First, tell us a little about your family.
I’ve been married to Bryan for close to thirteen years. I was only 23 when we got married, which is hard to believe. We’ve grown together year by year, and we’re blessed to have four kids ages nine, almost seven, four, and almost two.
Tell us a little about what you’ve written for Brain, Child / Brain, Mother.
The articles I’ve written so far for Brain, Mother tend to focus on how I grapple with doing what I think is best in the long run for my family versus doing what is easy in the short run. Most recently I wrote about how I get frustrated when my kids act helpless when it comes to chores and even minor responsibilities like taking the ice packs out of their lunch boxes, yet I’m always doing things for them because I don’t have the patience to wait.
When do you write, and where?
My favorite writing spots are the coffee shops near my kids’ elementary school and preschool. When I need to get serious, I go to a newer French-inspired bakery called Rustica. They don’t have outlets so I can’t afford to waste time on social media there. I can only write at home after midnight, which I try to do only a few times a month so that I’m not a zombie the next day. Those late nights are my best writing sessions. It’s quiet, stolen time.
How does parenting impact your work/writing?
When I started writing six years ago, I had two kids. I only wrote fiction back then and swore that I would never start a blog. When I started my blog three years ago, I said that I would never write about the kids. Never say never.
Where do you get your inspiration?
I’m always jotting down ideas for essays from all aspects of my life, but some of my favorite topics originate with Bryan. He often reads parenting books and articles then offers some kind of proclamation about a new idea we need to try. My first article for Brain, Mother, “The Case Against Party Favors,” came from one of Bryan’s “proclamations.”
What books are on your nightstand right now?
I just finished Naked by David Sedaris. I don’t know how it’s possible that I missed that one as I’ve read everything else he’s written. I’m about to start Me Before You by Jojo Moyes because everyone I know is talking about this book. I’m not above reading books simply because of the buzz. I have Karen Joy Fowler’s We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves and Lauren Grodstein’s The Explanation of Everything ready to go next.
Which blogs/sites do you frequent for good writing?
I have around fifty blogs that I enjoy in my blog reader, but some of my favorites are by Allison Slater Tate, Rebecca Schorr, Judy Clement Wall, Lindsey Mead, Stephanie Sprenger, and Jessica Smock.
What is your favorite Brain, Child blog post, essay, story, or feature?
I really enjoy the debate sections in the print magazine. In the most recent issue, Randi Olin and Evadne Macedo discussed whether or not kids should use electronics. Those are the kinds of topics I tend to debate with myself. I read everything on the blog, and I find that Lauren Apfel’s and Sarah Werthan Buttenwieser‘s work especially resonates with me. Maybe it’s because all three of us are moms of four. It’s a special club.
Any advice to other parent-writers out there?
Every time I tell myself that I’ll get to work when I have enough time to write a whole essay, I end up deeply regretting that decision. There is never a good time. I write paragraph by paragraph. I have never written an entire essay in one sitting.
Nina Badzin is a contributing blogger to Brain, Child. You can read more of her work here and at ninabadzin.com. Connect with her on Facebook (www.facebook.com/NinaBadzinBlog) and Twitter (twitter.com/ninabadzin)