So, I’ve got about 30 minutes before I take my twin son to the pulminologist. You can read about what is going on with pneumonia in our family here, here, here, and here. My personal blog is where I focus on my children and my experiences of being a mother.
In this blog entry, I want to focus on the challenges of being a professional with some (actually, more than some) ambitions in her career while also dealing with children with a chronic illness. My twins have asthma: they came out before they were fully cooked. So, we have challenges that other families don’t. For example, I’m really not sure whether or not my twin son will end up in the hospital this afternoon, tonight, or tomorrow–or whether we’ve been able to dodge that bullet. The one thing I will say about that is it’s Wednesday, and we’ve been in this hospital frequently enough to know and be excited that they serve fried chicken and collard greens on Wednesday. #Silverlinings
My family comes first. When they are sick I am focused on their health, throwing as much attention into the data points of their fevers and oxygen levels as I do in finalizing a confirmatory factor analysis. I don’t go to meetings; I make alternative arrangement for classes. I ask for extensions on deadlines.
But that doesn’t mean (even when I’m focusing 100% on them), that I’m not ALSO wishing I was working on some of my really fun (and I think important) research projects and working with some of my students and helping them progress through the program.
I know that by saying this I risk looking an uncaring mother, right? “While my children are sick, I’d really rather be working on analyzing that latest data and getting our paper out to JPSP!” What I mean though is that I focus on my family. I put them ahead of everything else. But I still really, really like my work. And I see the sacrifice(s) in my career that I have to make. I do it willingly. But it is a loss for me.
I have to mourn that loss a little. And then focus back on making sure my little man doesn’t get any sicker. And that my little squirrel doesn’t end up in the hospital too. Oddly, hospitals do not offer two-for-one specials.