On Twitter, @_lisli asked:
Any tips for handling working, small baby/child care, and still doing/making things you enjoy?
Here’s what I tweeted back, lightly edited, short and sweet:
1) Nobody does it alone. (Anyone who says they do is lying.) Get help. Scheduled time away from kids OUT OF THE HOUSE to write. Look for fellowships for young parents who are artists.
2) Train yourself to get up before the kids and work. (I’ve never understood Night Owls, but I imagine they could stay up after they’re in bed.)
3) Put this post-it somewhere:
4) Consider putting off bigger projects until you’re out of tiny ones age (keep a diary or a sketchbook)
5) Ask other parents you admire. (I’m still learning!!) Read these books for inspiration.
That’s all I know, really.
Oh, one other thing: DON’T KILL THEM.
Parenting advice from my father-in-law, never bested or improved: “You’re gonna want to throw them out the window. The important thing is that you don’t.”
I do not consider myself a “great” parent (or a writer, for that matter). I’m just an amateur who shows up. A student, learning. I stick with it. It’s all you can do.
As Michael Chabon put it in Manhood For Amateurs: “The handy thing about being a father is that the historic standard is so pitifully low.”