You Have To Come Down

It’s a wonderful state—being in flow. Getting caught up in your work. Getting caught up in the moment. And before you had kids, you lived for this…in fact, you may well have lived in it.

Life was simpler then. You would get lost for days at a time in a project. You could spend years, it would seem in retrospect, in the building stages of a company, in the pursuit of a dream, in finding yourself, in exploring the world.

It’s not that that is over now…but things are different. Nathaniel Hawthorne, speaking of the birth of his daughter Una, would explain how he found “it necessary to come out of my cloud region, and allow myself to be woven into the somber texture of humanity.” He couldn’t be the same self-indulgent, selfish artist he had spent years becoming. There was more at stake, someone at stake. “There is no escaping it any longer,” he said. “I have business on earth now, and must look about me for the means of doing it.”

No one is saying your dreams have to die (we’ve said the opposite here). No one is saying that children have to be the death of your creativity or productivity or even your best work (again, we’ve said the opposite). It’s just that you’re going to have to adjust, figure out how to do it differently. You have business on earth now too, which means you just can’t live in the clouds full-time. You’ll have to get better at re-entry, at occupying two different worlds at different times of day.

Because your kids deserve a parent who is present. Because your family deserves someone who can function in their lives, who can operate inside a system and a unit.

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