Freelancing Papa

Freelancing Papa

Time is more than money. It's opportunity and never more so than if you become a parent.

I always felt the need to keep working when I was a freelancer. I still am, but that feeling has changed. The need to work hasn't though. 

Parenthood brought with it a feeling of urgency. There's a need to do so much more. My time is in demand in a way it wasn't before. Now I'm not just balancing the various aspects of being a freelancer but also those of being a spouse, a parent and a human. 

That balance is exceptionally hard to find given my daughter is only seven weeks old. Everyday she's different. Everyday she wants something different - to be held on a new way, bounced in a certain pattern, a song sung, our more food. Even if the wife wanted to be a housewife I would still have these demands. She can only do so much on her own, but because she has a career and is running for office, I need to and very much feel the desire to take on as much as I can to enable her. 

But I'd be lying if I didn't say that it leaves me not wanting to come home. Not because our child is crying or I don't love her. But because of all my competing demands and need to get things done. The wife is great and does recognize I need to work and study, but the same can't be said for the kid. 

The kid is a baby after all and you can't explain anything to them. At the same time her demands are so immediate that to ignore them would be harmful. Going home means I have to help, there's no way around it. And my work, my studies they just have to wait. 

Help is more than holding the kid or feeding her so my wife can do something. It's grocery shopping and cooking dinner, cleaning the flat, and walking the kid. Currently it also includes working on the wife's campaign.

I feel bad for feeling this way. For having any annoyance with the wife and feeling like she's not letting me get on with my work. Because she is doing no such thing, she does let me work. Her need to get her own work done is just as valid and even more demanding than mine. It’s not even a question of who is likely to earn more or make a bigger impact. 

The answer to that question is always her. I just write, she changes the world. So if you're a resident of Helsinki and can vote in the upcoming municipal elections then cast your vote for Nora Lindström. But it is a matter of how two adults who have shared responsibilities find a balance in their schedules to meet all their demands, shared, competing or personal. 

One way I’ve found to do it is writing during class. It’s probably not the best use of my time as it takes away from ability to concentrate on learning Swedish. But there are always going to be compromises in how I use my time and what I get done. Not all of my time can now be dedicated to my work, and no matter how bad I feel about that or how much I may hate having to wash something for the third time that day, it’s still worth it.

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