Where are all the Mums?
I had originally intended to use this small window of writing time to finish off the ‘Seven Gifts of Guilt’ post I started last week, but after my recent Meet a Mum post featuring the delightful Sonia I was inspired by the comments and emails I received from Mums who were asking the question of themselves “Can I do it?”
Sonia is thinking of studying and expressed that one of her concerns was whether she would succeed. This really is an issue that was at the very heart of my research. We need to have more success stories out there for women to read – either those who are considering studying and wondering ‘how will I do this?’ and ‘can it be done?’ to those who are in the midst of it all and need a little bit of a reminder that they will get there in the end.
So I went back into the world of Mums who Study literature…and again, still not much there! There are some excellent resources I have come across which I will write about next week but in terms of actual, real life, case studies there really is very little. In terms of your average Aussie mum who is returning to study there really is not enough out there…so I promise you more to come!
I also thought I might as well use this post to tell you about my week. Sonia said in her interview that she sees so many Mums (me included) who balance things so well. So here is my list of how things got balanced (or not!) the other day when my two worlds collided:
1) A baby who wasn’t keen on sleeping meant that I was wondering around the house for around 3 hours on Tuesday night. I washed the dishes with him in the ergo and managed to fall asleep for about 2 hours before my ‘next shift’ started.
2) I had a meeting with my supervisor planned to discuss publications. Previously mentioned child pulled his ‘I am having too many problems at school’ card again and coughed dramatically so I took him home with me…this meant three kids would be coming to my meeting. I tried my best to prepare (still couldn’t put the baby down).
I find the baby wearing silhouette so flattering don’t you? Sort of cross between Quasimodo and rolled pork
3) There I was at uni with two kids (the wannabe-sick boy went to plant lettuces with my sister, God Bless aunties huh?) when I needed to change a nappy but had left them in the car. I trekked back across campus trying to find the ramps as I had the pushchair, dragging the other kid along for the ride. Quick change on the front seat (boot was filled with bags to take to the recycle) and gave the other child the phone to distract him while he waited.
4) Arrived back at meeting which was conducted while I was being used a human teething toy. Do you know I now wear chewable jewellery? I have officially become a walking teether.
5) Went to small function to welcome new HDR students to the faculty and congratulate the graduates. When I was distracted talking and bouncing Mister 7 made the most of the opportunity and drank two cans of Fanta and put two other cans in my nappy bag to take home with him.
6) So despite my desperate fatigue the day wasn’t done with me when I got home. The wanna-be sick boy was so tired he fell asleep in the spare room where he had gone to have a tantrum (or was he sent there? Who remembers!) and Miss Two locked the door from the inside thereby locking him in. We could not find the key ANYWHERE and eventually had to lower the two year old through a small toilet window with a torch to go and open the door. She then spent about another hour awake, on a high “for saving the day” and re-enacting how she had to climb down onto the tap to get from the window sill to the floor. I was too tired to explain you can’t save the day if you caused the drama in the first place. Fanta boy was sitting in the passage against the wall saying “this is the worst night of my life” (I think they get the dramatics from their father).
My point in writing this is that it’s not always done easily or smoothly or with much any sophistication but it can be done. It’s a simple message but a powerful one and I will keep doing my best to get that message out there. So for now onwards and upwards…