Where We Are Now

The suburbs.

I thought I was ready. I knew we need a bigger space and a good school district.

But I’m finding it difficult.

I’m a wife and a mother now. I spend a lot of my time cooking and cleaning up after people. But that’s just part of the package. Once you go down that road, it’s inevitable. I don’t have as much time to write and it’s difficult to focus. I’m writing this now as I sit on the floor and play with my eight-month old. He is learning how to crawl and he keeps reaching out, trying to prop himself up, trying to move forward, but then he just flips over and I have to turn him right side up again. Sometimes he gets frustrated and he cries. But I encourage him. Good job! That’s how you do it! You getting it! My focus is split, all the time. But I’m here. I am trying. Regardless.

I’ve heard differing points of view about families and what it takes to make them work.

I heard that if you want a family to work, the marriage comes first.

For an artist, the artist always comes first. They’re a selfish bunch. They have to be to get anything done.

But I know there are female writers, artists, with children. You just have to figure a way around it. You have to juggle. You have to balance. And you often feel like you are letting someone down: whether it’s yourself or your partner or the kids. You fail. And you succeed. But mostly, you fail at something you want very badly to be good at: mothering, writing, being a good partner. Because there just aren’t enough hours in the day to be good at them all.

Throw a day job into the mix and it all sort of goes to hell — finding anytime for yourself, for your own dreams and desires.

I keep dreaming of another house where things would be perfect. Where I can have it all and be all things at once: the perfect wife, mother and writer.

I can’t even picture it really: what that perfect house would look like. It changes and morphs in my mind’s eye.

Sometimes, it’s a house in the city where I can walk the kids to school. Sometimes, it’s just a different house in the suburbs that has something this one doesn’t: a front porch, a better location, a walkable location to the water.

But most of the time: it’s my father-in-law’s big house out in the country.

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