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We who are about to breed: Mary Panza.

August 10, 2011 \pm\31 3:30 pm

[In which WWAATD asks writers and other artist types about life as breeders/parents/kid-keepers.]

Name: Mary Panza

1. What is your kid’s name, age?

Julia, 5 years old.

2. How do you balance your time between parenting and writing?

The question should be how do you balance parenting with anything?

3. What is the best piece of advice about being a parent and a writer?

I didn’t read any of the parenting books. I got pregnant quite by surprise at age 37. While pregnant I couldn’t keep a thought in my head. After Julia was born, I was lucky if could form a sentence. Being a mother humbles you in ways you can’t even believe. I stopped acting tough and became tough. I know what it is to be strong now. It wasn’t easy. You kind of have to give into the fact that you are NOT the same person in any respect and that’s OK. The person your are becoming is who you need to be. You also find out that it is hard to be a cool writer type with a screaming baby with a loaded diaper. Give the cool thing up!

4. How has your writing changed since becoming a parent?

I stopped caring about stupid things because I am usually sleep-deprived. As a result, my poetry cuts to the point faster with less words. Motherhood has been a crash course in self-editing.

5. Tell us something we don’t know about you and being a writer-slash-parent.

I know what happy is now. I know what beauty is. I appreciate silence more than ever and most of the time I am scared shit-less!


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