Rudri Bhatt Patel
It’s very hard to find the right balance between work and motherhood. It often feels as if I’m sacrificing one for the other, and I never know if I’m doing enough for either. I used to worry about it constantly, but now I try to remind myself that I can’t expect to be perfect, and that I’m only human.
But as they are now teenagers, there’s very little I can write about them that doesn’t kind of break that contractual obligation I have to maintain their privacy. So the things I write about are ways of questioning my own parenting, or the way I feel about the kids, without really betraying anything that matters to them.
I feel very fortunate to have chosen the life path that I’m on. My freelance lifestyle allows me a lot of time to do the things that I feel are necessary, in addition to working and teaching. Creating art and hanging out with my children are at the top of the list.
To me, being alive is unbalanced, so the second you’re born, the idea of balance is out the window. How can we possibly try to find balance, at least in the traditional way that we think of it, where things are equally parceled out? People get earaches in the middle of the night. You might not sleep for three days. Snow days happen the week you’re supposed to turn in your novel. Children pee on the rug.
I was sleep-deprived, raising four kids, finding very little writing time, and I needed, somehow, to remember who I was, who I’d been, and who I wanted to become. I started running and decided to train for a triathlon.
There are mysterious moments in writing, when a metaphor or a critical bit of dialogue or a plot device just clicks into place in your mind. The “hole in the middle” metaphor was one such moment for me. It creates a link between two stages in Sophie’s development in the novel.
We publish profiles of writers who are mothers, writers who write about motherhood, and writers who have something to say to mothers. This includes well-known, living mama writers, of course, but also off-beat, lesser-known, not-so-obvious mama writers. Read more here.