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August 19, 2004

Comments

Kevin Wignall

What about, "Honey, you look tired. Why don't I have the staff cook dinner and put the kids to bed while I mix us a great cocktail I discovered yesterday at lunch?" Would that still be hot? Curious.

Sarah

No. Well, maybe it would.

One of my best friends has long said that her ideal man must know how to cook, and she wouldn't consider those who cannot. While I'd never go so far, there's something to be said for a man who at least has some working knowledge of how to operate kitchen appliances instead of running away and recoiling in horror.

Jennifer Weiner

As both a working mother and the author of one of the rash of books that has you eye-rolling and teeth-gnashing, I can think of a few reasons why these books are being published, and selling well.

As a reader, I enjoy books that reflect my experience, or aim to teach me something new, or at least tell me something funny, about my current condition. Astronauts and soldiers are well and good, but...well, there's a reason that men seem to read more Tom Clancy/Ben Mezrich superspy/escapist/I Took On Vegas and Won fare, while women read books where the characters feel like their friends, instead of someone (typically, a male someone) you'd see on the front page of the Times.

In terms of books that glorify baby-making and baby-raising, we're living in a time that's both incredibly pro-natal and incredibly fraught with anxiety about fertility, birth, and how to raise a baby who won't, say, shoot up his high school fifteen years down the road.

If you've read all the books about getting pregnant and then read all the books about being pregnant and finally devoured a dozen different guidebooks on How To Raise a Happy Child, each advocating a different philosophy of labor, sleep, feeding and discipline -- with all of them, from Dr. Sears to Dr. Ferber, insisting that new motherhood is a time of perfect bliss and few of them addressing what it feels like to give up your pre-baby life and pre-baby marriage, there's a certain comfort that comes with reading about someone else's screw-ups, either fictive or real life.

And, because someone's going to make this comment, so it might as well be me, I think that raising a good, thoughtful kid, who will grow into a decent, thoughtful adult, is one of the more heroic contributions I can make to the world. At least until they tap me for that moon landing...

Kevin Wignall

Is that another "no thanks" to my offer of domestic staff and cocktails? No wonder I'm still single.

Alina Adams

Wait, you're OFFERING staff? That's a diaper rash of a different color! Just let me dump this guy I'm with, and I'll be right with you...

On another track, growing up, everyone I knew had a working mother, and I always expected that I would be one, too. There was never one second in my life where I asked myself whether I wanted to have children. Frankly, I always figured that even if I didn't get married, I would have children, so the actual process of finally having one (two) just didn't feel so momentous. When I was in high-school, many of my friends were havinh huge graduation parties. I asked my mother why we weren't making a big deal out of my graduation, and she said, "Maybe those kids didn't expect to graduate. You were always expected to graduate, so why make a big deal out of it?" It's the same with having kids. Maybe I just don't understand people who had to give the whole pregnancy, child-raising a lot of "should I, or shouldn't I" thought. Having and raising children is just so natural and expected for me, I don't see what the big deal is. I'm not saying that I don't make mistakes, I make a ton. But since trying to raise a child without making mistakes is even harder then... uhm... getting a book published... what's the point of stressing about it?

Jim Winter

I'd comment, but my wife and I have yet to reproduce (or, in lieu of building from the kit, order out).

Suffice it to say if I had kids, I'd probably not be writing now. Or I would be writing, but I wouldn't be a novelist. Either way, I wouldn't be nearly as prolific. (And I'm still trying to figure who decided I was prolific.)

Rebecca

As an as yet unmarried and childless woman....bravo Alina. Bravo, bravo, bravo!!!! I might add that my (high school) STUDENTS expect to be congratulated when they come in pregnant and/or with their babies. Uhh...do we really need another miracle of childbirth/babyraising book?

Donna

Cocktails? I'm in. And please tell chef I'm in the mood for scallops.

I haven't read the book you're referring to Alina, and don't tend to read books like that. It might be different if I'd had children, but I don't. I read all sorts of mysteries including the occasional cosy with a housewife protagonist who, as well as sticking her nose into murder and mayhem, also manages to do 17 school runs, prepare the accounts for the WI, knit a lifesize version of the Eiffel Tower for the school fete, and get up at 3am to bake fresh bread for the children's sandwiches. All in one day. It makes me so tired I just want to lie on the couch with a glass of red wine and some bonbons.

Donna

Jeanne Ketterer

I give up. I just deleted a long post. It went up, down, left and right, all over the place. Agree with Jennifer, disagree with Alina. Then disagree/agree.

The reason the banal, Alina, has been elevated is bec Jennifer's generation feels their's is the first generation to reproduce, breastfeed and work. Wow, look what I did - had a baby. Huh?

I had gone on and on in the deleted post about astronauts, soldiers, etc., not being heroic bec they only focused on themselves, their careers and not family, being self-centered does not heroic make. And I don't wanna read about them.

But, then I've juggled house, husband (who was hometrained by a wise mother and is caring and thoughtful on a daily basis, which is why it does help to marry the right man), college, fulltime job, extremely needy parents and self-centered brother, and oh, maybe I thought I was a writer at one time, and believe me you, it sucks. [Wait a minute, I'm also supposed to continue being a size 7/9 bec if I gain weight, don't wear the jewelry, it means I'm not happy and it's the husband's fault, and why isn't he treating me right and do my male relatives need a sitdown with him?] And I do believe on days - uh, can you tell today? - I deserve a medal and hear Jennifer. It isn't easy. How does Nora Roberts and Lawrence Block do it???
I love crime fiction. And I love Carol O'Connell's Mallory. And you wonder why she's a sociopath.

Jeanne
okay, so maybe it's the sherry and today's announcement laying off 3500 Nortel employees and 400 at my husband's building.

Jennifer Jordan

"knit a lifesize version of the Eiffel Tower for the school fete" - Damn! (another element of the damn factor.)That's a lot of sheep fur! And a rather limp ediface. Spray starch! Yeah, that would work!

I cook simply because I have to eat. I went with someone who cooked for me and I adored it (and him.) But, any guy that can out the kids to bed whilst directing the staff and mixing a cocktail is the multi-tasking shiva of my dreams. That is a factor that has not yet been contabulated... but wow.

I like to read about characters that do what I haven't and wouldn't. But I don't like superwomen characters anymore than I like supermen. Boring, annoying and glower inducing.

Leesa

Jennifer Weiner,

I am curious as to why you failed to mention that with all of your "struggle" to raise a "decent, thoughtful" child that you also have on staff a nanny and you work out of your home (uh, I mean the coffee shop around the corner)? Don't you think that makes it a teensy bit easier???????

Jennifer Weiner

Oh, Leesa! The unendurable shame of being outed as the employer of a nanny! And working a coffee shop, too! I better turn in my mommy credentials right this very minute! And possibly the baby as well! And I'd better quit complaining, since, clearly, the only women who have any right to do that are the ones home full-time. Or the ones who are working full-time -- possibly in a field. Or perhaps those who have nannies who aren't "on staff." (Freelance roaming nannies?)

Of course having a nanny in the afternoons makes my writing easier. It makes my writing possible. That doesn't mean it still isn't a balancing act, or that I do't worry about whether I'm short-changing both the books and the baby by even trying to do two things at once. But I'd never deny that I've got it better than the vast majority of mothers I know, including my own who, when she was my age, had three kids under four.

Linda

Thanks, Jen. I am just in the process of hiring "on staff" a part-time nanny to come in for a few hours each morning so that I, too can live the creative aspect of my life in addition to wearing the mommy apron 24/7. Why is it that women with children are only allowed by society to be one-dimesnional mombots while the fathers of these kids get to wear many different hats? My husband isn't just Daddy to my 1-year-old son, he's also VP at work, chef on the weekends, bro to his brothers, dude on the basketball court and Mark to his friends.

As a creative individual, I don't feel 100% ME when I don't have time or opportunity to practice my talents, so having a little help around the house makes me an all around better person and therefore a better mom. A better question, why does no one question a man's choice/decision/right to engage in creative work and leave the care of his children to someone else, even if it's the child's mother? There's my two cents, cash it in.

Alisha

Leesa, I am not sure what point you were trying to make with your "outing" of Jennifer's employing a part-time nanny. It seems must assume that you feel this fact disqualifies her from the ranks of parents who are allowed to say that parenting is hard. I was a full-time at-home mom for three years and now am an at-home mom who squeezes in some part-time work when my husband is home in the evening and on the weekends. Even with my newfound "luxury" of escaping for a few hours a week (to umm . . . WORK), I still find mothering stressful and tiring (and wonderful!) If we're going to start grading people on their parenting commitment and revoking griping privileges from those who don't stack up, why don't we start with those who employ nannies and spend their free time, say, getting facials and manicures and having three-hour lunches sans rugrats rather than with those parents (mothers) who spend some time "relaxing" by way of contributing to society? Yes, parents who work do get some time away from their parenting duties (which is refreshing), but they're hardly slacking. We can debate the child-care versus full-time parent issue till the cows come home, but to suggest that parents who work don't feel their share of parenting stress is just spiteful and divisive.

Sarah

Just a bit of personal perspective on this so-called brouhaha:

Last week, I had lunch with my mother and the eightysomething woman who was my nanny from the time I was born until much later, when she morphed into babysitter status and didn't need to spend as much time with me anymore. This woman had been working for my family from the time my older brother was six months old, which is when my mom decided to go back to work after having to deal with the fact that my brother was, shall we say, not the soundest sleeper in the world (which is also why said nanny was full-time from my birth even though my mother stayed home, again for six months.) Although no doubt my closest friends would consider me to be slightly insane and reasonably abnormal, I seem to have turned out all right. Though my parents are great people, my former nanny was an absolute godsend for us. Which is why she became something like my third grandmother. And the sad thing is, when she dies, I'll probably have no clue for ages because she's not really part of my family, but the news will hit me almost as hard as when my biological grandmother died last summer.

Raising kids is bloody hard, and nobody knows how to do it perfectly or even properly. So I can't really understand why using a nanny is evidence that you're a lesser parent. Frankly, I'm glad my mother recognized the need for one, because isn't it better to have a healthy and rested parent than an exhausted martyr?

Crystal

Allow me to recount a recent discussion between myself and my best friend...

Some background...
I ended up a teacher, which is great in terms of having a school aged child, because my schedule will closely mirror theirs. However, it has recently occured to me how much of an issue I'm going to have for the first 5 years of their lives.

My best friend who's married, and luckily financially well off because of her husband's job is trying to get pregnant. And while we've always had some disagreements over things like working while being a mom, it's only been recently that I've realized how big that difference is. Because of her husband's wealth, she has the luxury of staying home for as long as she wants, and is certain that she will for at least the first 5-8 years of her marriage (they want 2 kids, about 2 or so years apart).

The Discussion...
I expressed recently that I admired that she could do that...not because she can financially do this, but because she wouldn't go crazy. I stated that while I want to take the first year or so off because I want all those firsts, I'd go back to teaching once they were a year or so old.

She then said something that cut, painfully.

"I don't see why anyone would have a child just to let someone else raise it."

My thoughts...

Firstly...I highly doubt that I will ever be in a similar financial situation. If I add my salary to most of those earned by the men that I date, we'd be lucky to make combined what her husband makes on his own. I will most likely always need to work so that I can help to provide (or provide alone, should I choose to be a single parent) a home and a good life (schooling, travel, etc) for my family.

Secondly...It pisses me off that I am judged less than worthy to be a mom because I enjoy having a life and an identity other than "mom". Just because I don't find teletubbies or boobahs or whatever the hell the current toddler trend is fascinating doesn't mean I don't love my child. And really, will it kill my child to be in a daycare provider's home for 6 or 8 hours a day, while I parent the other 2/3rd of the time during the week while school is in session and all the time during weekends and vacations?

Thirdly...My generation's mothers fought for the right for us to have choices. And while most of us accept and embrace that we can be women who are wives, individuals and moms at the same time, there is a highly vocal population of women who fault us for it.

So yes, I read some of those books, because I too am trying to do it, and do it right. I want to work because I love teaching and children and because not being stuck in my house all day will make me a better person. I want to be a mom because I love children and because, quite honestly, I'll be an amazing mom.

But yes, I know now that I'll feel guilt when I let other people (even if it's a friend or a family member) watch my child while I'm teaching 50 other sets of parent's children. I'll worry that I'll miss some gem of cuteness, some boo boo that I could've kissed, what have you.

But you know what I've learned?

There are women out there who abuse their children in ways you can't even begin to imagine. I've had some children in my classroom whose stories would break your hearts and make you want to hunt down their female parents and commit violent crimes...which was made worse because those kids just wanted to be with their moms and wanted to know their moms loved them.

So whether you stay home, use a nanny, work, whatever...as long as you love your children and take an active and loving part in their lives...stop juding other women who love their kids just as much but have made different choices than you. Including what they choose to read.

Dana

A word from the peanut gallery...

I beg tolerance from all sides. I am married and currently without kids. My husband has always wanted children; me, not so much. And not in the No Kidding! way, which scares me with their sneering talk of "breeders." However, where our blogstress Alina says, "There was never one second in my life where I asked myself whether I wanted to have children," I don't know what that feels like. I always thought maybe I'd experience the thunderclap of a biological imperative; I haven't. But now I'm 36 and the issue is gaining gravity. And one of the anxieties I'm experiencing in this "will I/won't I" process is life post-baby. One income or two, there isn't much money. And I'll be the first to admit that if we could afford a nanny - hell, if we could afford *any* help - it would make my decision a lot easier.

I think mothers often sell themselves short. Yes, we've been popping out the little protein units for a millennium or so, but that doesn't stop me from being awed at the amount of work motherhood requires. I have a full-time, high-stress job and I get up early every morning to work on my novel. Compared to what my sister does every day with and for her (darling) daughter, my efforts shrink and pale in comparison.

And to take this topic back to its source, I found "I Don't Know How She Does It" annoying, too. Much prefer the memoir "I Sleep At Red Lights," which details the realities of raising triplet infants and a three-year-old, all from the father's POV. I'm reading that now, although given my current skittishness, that might be tantamount to giving "The Shining" to a kid who suffers nightmares.

L.

Leesa,

You really have no right to flame people like that. It sounds like a bit of jealously, mixed with sour grapes. I, for one, am glad that Jennifer Weiner has a nanny. It frees her up to write more fabulous books -- which means I have something cool to read. I don't know Jen personally but I imagine she's worked VERY hard to reach her level of success. Why not let her enjoy it?

Randi

Alina -

When it comes down to it, I like to read about people like me.

Why do you think blogs about trying to get pregnant, stay pregnant and raise a child are so popular? Why are blogs so popular? It's just another person's story. Another person dealing with the same stuff I have to deal with everyday. If you find the right storyteller, even my boring life seems interesting.

As for the astrnauts, soldiers and inventors, their stories are being read. I can send you the proof. Three of the four bookshelves in my house are full of their books. The other one is reserved for the mundane stories of women like myself. Well, women just like myself, but with a lot more personality.

Kelly

As to the nanny/stay-at-home-mom/working in a field/etc situation, I feel that everyone feels persecuted or attacked, no matter what their childrearing choices are, or whether or not they have even made a choice. Many women have their choices about work and family stripped from them by poverty.
As to the novels about motherhood/pregnancy.....Motherhood IS sublime. Giving birth is the most important thing that has ever happened to me. But, if you had told me that 6 years ago, I would have rolled my eyes and spouted some nonsense....scroll above for some samples.

Eileen

I think you are all being a bit harsh to Leesa. I think she was just looking for Jennifer to fully disclose that she has a nanny to help when most don't. Technically, Ms. Weiner is a working Mom. When one thinks of the classical definition of a working Mom, one who has a nanny, summers in Truro and who can leave her coffee shop office at a moments notice to tend to her little one probably is not what comes to mind. It will be interesting to see how the evolution of Jennifer's work from chick lit to mommy lit unfolds as her experience as a working Mom is vastly different than most. Just an observation, is all.

Jeanne Ketterer

Okay, try this book:
Dispatches From a Not-So-Perfect Life or How I learned to Love the House, the Man, the Child by Faulkner Fox. Here's her website: www.faulknerfox.com .
It's her memoir of motherhood, grew out of a Salon article she did: "What I Learned from Losing My Mind" .
According to the book flap, she's conflicted about having it all.


Jeanne

Meethi

If a mother can make her child's life just a tad bit better, then I say go for it. If such an endeavor requires a nanny, summers in Truro, and writing in coffee shops in order to coninue to provide for her child, I don't see what the problem is.

Shouldn't we congratulate a woman who manages to work yet still has time to go swimming with her daughter, feed her oyster crackers, and stand in front of the grocery store and wave hello to strangers? How many working mothers wish they could find the time to just sit down and have a decent dinner with their kids!? Do you think they feel "guilty" for having to work to provide their children with clothing, food, and the bare neccessities of life?

So why should Jennifer Weiner feel guilty for having a nanny to help her in the difficult yet rewarding process of raising a "decent" and "thoughtful" child?

Is the Heroic Mom label only assigned to those mothers who are working just to stay one toe-touch above the poverty line? Well, I think the HM label goes for any mother who devotes her life to her children and their futures. And that can be Sandra, who works eight hours at a fast-food chain, for minimum wage and still manages to instill in her daughter Megan that her future and life will be better; or it could be Jennifer, who works as an author, for not-so-minimum wages, and still manages to give her daughter Lucy a clear view of what successful motherhood is.

A Heroic Mom is a mom who gives a damn. And a nanny, money, and success doesn't change that.

Eileen

Who said that Jennifer should feel guilty. I know if I was in her shoes I would not. She should be proud that she has a home/work situation that seems to work out great. It's too bad in today's society a scenario like the one she has is the ideal and not the norm.

Aldo

At the risk of being shot....

Having spent nearly 18 years being married and raising 6 kids, its the relationship folks. The reality of two people workig together to raise a family and finding the balance and respect for each other in their own lives. My first job, and I think my wife would agree, is the family. That doesn''t mean that I don't enjoy my professional life and all the responsibilities that come with it. Depending on our work committments, my wife and I plan who cooks, who picks up kids (and their crazy schedules) and take turns with all the rest. See a pile of clothes, wash them. See dishes in the sink, do them. This modeling is starting to wear off on the kids now, especially the teenagers of the lot, as they are doing the same things, pitching in. Hey, were not perfect, but as a family we all try to help one another and get on with life.

Kathleen Truant

I hated I Don't Know How She Does It. I wanted a heroine: someone who struggled with deciding to work, found a way to make it work and was happy with it. Instead we got an overdriven woman who belittled her husband and tried to / had an affair (I can't remember if she really does or not). And then to solve it all - she moves to the country and does a little charity work? Worst ending of all time.

I read I Don't Know How She Does It about 5 months after my second child was born. I was exhausted. I was worried about how I could handle continuing work and two kids. I thought the book was just about the most disappointing book I'd ever read.

Before I had #2 (an ill-advised 17 months after #1) people kept saying to me how much harder it would be. I thought they were terribly pessimistic. Honestly, how much harder could it really be? At least this time I knew how to do it all: daycare, diapers, feedings. Of course, as soon as #2 came I realized they weren't pessimistic people. They were just honest.

I guess my only significant thought on this whole string of blogs is even though I hated that book - it was probably the author's honest story. And what I've really learned in the last 3.5 years since I've had kids is that we all have really different, very honest stories.

I worked really hard to create my professional life. I enjoy it. I'm good at it. I don't want to give it up. I imagine not unlike Jennifer Weiner I don't have it as hard as a factory worker - but that doesn't really help when the kids are screaming, we're out of milk and I have a client calling on my cell phone about a deal that's supposed to close in 2 days. So I might whine about that a little... can you blame me?

Leesa

Jennifer Weiner,

I'd love to address each and every point but your response (and your defensiveness, and let's not forget your sarcasm) speaks volumes. The problem I have is with your arrogance. Having a nanny, and working from home doesn't make you wrong....just fortunate. And one would think that you'd be screaming from the rooftops in sisterhood with those who are less fortunate than you trying to change those situations. Instead you choose to selectively leave out important information in your posts regarding how difficult motherhood can really be, yet how much easier you have it.

"I think that raising a good, thoughtful kid, who will grow into a decent, thoughtful adult, is one of the more heroic contributions I can make to the world."

You negate an entire population of people who make Herculean contributions but fail to push a human being through the birth canal.

"...we're living in a time that's both incredibly pro-natal and incredibly fraught with anxiety about fertility, birth, and how to raise a baby who won't, say, shoot up his high school fifteen years down the road."

What a small-minded and incredibly ignorant statement. You need to get some learnin' 'bout some history my dear. Some of the most amazing and accomplished individuals in this world came from crummy home situations and made something of themselves in this world. Mommy being home doesn't necessarily wield any special force field which would prevent your child from "shooting up" or anything else for that matter. Tone down the drama girl! (and the justifications)!

What it really comes downs to, for you at least, is you have a "mommy lit" book coming up soon, and you want that genre to sell, baby!!! And just like Oprah, your demographic is upper middle and upper class stay-at-home moms. Nothing wrong with knowing your demo. However, the M-O-M-S who really have it hard don't have time to read your damn book where you complain that the damn nanny is late, and life is so hard when your white shirt gets some spit-up on it...because they are just trying to get through each day...that sure would be a lot easier with your schedule, and your nanny!

Jennifer Weiner

Hmm. Well, sorry about the drama. I just read "We Need To Talk about Kevin," so maybe I'm a little rattled.

In terms of "negating an entire population," I said that motherhood was important for "me." Not "you," not "my friends," not "any other woman in the world." Raising a decent kid is one of the most important thing I can do, but that's my decision. I'd never try to speak for anyone else, or try to re-order another woman's priorities.

In terms of being defensive, I guess I'll just get used to appending the phrase "...and I have a nanny" every time I talk about motherhood, or working motherhood, just in case someone gets the misguided impression that my life is more difficult than it is, or that I'm being disingenuous about my circumstances. I wasn't actually tryin to hide anything. I just figured that when I said "working mother," people would fill in the blank and figure that I had some kind of help (nanny, sitter, daycare, helpful sister), and that I wasn't just parking my child in a Pack 'n Play while I wrote. I stand corrected.

Yes, I've got it better than lots and lots of women, and as I said in my previous post, I know that. Really, I do. And I'd be happy to adjourn to the nearest rooftop and do whatever I could to improve my struggling sisters' circumstances. So here's a question, and I'm asking it without sarcasm, without defensiveness and, I hope, without arrogance: besides being honest about my own life, and writing honestly about the experience of motherhood, what would that be?

Jade

Drama, thy name is Leesa.

Leesa

Jennifer Weiner,

At the risk of grabbing the hands of the one closest to me and belting out Kumbayah which would make me vomit, I'll tell you what you can do. You can make damn sure that in your attempts to be snarky and make an important point, that you always remember that women (and I don't care who they are) are always quick to beat themselves up for whatever miserably minuscle or massive thing society (read: people) tell us we are doing wrong. We are the quickest to look at someone (read: you) who is successful, has a family and seems so together and to internalize all of that and wonder why we are so incredibly inept.

Is it your responsibility to make everyone feel good about themselves? Hell no! You couldn't do it if you tried. But what you could do Ms. Weiner, is to say, hey women, I'm in there with you. I think it's hard and I have a LOT of help, so I know it's hard for you. It's so disingenous not to. And your message above, left out that important point. You admit it's hard and it's important, but you don't admit you are only able to accomplish it with a hell of a lot of help. Imagine the ones out there who don't even have that. And don't pretend that you were being "honest about your own life" because you weren't. If you were I wouldn't have even posted to this thread.

I liken this pretense to those women who look fabulous who have had plastic surgery, but instead of telling the rest of us that "yeah, I look good, you can too if you have $20,000 bucks and some time on your hands" they say "Nope, no work done. This is just my natural little self." Is it wrong for them to have plastic surgery? Nah, not if they want to. What is wrong is the secret intent to make other women feel inadequate...as if that emotion doesn't already run rampant among our population.

And many of you here can mock the concept behind my posts, but the problems women have out there in this world are real and heartbreaking. We are doing a disservice to each other when we speak of the difficulties and leave out what in our lives makes getting through those difficulties easier. I'm pulling for all of us...I just want some fucking honesty for a change.

Mary

Jeez Leesa give the woman a break. She merely expressed an opinion on the original message and she gets royally raked over the coals.

Ross

Leese, what the hell is Jen being dishonest about? Her having a part-time nanny right on her website, over and over, which is how you know about it in the first place!

From her FAQ:

When do you do your writing?

When I wrote GOOD IN BED, I was single with no kids and working full-time at a newspaper. I wrote every night of the week, except for Thursdays, when my programs were on, and did one long hitch on either Saturday or Sunday afternoons.

When I wrote IN HER SHOES, I was engaged, then married, still with no kids, writing full-time, and I started taking my laptop to a coffee shop every afternoon, Monday through Friday.

Now that I’m a mother, I have the world’s most wonderful nanny who takes care of my daughter Lucy for a few hours four afternoons a week, and I take my laptop to the same coffee shop and write like a fiend. Sometimes I get asked whether it’s hard to find the discipline to sit down and make myself write. My answer? After a night and morning with a newborn, writing feels like a vacation. And I’ve always loved writing, ever since I learned how, so I feel like I’m really lucky to have such a nice balance in my life – mommy in the mornings, nights and weekends, writer on weekday afternoons. Most of the time, it works out really well. And everyone at the coffee shop’s really nice to me, and they don’t seem to mind that I take up space and bogart their electricity. For a while, they were even giving me free coffees once in a while. “I think they know I’m a writer!” I told my husband, in great excitement, the first time it happened. He raised his eyebrows and said, “Or maybe they just feel sorry for you.” Which, now that I think about it (and about the way I usually dress when I’m writing), seems more likely.

Sarah

All right, folks, this the site owner speaking. I'm not much of a fan of people who choose to post with fake email addresses solely to flame a public figure who freely makes her contact information available. Ad hominem attacks are not tolerated on the backblogs, ever. So as of now, I'm locking this thread. This is a contentious issue that won't be solved over here anytime soon.

Thank you.

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