in which I clarify

Peasant Woman Sweeping the Floor, Vincent Van Gogh, wikimedia

Peasant Woman Sweeping the Floor, Vincent Van Gogh, wikimedia

Hello, Reader. It’s been a very mom-intensive week for me except for 20 minutes yesterday afternoon when I just had to do a quick art project. Because I have nothing else to do — no Christmas shopping or baking; no one-zillion holiday programs to attend (okay, only five); certainly no laundry. Alas, sometimes I just can’t help myself… the siren song of glue and glitter… .

Anyway, I had an interesting question from a reader after Monday’s post, in which I said I found it comforting that even a single, childless writer felt she could spend all day on housework.

This reader rightly asked what marital and/or parenting status had to do with housework? — and pointed out that really no one is immune to having to do housework.

Which is true. But the reason I found it comforting is that in a one-person, child-free household, there is much less housework. Less laundry, less dirt tracked through, less use of the lav. Fewer mouths to feed (I swear I could survive on bread, fruit, nuts, and cheese if it were just me) therefore less time spent meal-planning, and fewer and shorter trips to the store. Less stuff, therefore less stuff to find a place for and fewer friendly (ahem) reminders to people to put their stuff away. No spousal chaos-threshold to take into account. No playing Secretary of State between and amongst sibling fiefdoms. No one to run hither, tither and yon for this activity and that. No holiday classroom gift exchange gifts to buy. Just one set of dentist and doctor’s appointments. In general, fewer needs to juggle, therefore less juggling. Which — rightly or wrongly — I’m translating into more time for writing, or an easier time finding time to write. I may be wrong here.

So (this was my thinking) — if even May Sarton (childless, unmarried, therefore having less housework to do) felt she could spend all day on housework, then no wonder I sometimes feel a bit overwhelmed by it, and by trying to balance a writing life with family life. But believe me, I’m fully aware that this is a #firstworldproblem. And that all writers/artists have other parts of their life that they have to juggle in order to find time for their art, whether they have a family of their own or not. I’m lucky that many weeks, I have a few hours a few days a week that generally I can clear for writing.

Meanwhile… somebody please pass a match:


Just kidding. Mostly. See you back here for the roundup tomorrow.

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