Toni Morrison was a single mother. That meant it was all on her. To provide. To love. To lead her family.
You might think that would be overwhelming, which surely, at times it was. But Morrison managed to succeed not just as a parent but as a working writer by boiling down this complicated job to just three key tasks.
“Their needs were simple,” Morrison told Emma Brockes in a 2012 interview. “One, they needed me to be competent. Two, they wanted me to have a sense of humor. And three, they wanted me to be an adult.”
How perfectly simple and well said. Have your shit together. Be fun. Be responsible. Of course, simple doesn’t mean easy…but it does give us a place to start. It also reminds us what doesn’t matter. As Morrison would explain, “The kids didn’t care if I did my hair, didn’t care what I looked like.” They don’t care about anything really—but that you’re there, that the trains run on time and that they’re safe.
Everything else, as we’ve said, is extra, or to be avoided. Prioritize accordingly.