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a privileged problem You are so lucky to have found something you love to do, about which you are passionate, but that allows you to be flexible and be with your girls.

I have heard some variation of the above statement many times recently. From friends. From family. From blog and book readers. And when I hear this, this truth, I nod. Because it's true. I am lucky. I am exquisitely lucky. To have stumbled upon something (writing) that I genuinely adore. Something that feeds me and fuels me and makes me see the world - and myself - more clearly. And something that by its very nature is fluid and flexible. Something that transcends an orthodox employer/employee model. Something that allows me to be here. Home.

So, yes, I am lucky. I realize this. Every single day.

And yet. And yet, this is not easy. This gig. This juggling act. Because that's exactly what it is - an act - a show, a dance. Somehow, unwittingly or no, I think I give off the impression that I dwell in dream world, that I bounce back and forth between my prose and my progeny with enviable grace and gumption.

Not so.

I struggle. Every single day. I struggle with the choice. Because it is up to me. Attend birthday party or write two chapters? Pick up from school or edit? Snuggle pajama-clad babes or pen a blog post? These are the questions that float through my mind. And the answers? They are mine to find. And this is amazing. A true privilege.

But this is also hard. Often impossible.

Every hour I spend here is one I do not spend with my girls. Girls who are growing and changing by the day. Every hour I spend tapping keys is one I do not spend tickling toes that won't be tiny for long.

Recently, I have been doing some serious thinking. Thinking about how I want to spend these days. These days when my kids are little and home. I have thought seriously about hanging it up for a while, putting the writing on that proverbial back burner, for the time being. To focus on the tiny creatures who call me Mommy. To focus on the tiny creature who brews with evolutionary elegance in my core. Why not press pause for a year, one measly year, and focus solely on them, on this fleeting and wonderful time?

Because.

Because I have found something I love to do, about which I am passionate. And I want to do that thing. I need to do that thing. Not doing that thing, not writing, would not be good for me. By extension, it would not be good for them.

And so. I am back where I started. In the struggle. Immersed in a problem it is my privilege to live. Asking questions. Feeling tugs. Shaking from choice. Celebrating the ability, imperfect as always, to do both.

I woke up this morning at 4:30am. A cruel time to rise. It was an experiment though. In the stunning quiet, I poured myself a cup of coffee. I started typing. I wrote 2000 words. Words that say something. Words that need work. Words that require polish. Words that are part of me.

And now. Now it is 7:07am. The house is still silent. I sit here at the kitchen counter. Listening for the patter of little feet. Waiting for the blue of baby eyes. I sit here, swaddled in serene struggle, and tell myself something good. Something foolish, but good.

I can do both. I will do both.

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  • Do you struggle - and constantly - in your efforts to balance your personal and professional worlds?
  • Do you think that you are a better parent because you pursue personal goals apart from your parenting?
  • Do you ever doubt the choices you have made - and are making - about the way you spend your time?
  • Do you think we parents and people can really do both, have both personal and professional success? (What is success? I don't pretend to know.)

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On Cats & Camouflage

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