Hi Claire. I loved your post. And I have enormous admiration for SAHMs. Honestly I couldn’t do it full time. Hardest job in the world. But you’re right, sometimes it seems like we cannot win! Except when we stand up for what we believe in and recognise the diversity of our experiences as well as the commonality – we are all just trying to not to screw this up (pardon the language but it seemed apt!) x
Hello Heather, I hope all is going well with the PhD. I still struggle with the problem of maintaining the “research output” balanced with my personal and family needs. But I was going to say that having a baby in the middle of a PhD is certainly not impossible to manage (I went on my second maternity leave at 9 months FTE, just after confirmation!!) There really doesn’t seem to be the “perfect time” to have babies I hope you never have to tame that career dragon of yours, long may it breathe fire! You may just have to put it on a rein every now and then… On a positive note, there has been a move towards institutions in Australia recognising “career disruption” in academic careers, so at least there is some recognition of how our output should be assessed “relative to opportunity” (I love that term). All the best with the PhD.
Hi Liz! I don’t know how come I didn’t reply to your comment earlier. I read an article today that said the same thing i.e. embrace the negative emotions. I’ve been trying to sit with those and just accept them, and also try to break away from the “scarcity” paradigm. Thanks for reading xx
Thank you for taking the time (and having the courage) to reply. Perhaps it is not really in challenging yourself that you will find peace, but in accepting yourself no matter what happens? I’ve found this concept to be more helpful. Personally, my Impostor syndrome arises from a deep seated fear of rejecting myself if I fail. Accepting that everyone fails sometimes, and that that’s ok, accepting that I am still worthy of love and belonging no matter what I do or don’t do, is the way forward for me. It puts things into perspective for me. I hope that helps. I am by no means an expert in the way out, but I have been here for a very very long time and I feel as thought “Impostor Syndrome” was created just for me.
Thank you for sharing. This sounds like a very difficult thing for you to come to realise, and a very very important thing for you to want in 2015. I hope that 2015 brings you love and forgiveness. It is a very hard thing becoming parents and maintaining a marriage or partnership. Very difficult. All the best!! x
Hello Lorena! Thank you very much for your comment, and for the beautiful story about time… Such aching truth in that, and yet, I forget it constantly! SO thank you for the reminder… As for being a better mother… I have no doubt you are already an excellent mother. because you are making this your priority for 2015!! I wish you everything you need to be more patient and also the peace and strength to know that you are already good enough. But we can always strive to be better for sure! All the best for 2015 and thanks for following. x
Well hello Deborah!! Such a pleasure to “meet” you – I feel a very similar sense of SNAP! We seem to almost be living parallel lives although sadly, despite being 2 years into my PhD as well, I am nowhere near your impressive 77,000 words. I absolutely loved your post on work-family fulfilment and I have just started reading Crabb’s book and there is a LOT of head-nodding going on as I do! All the best for the last year of this wonderful PhD journey of ours. Mine has always been a meandering career path, interestingly – I’ve said “yes” to opportunities along the way and found myself in academia; now I am facing the prospect of committing to a career that is rather more linear than I am. Yet, I’ve had lots of different insights since spilling my guts on my post – including that my family need me but my career doesn’t. Lots of fascinating thoughts on that one, to be sure. Thanks for your comment and for your post x
Hello Kathleen! Welcome to motherhood and to a life of juggling writing, academia, and well, life! I do remember what it was like in those early months, it did come back to me very slowly, and by about eight months I could wrap my head around some form of “work” or study once or twice a week. It was very very hard though as mine wasn’t a good sleeper either (try two half-hour naps a day from eight months…) I do also feel in your words the pressure of accommodating your husband’s career. It’s really quite something that you’ve committed to some freelance work at this stage, and I completely understand the “am I good enough” feeling. You are more than enough! Enjoy your baby, as difficult as these months can be, there is something really very very very special about your time with your first baby when it is just you and them. (And something very very difficult too). xx
Hi Linjen. Thank you for your really thoughtful comments.
I fully agree with you, I think what we all want is to live without regrets. Especially, as you say, because the children are only little for such a short time. So I am, as you can tell, trying very hard to live without regret first and foremost in my personal life. The impact on my career, well, we cannot deny it has an impact, but I know what fills in the holes in my CV. It’s life and love. xx
OH Lorena you are right, I am feeling a bit frustrated and starting to be hard on myself! But I think all mothers (and parents) do this at some stage. No matter what our situation is, parenting is the hardest 24/7 job, and the most important. We’re all just doing the best we can! I wish you lots of joy with your little one xx
Hi Lorena. Thank you very much for sharing all of that. I hear everything you are saying. I do not think it is easy for anyone at all. That is a big reason for the post on working and stay-at-home mums. (Also, I know the realities of staying at home with babies very well.) Then there is the question of whether or not women should pursue a career. Lots of people have different ideas about this, to be sure. Some, like you, feel it is important to be home until kindergarten. But from what I hear, it doesn’t get “easier” once they get to school! However, as you say, the fundamentals must be laid early. Which is why I am still experiencing a “career disruption” despite being “full time” working and studying. I have changed my working life considerably to suit my young family’s needs. I “lean out” while still being in the workforce. All this leads to a kind of ongoing career disruption – which does not bother me until times like this when my life is under scrutiny and I have to live up to others’ expectations (not mine! I never put pressure on myself to write extra papers…) Lastly, I know some women took offence to the fact that I talk about a career and being a professional. I do not in any way think that not pursuing a career or putting it on hold to have children is any less admirable than being a working mum (professional or not). In fact, I have to hand it to all SAHMs. It is the hardest job in the world. And yet, I do also feel that I get the emotional rewards of being a mother. I might not be with my kids all hours of the day but I do go to bed knowing I have been present for a large proportion of their day. (But if I wrote more papers… went to more conferences… I wouldn’t be). I am rambling. Thanks for following xx enjoy your little baby.
Ps. I don’t write much about being a wife, it is true. Some things are best left private and sacred. xx
Hi Tina! Thanks for the lovely comments and I hope you enjoyed the cutie!! Absolutely true what you say, and I love the idea of framing pictures of vegetables in your kitchen. I’d love to see them if you get around to doing this! X
You are doing just fine!! be patient, I know it’s very frustrating to be sick for so long but coughs can last for up to 8 weeks!! That said if you think something is not right see your GP again … And what a lovely thing your son said He’ll remember what a determined mumma you are.