The older four kids were in the kitchen, slicing, dicing, and making dinner. At one point they kicked Sammy out (he was rather pleased at that result), but I insisted they take him back. It was a team effort. Everyone needed to have a job. I chased Poppy and Leo around the house, wrangling them into their pajamas, reading stories, turning out lights.
Where was Maile? Locked in the bedroom, writing for two hours.
Two weeks after I wrote one of my most-read blog posts of all time, we are figuring it out. Maile is getting regular writing time, and the house isn’t falling apart. Well, sometimes it does, but that’s okay, because we’re all doing what we can, and sometimes when you make meaningful changes in life, inconsequential things fall to the side.
The key for Maile and I has been sitting down every week on Sunday night or Monday morning and scheduling her writing time. We’re learning that if it’s in the schedule, we make it happen. And her story is progressing. She’s a wonderful writer. I can’t wait for you to read it.
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After that blog post, Maile got inundated with texts and emails and FB messages from friends and strangers wanting to encourage her and voice their commiseration. Don’t be offended if she didn’t write you back – she’s an introvert with very little interest in the Interwebs. Apparently, this problem we went thorugh is a thing. Apparently, there are people (primarily women) who are reaching a certain point in life, looking around, and wondering, what the hell? Where did *I* go? Where did the person go who had goals and dreams and hopes? How did my diploma get buried under diapers?
If this is you, have the hard conversations. Bring it up with your spouse, your partner, your parents, your kids. Because, here’s the thing: you will be a better parent/spouse/child/partner when you have time to do the thing that makes you come alive.
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Today, my friend Jen Fulwiler’s book comes out: One Beautiful Dream.
Work and family, individuality and motherhood, the creative life and family life—women are told constantly that they can’t have it all. One Beautiful Dream is the deeply personal, often humorous tale of what happened when one woman dared to believe that you can have it all—if you’re willing to reimagine what having it all looks like.
Jennifer Fulwiler is the last person you might expect to be the mother of six young children. First of all, she’s an introvert only child, self-described workaholic, and former atheist who never intended to have a family. Oh, and Jennifer has a blood-clotting disorder exacerbated by pregnancy that has threatened her life on more than one occasion.
One Beautiful Dream is the story of what happens when one woman embarks on the wild experiment of chasing her dreams with multiple kids in diapers. It’s the tale of learning that opening your life to others means that everything will get noisy and chaotic, but that it is in this mess that you’ll find real joy.
I can’t wait to read this book. It fits so perfectly with the conversations we’ve been having around our house. Maybe you should read it, too.