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Dear Thursday: Sick Baby

You should know that I don’t label myself as a mom. I consider being a mom a really special part of my identity, as opposed to my title. For example, I didn’t list being a mom in my biography. When people say that being a mother is the most important job you’ll ever have, I think “Really, the most important? I could (probably won’t, but technically could) write a Pulitzer-winning novel that people are reading long after my daughter and I are dead. I mean I know women who are working toward cures for different types of cancers, is motherhood really their most important job? What a weird thing to assume.”

I keep my motherhood and my work separate. I ask others to babysit when I’m writing or having a book event. A few times at book events, people have asked, “Where’s your little girl?” I find that a bit bizarre, because I’m at work, so obviously she’s not going to be there. I wonder if male authors get asked this question so often.

I’m still finding being a write-at-home mom a bit hard to navigate. My goal is the give 100% to both the mom and the writing part, without giving 100% of myself to either. I don’t want to base my self-worth in either job. I just want to do my best at both. And most days that feels like a pretty reasonable goal.

Then my baby got sick. At first we thought it was teething, but suddenly it turned into a summer cold, and it’s making her miserable. I rarely get sick, and on the rare occasion that I do, I┬áconstantly┬álament my terrible fate until whatever I have passes. I would never voluntarily get sick. But even though I have an interview and a book event today, I find myself wishing that I could take on my baby’s cold for her, so that she wouldn’t have to suffer through this.

I’ll probably go back to my central mother philosophy after she sees the doctor today and gets some medicine that will help her sleep while her mother is happily signing books at my last book event of the summer tonight. But until then…


Photo Credit: Jenn and Tony Bot (click of pic for more details)