“If you try to balance your writing career against your parenting as though it's on a scale, like, ‘I'm balancing my life like a scales of justice scale, and there's only these two things and one goes up and the other goes down’--If you try to do that, you are guaranteed to be miserable because whenever your parenting is going great, you will think that your writing is going badly. And when your writing is going great, you will feel like your parenting is going badly. And that is not how one should look at life.”
~ MM De Voe
Join Kaitlin as she chats with MM De Voe, a writer of internationally acclaimed speculative literary fiction and poetry. Born to a traditional Lithuanian family of six in College Station, Texas, M as her writer friends call her, was raised Catholic and bilingual by an organic chemistry researcher and a Montessori directress.
She's the founder of the literary nonprofit, Pen Parentis, and the author of the fun instructional memoir Book and Baby, which won first place in writing publishing at the 2021 indie awards. She lives in Manhattan, where as she puts it, she spends her days reveling in irony.
M is deeply passionate about the subject matter of the intersection of parenting and writing, and naturally, this podcast conversation seeks to shine a light on the origin of this passion.
MM and Kaitlin talk about:
How M juggled her writing with caregiving when her children were much younger, and how this fuelled the birth of Pen Parentis.
Several insightful tips and pieces of advice that M has for parents who are writers.
What M refers to as the Mobile Model; a healthier and more balanced way of viewing the different roles we juggle as creatives, members of society, wives, children and caregivers.
Cultivating the art of being fully present with our children in order to offer them the best quality of our time, as opposed to stewing in the guilt of not being able to offer them the larger amounts of time we unconsciously deem good enough.
The Pen Parentis community and how it supports writing parents, whatever phase of life or expertise they may be in.
As an aside, you might hear Kaitlin's daughter playing in the background during this episode.
As Kaitlin mentioned earlier, she was literally doing what MM De Voe discusses in her book. This episode was recorded right after school was on break and Kaitlin’s 6 year old daughter, C, was in the room; she contributed a little bit to the conversation as you'll hear. Be sure to stay to the end of the episode for her take on timers.
How about you? What do you think about timers for creative work?