys.

I guess I just wish it was the boys who recharged my batteries, rather than an activity that pulls me away from them. But I'm not wired that way, so I guess it's just about enjoying the time I do have with them to the fullest.


Blogger PT-LawMom said...

(((HUGS))) You're not alone, Christa, just more affected by it than others in terms of having to work at home. I don't feel guilty about working and by Saturday afternoon I'm sick of puzzles and games. Does that make me a bad mom? Not sure. But the truth is that I derive a lot of pleasure from my work, from books, from the computer -- none of which are child-centered activities. I love my son and enjoy the time we spend, but much prefer it in small doses. All of this is to say, "I hear you, sister!" Hope you and RainDog can find a way for him to take on a bit more of the burden more often so that you can retreat to your study nook. Maybe if you ask for shorter blocks of time - one hour instead of three? - he might be more amenable? Surely he could play a game with the kids while you work. You would just need to have it scheduled so you could prepare yourself to be as productive as possible during that period. Wish we lived closer so I could help you out. ;)

16/3/07 1:47 PM  
Blogger pattinase (abbott) said...

You and my daughter-in-law could be the same person. She is also finding being home so much frustrating. Could you possibly hire someone to come in for a few hours a week to spell you?
Or a relative perhaps. We go up to their once or twice a week so she can get out or take a nap. I hope it helps.
You need time to do things just for yourself.

19/3/07 1:35 PM  
Blogger Christa M. Miller said...

Meagan, Rain Dog is pretty good at helping! He's just so often buried under work himself - grading papers and creating lesson plans - that we really have to balance our time. It's hard!

Patti, I can't afford more childcare. I know a girl who would be a perfect mother's helper (the daughter of one of Boris's EMTs), but she lives too far away. I'm hoping that not long from now, his naps and such will be more predictable and I can get more time during Hamlet's preschool!

21/3/07 5:31 PM  
Blogger Silandara said...

I love working from home - it's the ideal situation for me. Of course, I don't have a toddler AND a baby yet. (Soon, though.)

I'm fortunate in that my husband watches Duncan in the mornings while I work, plus I take him to a sitter 3 afternoons a week after his naps. And naps are consistent and delightfully long, so I can work/eat/nap/shower during that time, too.

But I still get to see him during the day, feed him lunch, put him down for his nap, etc. Which is great.

Not sure exactly how things will go with 2 of them, but we'll figure it out somehow.

Oh, my point is that I understand. I'd have a hard time doing it all day on my own. I need the break. I love doing interviews out of the house (other than getting ready in the morning) and I love coming home to my family.

9/4/07 8:03 AM  

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