How Does She Do It?

I have now poured myself a bubble bath and a cup of tea, and am ready to answer the question people have been asking me a lot lately — “When do you sleep???”

And the answer is, I sleep eight hours a night — I protect that time jealously, because I am totally useless when I go short on sleep. I’ve also been really careful to eat well and get a moderate amount of daily exercise; I need my body to feel good to sustain this pace.

It’s been more interesting what else has happened while campaigning. I find that I get buzzed off the intensity of it — it’s like being in front of a classroom, the need to think on your feet, to ask difficult questions and answer them. It’s very performative, which I really enjoy tremendously, though I’m sure that’s a nightmare for many! And running from event to event while also juggling kids and home and teaching is so mentally challenging that the adrenaline is palpable, and that gives you a rush too.

I also find that I react much the same way at home as I do when Kevin is out of town and I’m temporarily solo parenting — I get more rigid about the kids doing what they’re supposed to do — putting away shoes and bags and coats in the right place when they come in the door, clearing their place at the table, emptying the dishwasher. In the normal course of affairs, I can be a little slack and just pick up after them, but when I’m stretched thin, I handle it by insisting they do their share. I think it’s probably good for them, honestly.

I also get more rigid myself about making sure the sink is clear before I go to bed, making sure the laundry is done and the groceries ordered, because again, there’s much less slack in the system for a quick trip out for milk, for example. Everything works, as long as we stay on schedule (and no one gets sick! Please, no one get sick!).

And of course, Kevin has picked up a LOT of the parenting duties, and a bit of extra household stuff too.

Finally, I’ve almost entirely given up on writing during campaign season. I’m so sorry, agent of mine, but I am not working on my novel right now. I’ll be back to in April, I promise. But I have fit in the time for campaigning mostly by dropping the time for writing, and that is okay for now, for this two-month stretch. If I run for higher office down the road — well, we’ll schedule that bridge when we come to it.


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *