An open letter written during quarantine about the struggles trying to be productive while trapped in the house with a toddler.
Quarantine without a kid would have been so productive for me.
Motherhood has really reshaped my relationship with productivity. Something that once brought me the most joy, creating nonstop and endless projects, now fills me with anxiety. I avoid it subconsciously. Not because I don’t still enjoy these things, but because I can’t enjoy them when he is around. And he is always around because he is my son.
I know he means no harm. He is simply a young child and wants to play with his momma.
I get it, but damn.
“Something that once brought me the most joy, creating nonstop and endless projects, now fills me with anxiety. I avoid it subconsciously. Not because I don’t still enjoy these things, but because I can’t enjoy them when he is around.”
It’s like my world is full of nothing but interruptions now. Someone always needs or wants something. Disruption is indeed, the enemy of imagination and creativity. Joyce Carol Oates was right. Being productive was once my happy place, my safe space from anxiety. Still, the attempt to be productive in my home (especially during quarantine) is now the bane of my existence and the gateway to panic. Now I am only able to find refuge in totally relinquishing the moment and putting all productivity aside. That refuge is brief as I am quietly being overwhelmed by anxiety as the moment carries on.
Admittedly, there is a personal issue of better time management if I want to push through this time and be productive. Productivity in this stage of my life calls for a miraculous performance on my behalf. One of bribing, negotiating, hiding, running, and escaping for as long as I can, only to return with treats to soothe the complaints of a quality time love language three year old. The few breaks I do receive, I am generally so fatigued from the constant demand for my attention I just want to relax.
BECAUSE WHO TF WANTS TO USE FREE TIME TO BE PRODUCTIVE WHEN YOU CAN'T EVEN USE THE BATHROOM IN PEACE?
I used to love productivity, now I resent & loath it because I can no longer be as productive as I once was, as I can still be, due to the circumstances called a toddler. I feel like a wild horse locked in a tiny stable. I want to break the doors down and run free.
This is the struggle of motherhood. An endless balancing act. The balancing act between giving the wild horse in you the room to run free but still staying tethered enough to stabilize that you can tend to the little people who’s survival and development depends on you.
It is exhausting.
I have dreams.
I refuse to give up on them.
But it damn sure feels like my child is trying to force me to.