Parents, how do you do it?

I don’t know how people managed to do any work during the pandemic lockdowns with two kids at home. We’ve been struggling during the pandemic with one, but we managed well. Now that we have a second (I guess we needed a challenge), we have literally been actively parenting every single second of each day, until they were asleep, and we were simply destroyed. I’ve had to do about two days’ worth of Arbeit since my daughter was born. In the past twelve days I managed to do perhaps three hours? Not because I didn’t feel like it, but because I simply couldn’t get it done while we were both continually busy (to be honest, a couple of hours work feels like self time after being constantly triggered by two children).

Now we’re on a small camping trip, and this of course brings a good deal of distraction for the oldest, and the youngest is mostly in a baby sling while we’re outside. I figured that this would mean more time, to read a book, or maybe to read a provisionally accepted manuscript that needs to be resubmitted this week. But the moment I look at my laptop, it seems that all little human alarms go off. (To prove a point, my baby starts to cry right now, as I write this post. Edit 1: Luckily she was quickly satisfied with a belly rub, and seems to be more comfortable resting on my chest. Edit 2: Nope. Edit 3: I guess I really had to put my son to bed and wait for him to sleep, and Heike to nurse the baby, until I could continue.)

I love being a parent, and being a parent of two, but it’s also tough as hell. Especially, I really don’t know how other parents of two or more get anything substantial done besides raising their children… Where do you find the time for yourself (and each other)? Some people make it seem like such a breeze. Are they all just pretending? What’s the secret?

I’m tremendously sorry if any frequent readers are disappointed by my recent posts. I know they’re shorter, and perhaps a bit too much about kids and too little about other types of content, like perhaps ecology, entomology, botany, travel, or the horrors of working in academia. These short posts are all I can handle at this moment in my life. For me these posts still serve the main purpose why I write this blog: to get words out every day, and to click ‘share post’ every day. I hope to soon be back with better content. In the meantime: it’s my blog, so I write what I need – haha.

Published by Robin Heinen

Father of one but almost two | Husband | Entomologist and Ecologist | Postdoctoral Researcher @ TUM | Traveler | Coffee Addict

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