Ah, the mommy-wife-writer balance! In her insightful and intelligent interview, Dr. Psych Mom asked some really personal questions, so I gave some really personal answers about balancing parenting and work…
The bedroom is quiet, the ceiling a field of green and blue stars projected from a turtle nightlight. Chopin’s Nocturne’s are playing from the iPod speakers. My daughter is lying on her bed, staring at me. And I am lying on the floor reading. It is the end of our bedtime ritual, known in our family as The Lie Down. I think it’s fair to say that I have lain down for my daughter, rolled over, played dead. I am her handmaiden. My husband still puts up a fight, but I’d say he’s pretty much doing her bidding, too.
I was on my way to New York a couple of weeks ago on the 6 AM flight, looking ahead to a day of meetings. I left my five-year-old daughter back in Florida, which I rarely do. So she was very much on my mind — mainly because she put the screws to me for a full 24 hours before I got on the plane. Why do you have to go, Mommy? Just cancel your meetings. Why can’t you work from home like you always do? Why can’t I go, too? Don’t leave me! I needed to carry an extra suitcase to tote all my guilt with me.
My daughter is smarter than I am. She’s three. I realized that I was outmanned and outgunned during a recent nap-battle. She wanted to wear a large, pink translucent bucket on her head while she napped. I objected, then compromised by leaving it on a near-by shelf. A few minutes later, over the baby monitor, I heard her talking to herself. There was an odd echo by which I determined that she’d put the bucket back on her head. I entered her room and found this to be the case.