I am forcibly removed from my own comic for going on another socialist rant about how the labour of raising children is, like all labour but especially unpaid labour, undervalued in a late-stage capitalist economy where the only labour deemed worthy of reward is the kind that sees capital flow without interruption from that labour to the bourgeo–


Burnout is finally a word on people’s lips, especially in creative-but-precarious-and-underpaid fields like animation, comics, and game development (sad three-way handshake) and in caregiving and healthcare. Somewhere in the talking about it, I noticed that all the ‘risk factors’ for professional burnout were… pretty much exactly the same ‘working conditions’ that you can expect as a stay-at-home-parent.

Burnout isn’t just ‘I worked really hard for a period of time and I’m very tired’, it’s a change in the way your brain works, a loss of identity in that work, and a sometimes permanent debuff towards your total productivity. It’s not just long hours, but also zero control over the structure of your day, unpredictable but monotonous work punctuated by periods of intense stress, isolation from rewarding parts of your life… and raising kids gets you all the greatest hits, too! And not only is it 24/7, but the penalty for failing is a literal crime.

But it’s one of those things that’s like… but what do you do, though? We’re not supposed to live like this, to raise children like this. We’re supposed to be able to balance this intense period of hard, thankless work with… well, rest.

Hah! Right. Best we can do is an ‘it gets better’, good luck!

Labelling burnout as what it is has really improved the conversation about labour in game development, though. So, maybe, starting to use the word when it literally applies to parenting is the way to go, too.

Housekeeping! I’m going to be taking a break from How Baby for one week, as the next posting date is literally the day after Christmas, and I’m gonna be real with myself that nothing creative is getting done this week except baking, wrapping presents, and working on gift exchange fics. That’s just the truth! See you on the other side!