Family Magazine

Getting Back At It

By Melody S
I have wanted to teach and do research for a long time. A very long time. When I found out that I was expecting, I swore up and down that it would not slow me down, that I would still finish "on time" (whatever that means). I would still graduate with my PhD, and would go on to teach at a university, and maybe even run a consulting business on the side. The possibilities were endless....
Now, 5 months post-birth, I find myself toying with the idea that maybe my priorities have shifted a little. Life just doesn't seem as simple as it used to. I can't just go to school and spend 6 hours working at my computer. I can't be present for all of the meetings and workshops I would like to attend. And to be honest, often I don't want to be. I love being home with McKenna and seeing her grow up. While I don't think I am cut out to be a stay-at-home mom in the long-term, i am enjoying this time we have together immensely. I'm starting to think that maybe my career ambitions need to be scaled back a bit, to accomodate more of a family life.
Recently, McKenna has started going to a home daycare three days a week. Two of the days I am teaching, and the third day I have set aside to work on my dissertation. Tomorrow will really be my first real day back at it since I had McKenna. Sure, I have collected data since then, but I haven't sat down and wrote much of anything since December. I'm dreading it. I feel like I'm starting at the beginning again. I no longer feel like a curious, competent graduate student, I feel like a tired, overworked mom. But I want to do this. I am so close to being finished, and I know that I would always regret it if I gave up on this degree. Whatever it takes, I will walk across that stage someday soon. I just need to buckle down and force myself to get back at it.

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