I need to get my priorities worked out so I can make the required time to finish off this thesis. I was reading Jean-Anne Sutherland’s essay, Ideal Mama, Ideal Worker: Negotiating Guilt and Shame in Academe published in Mama PhD (2008). Mama PhD is a great read to discover many different stories involving juggling kids and academia. The plight of these mums at times sounded a real struggle. I’m thankful for being allowed to study part-time due to caring for pre-school aged kids. Adelaide Uni has a “special consideration” clause which made it possible. Also my supervisors are very supportive. Alas I still have to do the work so it’s time to sort out my priorities.
Jean-Anne’s mantra from Mama was “Savannah, self-care, dissertation”. I too can be guided by a mantra, so here goes
Part 1 FAMILY
As I have three kids (8, 7 & 4yr old), a hubby and an extended family I enjoy being around I’m modifying the first part to family. It’s inclusive of them all.
Part 2 SELF-CARE
The second self-care seems a worthy inclusion. I could really do some work on this one. I really need to focus on my health, weight and ensuring sufficient sleep. This means not finding time for the PhD at night when it’s really me time, hubby time, TV slobbing and blogging time. Also cooking decent meals and reducing the required dosage of chocolate to get any writing done. Now chocolate! that is a blog topic in itself
Part 3 THESIS
Ok maybe I’ll need to chain myself to the desk but if it’s a priority we might just make it across the finish line.
Well then the mantra “Family, myself, thesis” is just not musical to me.
Part 4 FRIENDS
I’m a sociable creature struggling a bit whilst studying remotely. Without a friendly chat with another mums, students or outdoor enthusiasts I’ll go insane. So this mantra really requires four parts
“Family, self-care, thesis, friends”
I can live by this for a year. I need to make a few alterations to my current commitments, but by 2011 the mantra will dominate my life. Maybe it is selfish as Jean-Anne mentioned, but then again maybe it’s essential so I can give my family the time I want whilst still managing the other parts of life I’ve committed to. My Dad always teased me about burning the candle at both ends. At least this is only four ends…