1 month away from kids...am I totally insane?? - Mothering Forums

Forum Jump: 
 
Thread Tools
Old 06-18-2011, 06:47 PM - Thread Starter
 
scholarmama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: academic ether
Posts: 4
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

I am in ABD land, and in order to get the diss progress engine running again, my DH and I hatched a plan for me to finish my proposal, take a class (reading comprehension for an Anthro degree) and defend my proposal all in one intense summer. {background, my first proposal stalled bc we couldn't find a postdoc for DH in my research region. I left yesterday and I feel like I am doing something horrible and unnatural being away from my darling children (dd5 and ds8). Sigh. I feel like all my friends and family are supportive, they listen and tell me not to get caught-up in guilt. But the thing I can't shake is how unnatural and ...greedy ??... it feels to be away from my kids for a whole month. Thoughts? Anyone else gone through a long separation like this?? Thanks.....heartbeat.gif

scholarmama is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 06-20-2011, 02:52 AM
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: USA
Posts: 376
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I think it is hard, but look at what you'll gain. A month is a short period of time in the grand scheme of things. I say put your nose to the grind stone and do something for yourself and your future.
prone_to_wander is offline  
Old 06-20-2011, 09:52 AM
 
Dmitrizmom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Central Iowa
Posts: 4,976
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)


Quote:
Originally Posted by prone_to_wander View Post

I think it is hard, but look at what you'll gain. A month is a short period of time in the grand scheme of things. I say put your nose to the grind stone and do something for yourself and your future.


This.  At 5 and 8, this is an adventure for them and your dh.  This is a chance for you to make an investment in the future for your entire family.  thumb.gif


My family: me jog.gif, dh geek.gif, ds reading.gif (11), dd1 hearts.gif (9), and dd2 energy.gif(3).

Tout va s'arranger à la fin. Si elle ne fonctionne pas; ce n'est pas la fin.

Dmitrizmom is offline  
Old 06-20-2011, 09:58 AM
 
Mosaic's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: La vida loca
Posts: 3,953
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dmitrizmom View Post





This.  At 5 and 8, this is an adventure for them and your dh.  This is a chance for you to make an investment in the future for your entire family.  thumb.gif


Beautifully put. I've not done it, so I can't speak from experience. I imagine it would be harder for you than for them. But I also think it can be a powerful model for your children, showing them that you have to work hard for what you want, and reminding them that you're not just "mom" but also this real person who has other things in her life.

Mi vida loca: full-time WOHM, frugalista, foodie wannabe, 10+ years of TCOYF 

 

R-E-S-P-E-C-T spells BRAND NEW User Agreement!!

Mosaic is offline  
Old 06-20-2011, 10:39 AM
 
namaste_mom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Finding Unobtainium
Posts: 1,266
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

The most separation that I have done is 8 weeks (at the time, I had two children 1.5 and 3.5). Honestly, I think the separation was harder for me than for them. They had their dad and their routine and I was lonely and missing my family. That was 5 years ago. I have also had two and three week separations since then. I left for 5 weeks a couple of years ago but took the 4 month old with me. In the past two years, I have only left for a two week maximum but this fall I will leave for about 3-4 weeks again. It really is harder for me than for the children. Because I leave for my work, I make my mind rationalize it this way....if I don't leave to do this, then we will not have money for xxxx or xxxx (including food and housing). They get over it pretty quickly, quicker than I do.


D. proud Mom of H. E. M. and T. always remembering Norah (11/07 at 40 wks) and (10/06) see profile
namaste_mom is offline  
Old 06-23-2011, 01:08 AM
 
DariusMom's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: I've been in the lowlands too long
Posts: 2,276
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)


Quote:
Originally Posted by namaste_mom View Post

The most separation that I have done is 8 weeks (at the time, I had two children 1.5 and 3.5). Honestly, I think the separation was harder for me than for them. They had their dad and their routine and I was lonely and missing my family.

 

Because I leave for my work, I make my mind rationalize it this way....if I don't leave to do this, then we will not have money for xxxx or xxxx (including food and housing). They get over it pretty quickly, quicker than I do.

I only have one child but I was away from him for a month when he was 2.5. I needed to be doing my diss work in another country. I had taken him along with me the year before, but it was simply too much for me + DH missed him and DS did better in his normal routine at home. It was definitely harder on me than on him.

 

I also had a semi nervous break down when I was writing my dissertation and went away for two long weekends by myself to just work intensely and think without all the distractions of home. It worked wonders.

 

The PhD process is grueling, especially with kids, but, really, they'll be fine. You should have seen how proud DS was of me when I defended! smile.gif You've come this far
 

 

DariusMom is offline  
Old 06-23-2011, 07:59 AM - Thread Starter
 
scholarmama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: academic ether
Posts: 4
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

Thanks everyone for the supportive comments and shared experiences. I does help to read that other mamas have done similar things and their children have come through OK. I do think it's WAY harder on me than it is them. I've been thinking a lot about identity and parenting and the nature of the ~sort of fracture we can (sometimes do) feel between academic work and the work of raising a child(ren)/family. Sometimes when I go from preparing my kids for school right to teaching (in a 15 minute window) I think I might accidentally call my students sweeties! They are mostly sweeties! love.gif

 

Anyway, I'm doing better now (and MDC sharing is good!!) and I think I will be even better after I meet with my chair this friday. :)

 

I included the quote from DariusMom bc I can totally see how dissertation-land with kid(s) could result in a breakdown. Thank you for your honesty and candidness. One dynamic that was hard when I was pre-quals and had a baby, that I recall as profoundly frustrating and might be especially difficult for those of us who tend to be somewhere in the perfectionist zone whistling.gif, is the intense feeling of not doing ANYTHING well. So, anyway, I totally get how that would come about and while I am here wo my kiddos I am trying to take especially good care of myself. Hopefully that will help keep me centered.

 

Ok, I wrote way more than I intended (did I mention that I'm BY MYSELF??? First time in 10 yrs w more than a day of real solo time WEIRD!!)...SO, again, thanks...and any other thoughts on academic identity and parenting identity would be fun to read...    ~scholarmama...upsidedown.gif

 

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by DariusMom View Post

I also had a semi nervous break down when I was writing my dissertation and went away for two long weekends by myself to just work intensely and think without all the distractions of home. It worked wonders.

 

The PhD process is grueling, especially with kids, but, really, they'll be fine. You should have seen how proud DS was of me when I defended! smile.gif You've come this far
 

 



 

 

scholarmama is offline  
Old 07-02-2011, 08:54 AM
 
jessemoon's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: the backyard!
Posts: 1,003
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

I'm working on my PhD at the moment.   I'm a distance student except for two-week residencies in the summer. I just got back from one and it makes all the difference. The kids survived, Daddy is proud of himself and I missed them all like crazy.  I will probably need to be gone for a longer stretch to take my comps next summer. 

 

I understand the guilt, but you can do it.  They can do it.  If you were a military family, parents would be deployed for months at a time and the kids would adjust. 

 

For me, the time to just be a scholar is paramount.  It's hard with kids underfoot, doable, but hard and having a gift of time is amazing.

 

You are almost there! ABD is fantastic, but PhD will be even better.


::::: Married for ten years to my good man :. Mama to my sweet and funny boy and my lovely little girl

jessemoon is offline  
Old 07-15-2011, 08:52 AM
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 2,342
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

My mom was out of town pursuing an educational opportunity for 3 weeks when my sister and I were 6 and 8 or thereabouts. It wasn't an issue for us at all--it was kind of a fun adventure, to be watched by different people after school, and we got to spend one weekend at the home of a family friend, and our mom sent us letters while she was there. I'm sure your kids will be just fine!

erigeron is offline  
Old 08-10-2011, 09:25 AM - Thread Starter
 
scholarmama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: academic ether
Posts: 4
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

Hey sweet mamas who gave me the supportive nudge that I needed....I go home in 3 days!!!

 

And, of course, you all were right. It was OK for all of us, and I do think that my kids feel more bonded to each other, proud of themselves and their papa-in-charge, and proud of me (which IS an amazing thing to feel from children). love.gif

 

So, one tidbit to share: near the end of our crazy adventure of a summer (actually on the day that I defended my proposal--success!!) my DH (who I love SO much) had gotten a few disgruntled emails from students about courses not being available etc (he teaches too) and he said to me: "I just feel like I can't get anything done, I feel like I have zero attention span, and I feel frustrated...". "Oh honey", I said...and we hugged for a long time (and then I had to go to the library to print documents etc!!.dizzy.gif)

 

I think this summer  was a little hard on him...and...I thought this was particularly poignant given the fact that for the last 5 years that is how I have felt off and on....

 

So, the in sum point is: We did it!!! And it WAS good for us. And, I think it deepened my DH's appreciation for what I have been doing while he has mostly been focused on work (oh, he's always been a terrific daddy, but it's different when you are the primary parent in charge...).

 

Ok, that's all the musing I have time for today, just wanted to say an official THANKS and send love out there to all the scholar-parents who are engaged in 2 vastly different worlds that sometimes seem a little at odds with each other (but they make each other better too)... xxxxooo  

scholarmama is offline  
Old 08-21-2011, 03:35 AM
 
JoyFilled's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Canada
Posts: 446
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

Congrats!  I didn't post earlier but I was totally routing for you and waiting for an update.

 

I think the part about your DH is so true.  No matter how good they are there is just that little bit that moms do that can't really be explained.

JoyFilled is offline  
Old 08-21-2011, 10:17 AM - Thread Starter
 
scholarmama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: academic ether
Posts: 4
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

Thanks JF!! It is funny, and I can't remember if I wrote this before...but my DS (now 9!!) said (this is very close to exactly what he told me via skype at about 2 wks into our separation) "Daddy has been more grumpy, and I think it's bc usu he is busy with projects and you have to deal with us with bad behavior choices...and now he has to and it makes him grumpy..." Which I thought was quite astute AND reminded me of the Modern Family episode where they change roles and the mom tries to be fun and the dad is the household taskmaster.... ( 2whistle.gif guilty hulu pleasure blush.gif)

 

Anyway, there is a lot of extra stuff going on in household management (even when lots of it is shared) and it IS good for partners to switch roles. :) How's it goin out there for other academic parents? Similar shifting?

Sendin love.... thumb.gif

scholarmama is offline  
 
User Tag List

Thread Tools


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off