I asked my daughter to help me come up with ideas for this newsletter, because it’s been a long week and I’m really tired. These were her top three suggestions:

  • The Pandemic (no, there was no qualifier. That was the entire suggestion.)
  • How to get to know your kids better.
  • Life as a lesbian.

In case you’re wondering why I’ve tried to deputise my seven-year-old, it’s because until I chased her away after laughing at her suggestions, she was sitting right next to me in my work chair (read: squashing me) and "trying to help". She complains that I work too much. I, on the other hand, complain that she doesn’t let me have enough space or time to work. Or even to think, for that matter.

Like many parents around the world, being at home all the time has made me realise I’m a single mother to only one child, and I think I reached my limit of "trying to parent while working full time in a pandemic" in May. It just ... doesn’t work. At least, it hasn’t for me.

According to an article shared with me by on a day when they decided to track interruptions by their children, That number feels accurate: my daughter’s sudden appearances in work Zoom calls are a staple office joke now. In the past few weeks, I’ve spent more time thinking about why I chose motherhood than I did throughout 2019. I love being a writer, but if I’m being honest I’m currently very ambivalent about being a mother.

There’s no real point to all this information I’m sharing, by the way. I’m just writing this because my brain is too fried from trying to juggle work and parenting to come up with good newsletter ideas. And in any case, my fellow Correspondent Irene has recently written a really excellent newsletter about being childfree, and why we decide to have children. So if you want proper newsletter material,

Currently, my vote is: if you’re childfree, stay that way. We can’t escape capitalism but we can opt out of parenthood. Take my advice, or you’ll spend the rest of your life unsuccessfully trying to make career progress in increments of only 204 seconds.

Oh, look: here my daughter comes again. Bye.

No, really. Bye,


Greyscale cartoon image of OluTimehin Adegbeye, Othering correspondent, on an orange background with a white envelope in the foreground.
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