Is It Worth Being Wise? - Paul Graham

There have been a series of articles of late that argue that there is an inherent conflict between motherhood and artistic work. There was Lauren Sandler’s piece, The thesis of the piece is in the title, and I read it on my phone as I nursed my second baby, worried that I was doomed, that I had lost my voice to the sea witch, that I would never be a thinking, writing, intellectual being again but would become nothing more than an enlarged mammary gland needing to be periodically drained. Was she right? Was it impossible to balance the demands of an artistic career with the demands of multiple children?

What Happened to Yahoo - Paul Graham

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I balance between my children’s needs and mine because I believe I’m modeling self-care for them (if things are urgent for my children or important for their emotional and physical well-being, I take care of them, but there are times when I allow them to wait and take care of myself first… yes, I would take the dawdling three-year-old off the potty if I needed to go… and if I later needed to clean poop off the floor, I’d just do it :-)). And I take whole days off from all obligations–work and family. I know all this allows me to earn more, be happier, and be my absolute best self for my children.

Locke, John | Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy

Ah, my struggle, my damn daily struggle, which gets translated into everything including the novel I have been writing for three long years now, while taking care of my children and a busy husband. I have struggled with the demand not “go to work”, so I can write and take care of everything apart from earning serious money. I have been guilt ridden and now I am at the breaking point. How often have I sworn the same thing: I will never remarry if anything should happen to my beloved, I will never ever date a guy and get convinced to live together…..and being 55, there will be no more kids and yet, here I am, serving my family with love and squeeze the writing in the leftover hours. I just participated in a self publishing seminar and the first thing I learned is to take the writing so seriously as to give it a firm primetime schedule and not to waver from it. Now that my last kid is a junior at Highschool, I finally take the plunge. Its time, rain or shine. But the issue of women’s freedom, art-career or family, bread-job or writing/painting/anything creative remains. As long as there is no safe affordable childcare, a fair legal share of men’s and women’s work and family time, as long as there is a ever-growing demand by employers to be available 24/7 and no general wage for home-makers, stay at home moms or dads, so long nothing will change. My daughter swears never to have children, she is disgusted with the status and the options. And I am sad to say, I can hardly blame her. Thank you for this long lament, I hear you.

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I balance between my children’s needs and mine because I believe I’m modeling self-care for them (if things are urgent for my children or important for their emotional and physical well-being, I take care of them, but there are times when I allow them to wait and take care of myself first… yes, I would take the dawdling three-year-old off the potty if I needed to go… and if I later needed to clean poop off the floor, I’d just do it :-)). And I take whole days off from all obligations–work and family. I know all this allows me to earn more, be happier, and be my absolute best self for my children.

November 27th, 2015: ANOHNI: HOPELESSNESS shows are being put together

Edison worked for twenty-one hours a day

That may be an extreme example, but it is unthinkable at an elite school. Just as unthinkably, she had no one to appeal to. Students at places like Cleveland State, unlike those at places like Yale, don’t have a platoon of advisers and tutors and deans to write out excuses for late work, give them extra help when they need it, pick them up when they fall down. They get their education wholesale, from an indifferent bureaucracy; it’s not handed to them in individually wrapped packages by smiling clerks. There are few, if any, opportunities for the kind of contacts I saw my students get routinely—classes with visiting power brokers, dinners with foreign dignitaries. There are also few, if any, of the kind of special funds that, at places like Yale, are available in profusion: travel stipends, research fellowships, performance grants. Each year, my department at Yale awards dozens of cash prizes for everything from freshman essays to senior projects. This year, those awards came to more than $90,000—in just one department.

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