It’s all a bit hard right now

It has been over two years since I last blogged. There is one very cute and very time consuming reason for that. He’s just turned two, is learning new words every day and pretty much annihilates any spare time that my partner and I have.

At the moment I’m working pIMG_3764art time. This is very important for my mental health and happiness. I do miss having more time for my creative outlets though. I’ve managed to eke out enough time to learn to weave which I’m really enjoying. I usually work on it after spud has gone to sleep (when I have enough energy).

Spud has been unwell again over the weekend so I’ve had three nights of minimal sleep. I feel kinda floaty, even with two double coffees in me. I’m hoping tonight is better. This also explains why this post may not be as coherent as I’d like.

I’ve been catching snatches of #blogjune, mostly from the blogs of friends I am subscribed to. I mentioned on Twitter that I was thinking of blogging about the intersection between parenting and professional development.

Unfortunately, professional development has taken a real back seat since having spud. It is a very frustrating and isolating part of being a new parent (and a new mother in particular).

Most local PD events are in the evenings. This makes it virtually impossible to get along to them. When I do get a rare evening off, I’m more inclined to have a break and catch up with friends. Online things are a bit easier. I’ve been trying to follow #23RDThings but I don’t have the concentration space at home, and when working two days per week it’s harder to justify spending time on this sort of thing. Even when it’s directly relevant to my work. It gives me new insight into why friends on Twitter went very quiet suddenly after having a baby. It also makes me sad that workplaces aren’t better at recognising and assisting with this transition. It’s very easy to be overlooked when you work part time.

I would so love to be more involved in blogjune and try to blog daily but it’s just not possible right now. I’m going to try for a few more posts. Hopefully I’ll find something a bit more upbeat to post about.

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4 thoughts on “It’s all a bit hard right now

  1. Sympathy! We’re also in an early winter child-illness pit at the moment. And the tyranny of evening professional development and networking! Ugh. I have raged and will rage again.

  2. Hi lovely

    We published a post on the International Librarians Network blog last week on juggling mothering and PD. Lots of great insights from a bunch of smart women I have the privilege of working with – Kathleen Smeaton, Katya Henry, Lyndelle Gunton, Clare Thorpe, and Kate Devitt. All very different, but all with some commonalities. The most important thing that came out of collating this post for me was that this shit is hard, but talking about it helps.

    There are seasons for everything. This just may not be your season for lots of extra curricular work stuff, and that’s okay. I don’t say that to diminish the push and pull you feel, or to diminish the fact that you might *want* to do more PD, but rather to say it’s ok. If you’re the kind of person who is aware that it’s missing in your life right now, you’re probably not the kind of person that needs to be worrying about the fact you’re not doing all the PD things. Did that make sense? Here’s another way of saying it: At the beginning of each semester, I have students in my office stressing about how they can possibly do a good job of their studies. They invariably end up being the students who top the cohort. If you’re aware that it’s missing, you’ll find your way back to it. When you’re ready, you’ll be able to pick up where you left off, albeit with an extra hat to wear.

    K.xx

  3. I can definitely relate to a lot of the things you have said Molly, including working for your mental health needs.
    I remember when Miss A was about Spud’s age I lamented the lack of time for creative pursuits. Now that she is almost 4 and has learnt to play by herself I have been able to spend a bit more time sewing while she is around. So this will change.
    Also, I too have not done much PD lately. I have wanted too but nights are tricky for parents of young children.
    I’m here if you ever want to chat.

  4. It’s many years since my children were small. But I do remember what it was like – trying to find time to be a good mother, breast feed properly (or even just feed my child at all), and maintain my perspective as an active, intellectual person with needs and interests.

    For me, finding time for my intellectual pursuits and my hobbies, through reading and study (even cookery classes) and participating in part time work and professional practice was a vital part of being a good parent. I found options that fitted with my timetable (day time, never on a Tuesday) and I relied on my support network, a lot. Daycare, before and after school care, holiday care, friends and family. But I did get to do chicken sandwiches in the canteen, once a month, and went on a few school excursions. The house was a total mess, however. I also relied on the wonders of the square baby sitter. Sesame St and Playschool were quiet times, when they watched and I caught up with the world. I did a lot of sewing inside the playpen. I tried very hard not to feel guilty, and I have mostly succeeded.

    Workwise, I agree. Meetings are often held on days I’m not in, and when I ask colleagues what happened, they say “Nothing much”. Same for the office gossip. One of my colleagues was very aware of the gap that I faced, and worked hard to keep me up to speed, and I missed her terribly when she moved on. Same with professional events, which are either in the evening, at bed time, or in the dreadful after school zone. I have also missed out on acting opportunities, even when I can demonstrate that a shared arrangement will work or that I can set up some time to work full time.

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