Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Quiet

It is finally quiet in my house. Yes, I'm home. No, I'm not thrilled to be here. I was supposed to be at work in the morning, then at my clinical tutorial in the afternoon. Instead, I'm home with Sophie. Which in and of itself is not the problem.

We were supposed to get a huge snowstorm today. We did get quite a bit of snow, and most schools were cancelled. It looked pretty terrible in the morning, so my mom stayed home. I stayed home with Sophie and planned to re-evaluate things later on. Well, ultimately I told my mom to stay home and I called off from my clinical tutorial. My preceptor was very nice about it, as always. I, on the other hand, am not taking it so well.

I've been back to work "full-time" since the first of the year. I put "full-time" in quotes because I am averaging about a day off a week due to family stuff. Granted, I do go in most weekends, but that doesn't make up for it. I know I've posted ad nauseaum about my supposed flexibility in the PhD versus Tim's real job. And let me state that I am not upset at Tim for having a real job--his pays the bills, mine doesn't come close.

But I am really upset with having to miss so much work. I will be the first to tell you I don't like my job, but I am also the first one to say that I hate being unprofessional. I made a commitment to both Dr. B and my clinical tutorial preceptor to work, and I want to work. I want to be done with the PhD and go back to med school. Heck, Dr. P, my clinical tutorial preceptor, could very well be my boss someday. It is important to me to maintain a positive professional reputation. Ditching work constantly doesn't help me with that.

Granted, I have a four-month old at home. Dr. P seems to be very understanding of that. Dr. B isn't, but I don't expect him to be. Heck, poor Kim in the lab is going through another miscarriage, and he hasn't let up on her at all. I knew the initial work-family transition would be tough. But I thought I'd be fine.

Well, for the first time, I'm thinking that those people who said that there's no such thing as balance are right. I love Sophie dearly, and when it comes down to it, she'll always be #1. But as long as she is healthy, happy, and well-cared-for, I think I should be able to work too. I've always multi-tasked. I thought this would just be a matter of finding time to be a mom and a student/employee. Well, I've found the time (mostly by giving up sleep), but I haven't found the balance.

I know--I was naive. But to me, I've made a commitment to my program, and I can't just ignore that now.

This sounds so selfish, even as I am typing. I really can't tell you how much I love my daughter--no amount of typing can accomplish that. I just wish I could find a better way. Maybe it's working nights and weekends (more than I already do). I don't know. There has to be a better arrangement.

Even when I am home, I can't get things done. My thesis committee report was due today. I had it 90% written when I came home yesterday. Last night was way too hectic with a fussy baby to get anything done. I had planned to finish it this morning in lab. When I had to stay home, I knew I had to find time. Considering that when Sophie's awake, I don't get five minutes to eat or pee, I knew finding the time would be tough.

Finally, she fell asleep about 3, and I just sent the report out a few minutes ago. Thank God for quiet.

I guess what I feel is that I don't have quality time for Sophie or work. When I'm with Sophie, I'm constantly thinking about how I am going to find time to take care of the house, catch up on work, and maybe eat/pee/sleep. When I am at work, I am constantly having to manipulate around family issues. It's not fair to either work or Sophie to be so divided. And forget about having any hobbies or "me" time. I'm lucky if I get to have a grown-up conversation with my husband once a week.

I just wish I could get a handle on things. There have been so many women that say you can have it all. That might be true, but I haven't figured out a way yet.

But I do have to say: watching Sophie sleep so peacefully makes me feel like I have a little piece of heaven here. I hope that I get things more figured out as she grows up. Hopefully she won't know what a mess I am right now.

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