Friday, September 23, 2016

parent fails

The moment you realize that your child's insane behavior over the past day or so is completely explained by a physical ailment that you could have solved for them if you had been observant enough to realize the problem when the walk-in clinic was actually open.

Then of course this keeps your kid from sleeping, on a night when you are already exhausted from the last few nights when the toddler didn't sleep plus the basic weary Friday night blahs; the week was long and way too busy and the tired goes beyond the physical now.  So you are not as empathetic as you should be, or as patient, or as gentle.

And this is why I find myself, at least on this particular week, failing at parenthood.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

reflecting on stress

Hello, internet!

I basically fail at blogging these days, but I'm ok with that, because I find that having a job and a 2-year-old at the same time is a feat all alone, and I've been learning not to expect too much more of myself.

There was a summer.  It was productive in "learning instrumentation" ways but not in "writing articles" ways, and that second way is pretty important right about now.  I've been reflecting on the gap in my CV that has been staring me in the face for the past few years, and is even more noticeable now; I have a middle-authorship thing coming, lots of conference abstracts, an encyclopedia article.  Nothing all that useful.  And while I initially was like, yes, I have this baby, so too bad to my publication record, I have been thinking more recently that baby alone does not explain it (at least not for more than about 1.5 years).  I think having the kid when I was coming up for tenure was a fabulous plan that worked out great for my career stability, but the flip side is having a baby right when the megaload of service responsibilities hits you post-tenure.

Perhaps I have been thinking about this because in any given week I spend approximately 5-6 hours in meetings and then do prep work for meetings and then sign paperwork for students and organize shit for other people, all of which takes additional hours; I might estimate my admin load at 10 hours minimum, and more at some times of the year.  And to be honest, these are all activities that, individually, I do not hate.  The committees I am on and/or chair are useful, in my opinion, and I love the students, and I am type-A enough to enjoy organizing and being in charge of shit.   But then it all adds up and it's too much, because I also have to prep lecture and teach and spend time with my kid and eat food and sometimes use the bathroom.

So, I blame the combo of tenure and baby for the recent publication gap.  I have hope of clawing my way out of it, but of course as the term moves forward my chances seem to get slimmer and slimmer.

This term I had made myself some resolutions, primarily along the lines of eating better and finding time for exercise (both in need as direct repercussions of above-mentioned stress, which eats my workout time and leads me to psychological crutches).  I was doing ok for a little bit, but I think it's going to take some serious will power to make it happen from here on out.  I am not giving up quite yet, but we shall see.

Also, perhaps, I will stop neglecting the blog.  Again, who knows.  Stay tuned?