And yet, I am profoundly unfree.

These are difficult questions for me to consider. I am proud of being a mother. I love my two children. I love them so much that it hurts to look at them and I am pretty sure they are the best, smartest, scrappiest, funniest boys in the world, and having them changed my life. My life before children was selfish and bland, all feelings and no grit, just a drifting miasma of mood. To go back to living like that seems like hell. I get annoyed when women’s magazines try to edit my motherhood out of my work. I get depressed when they won’t run a piece unless I take out any mention of my having children. I firmly believe that having children has made me smarter and better and more interesting, and fuck you to any women’s mag that doesn’t think so too.

Tolstoy’s wife wrote in her journal:

“Nothing’s happening to me,” I bemoan to Annie. “I need to go shoot an elephant.”

“Yeah,” she says, “You should generally do exactly what you want.”

I find comfort in this insistence on the terrestrial nature of the problem and therefore the terrestrial nature of its solution. Time is the issue, not some metaphysical conflict between art and motherhood. But another part of me worries that being a writer isn’t exactly like being a factory worker or a nurse. In Dept. of Speculation, Offill writes:

Thank you, thank you, thank you for writing this. :-)

A student asked Donald Barthelme how he might become a better writer. Barthelme advised him to read through the whole history of philosophy from the pre-Socratics up through the modern-day thinkers. The student wondered how he could possibly do this. “You’re probably wasting time on things like eating and sleeping,” Barthelme said. “Cease that, and read all of philosophy and all of literature.” Also art, he amended. Also politics. There are 60 seconds in a minute, 60 minutes in an hour, 24 hours in a day, 7 days in a week, 52 weeks in a year, and X years in a life. Solve for X.

You’ve written everything in this essay. I love it more than I am able to express.

How to Make Wealth - Paul Graham

Your work is now, with these children, this marriage, the writing. Quiet the worries, and know that you’ll still be writing and working when the kids are raised and all those hot-shot other young male writers in grad school will be laboring with their mortgages, their wives and demanding jobs. I know. I lived it. No, no one knows who I am. But I am happy and satisfied and working in my creative life. Thank you for a revealing, thoughtful and yearning look.

Historical Origins of French Cuisine - History Essay 93

Lovely, raging essay, locating the source of that anger so succinctly (and I get the underwear pick-up thing–no judging, here) that many have responded as I might have done at that age, when I faced all those conflicts. But somewhere I read a line from a Famous Woman who said that the time frame for women is different for men, so why do we attempt to achieve on a male timeline? I only offer that up to say that perhaps that this reality is also a driver for this struggle–that feeling that we’ll miss out if we aren’t the cool, happening young writer/creator/singer/whatever, with the operative word being “young.”

“You cannot pay someone to care about your kids the way you do. You cannot pay someone to be you.”

I love you. So perfectly written.

I wrote out some wisdom from your article with the markers and papers taken from my children’s art supplies. Like mantras, I have scotch-taped them on the walls above my desk. I’m trying to make the most of myself. Thank you.

Honestly no, and this is a big fuck you to full time working parents out there.

Beautifully written and so precise. THANK YOU, just perfect.

I am a writer and mother of two (ages 4 and 1), and your essay brought up so much for me. I understand the sheer amount of work to do, the nursing and interrupted sleep, the details and mundanity and constant wiping of tables and floors and faces.

Patrick Marc from State of the Art talks about “The Ship of Theseus” By J.J Abrams and Doug Dirst.

, Baní, Prov. Peravia. República Dominicana.

I’m 60. No one, I mean no one is going to care what you did when they were little. Do your own thing and EVERYONE will be happier now and later. Give them their freedom to grow, husband included.