Becoming a dad and a creative professional are two of the best decisions I’ve ever made.
But meeting the creative demands of a writing career while raising two kids under five (in pandemic times too) has often felt impossible.
My wife and I both work from home right now, so we have flexibility with how we handle parenting and work. And it helps that we can’t go anywhere or see anyone or do anything.
This year has been like a writers retreat. But with my kids around. Asking me every twenty-five minutes if I’m done with work yet.
Working from home often feels like a trade off between getting things done or seeing my kids. It’s easier when you have a job you have to go to. It’s out of your hands. But when you’re in the next room with the door shut… I mean, is that even work (it is?)
But strangely enough, increasing the proximity of my family to my work has been far from attention depleting. Quite the opposite — it’s been attention focusing.
I don’t waste time the way I did on other jobs. I don’t have downtime really because I need to complete my work for the day so my wife can get to work. And vice versa. This teamwork has drawn us closer together too. We talk more. We check-in. Our relationship feels more connected and focused.
The best part really is getting to see my kids all day. Their little hearts are big boosts. Instead of seeing them for only an hour in the morning and an hour at night, now I can pop up any time and grab a quick hug. Have lunch with my daughter and see how her day is going.
In normal times, it can feel like I’m living two or three separate lives. Being in lockdown, I feel more integrated, focused, and motivated.
Having family close has been a very visceral reminder that the ones we love and who love us shape and support us and help make our art all the better.