Mom Interviews

Lisa Takeuchi Cullen

Staff writer and blogger for Time magazine

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What is, for you, the most challenging part of juggling work and family?

I think it's challenging to excel. We're all equipped; we're all competent enough to get by. Right? We can keep our families fed and relatively happy, our bosses reasonably satisfied, our marriages somewhat intact, our households messy but not calamitous. While I was flogging my book, readers or aspiring writers would sometimes ask me how I wrote it while raising a baby and keeping a demanding job as a journalist. My answer was that I did all three poorly. I wasn't actually kidding. There's a reason writers are one-dimensional; if Jane Austen had a husband, 12 kids, and an estate to manage, you better believe she wouldn't have knocked off Sense and Sensibility during nap time. But on a rainy evening when the kid's snoozing and I'm on the couch watching Battlestar Galactica with my husband and a bottle of wine instead of writing, I feel pretty happy with my mediocre achievements.

How do you think that will change, if at all, when you add another child to the mix?

I'll drink more.

Tell us about a few of the things on your Life To-Do List. What's your next big project (besides the baby due next week, of course)?

At my 10th high-school reunion, a classmate named Christy went around asking everyone about their five-year plans. I told her I wanted to learn how to filet a fish. I'm coming up on our 20th, and I now realize I still don't know how to filet a fish. So that's still on my to-do list.


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