Over the last week I have heard the same tune from a variety of people, the one that goes along the lines of “you won’t be able to do that once your baby is here” I’m sure other mums and dads are familiar with this one!
Firstly, a lecturer at University pretty much laughed in my face when I mentioned that I will be taking 6 months maternity leave from my PhD but in that time I am planning on doing a little bit of work (reading journal articles when I can and keeping a note of any thoughts I have). This was met with the following response: “you’ll be lucky if you take anything in, you will probably want to take a year off”.
Secondly, last autumn I started a distance learning proofreading course, because of other commitments I took a long time to submit the first assignment, but I had scheduled into my timetable that I could finish the course over this summer before the baby is here. The feedback for my first assignment arrived last Friday; it was so rude that it was hilarious! My tutor basically told me I couldn’t possibly do this course with a baby on the way and suggested I left the course, got a refund and returned at a more suitable point. I was fuming, I did take the refund (more money towards our new arrival!). Realistically I now don’t think I would have had time over the summer, but this has nothing to do with the fact that I’m pregnant. I was however amazed at how this person thought they could advise me on my personal situation.
Lastly, relatives and friends with small children still delight in telling us that the baby will ruin our social life and we won’t have a minute to ourselves, it’s terrible, doom and gloom etc…..
I still want to keep positive and I hope this isn’t just naive of me to think this way. Our social life consists of seeing family and friends, dog walks and country pub lunches all of which I am sure can accommodate a baby. With regards to work parents are itching to be involved and help with child care so that I can focus on my work as and when needed. I’m not going to rush back to work, but I am hoping to adjust my working pattern to working in small chunks when possible, a perk of working for yourself.
I don’t doubt that I will be exhausted and busy, but I’m sure being busy looking after your family, the people you love with all your heart, is the best kind of busy there is.