finding t i m e

I never knew what it meant to truly have no time to myself until I had kids.

My (every other) day:
I wake up in the morning to the sounds of my baby girls talking and babbling in their room, i get ready for work on the days I work with my toddler next to me putting on her “make up” too and brushing her teeth too and fixing her hair too. I eat breakfast while tearing up little pieces of my breakfast for baby june to eat. I go to work to lecture for a few hours, then come home and fix lunch for my husband and babies, and play, and put them down to nap then go back out to lecture again. 
When I’m not meeting with students or other faculty, I do have “alone time” during my eight weekly office hours—to plan my lessons, answer emails, grade-grade-grade, and work my tail off so that I don’t have to try to get all that work done while watching a toddler and baby at home (which is considerably more difficult than working on those things while in the office). I come home for more play time and outings and family time til bryan goes to work and its just me and the girls (more playtime, and bathtime, and movie time). zu goes to bed, then june goes to bed a few hours later. Then I have an hour between june’s bedtime and my “Reasonable” bedtime, which I use to do housecleaning and preparing for the next day. for me, being a professor has been a semi-work-from-home situation, especially during semesters when I have many online classes. I love that it is that way, since, given our lower-middle-classness, otherwise i’d be working a 9-to-5 and see my babies less. 
I have an absolutely full life, even on the days that I don’ t have lecturing. So when do I write? 
I’ve read a few things this week that have led me to think about my writing time–I wrote a post earlier this week about how I likely will not become a “great” poet because of my time limitations. Then, reading this, felt like an answer: 

For those of you who are beginning your stories, who might believe, as I once did, when someone tells you there are certain conditions necessary to be a serious writer, a real writer, let me say: I am writing this in a dollar notebook from Staples, with purple gel pen. – Susan Straight

April, poetry month, I’ve written exactly once, for ten minutes, while bryan was changing june’s clothes. Though my life is busy, I know the fault is with me—in my choices. Yes, there are always things I have to do—those 50+ student papers aren’t going to grade themselves and I don’t have a maid and no one knows how to make a homemade pizza like I do—but if I keep putting off my writing until I have Everything Done, then I will never write. 

So this week I made a commitment—to use gap-times in my day to write.  in between classes, while watching the girls play in the tub, while stirring dinner. To use non-existent times in my day to write. to write on the back of receipts in the car, on my daughter’s coloring book, on my hand, if needed. to write like I need to write. because I do—it’s a soul-healing work, a necessary work so much more necessary than a spotless bathroom sink. 

It’s haphazard—it’s not well planned. My response to not having time to write is well just do it, time or no time. what are some ways that you find time to do what you love, even in the busiest months?


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