I’m this close to crying in my office. I just got out of a candid chat with a visiting speaker and another young female faculty member about work-life and workload issues. And bringing up so many stressful things at once was just too much. I’m starting to have nightmares about next semester. I have two new upper level preps – one on a subject I’m barely familiar with (don’t ask why) and one with a lab. That’s 9 hours of class time per week. I’m barely hanging on this semester, how can I possibly manage that sort of load? I’m counting the classes until the end of this term and realizing that I’ve got 3 months worth of projects promised for the one month break. I feel guilty all the time. I’m missing deadlines and letting other people down. Those revisions – progress is way too slow, because I never seem to have chunks of time to work on them. I feel like I’m missing out on so much of Minnow’s life and I barely see Fish anymore except to cajole him into cleaning.
When I take weekends off, they are wonderful, but then the next week more stressful, and it keeps building. I need to see this state so that I can start developing research ideas around here, but the thought of more travel with a baby is shudder-inducing. And besides she doesn’t have a freakin’ winter jacket because they don’t make decent jackets for mobile kids as tiny as she is. Yes, she’s tiny. We got read the riot act by our pediatrician because her growth has slowed down because she’s not eating enough, despite the fact that she’s still only sleeping in 2-3 hour chunks and nursing each time in between. The world is going to hell in a handbasket and I don’t know who to support in the presidential primary. Not that my vote matters, but I care. I barely get a chance to talk to my mom or brother or dad and haven’t even sent a note to my aunt who has recently been diagnosed with breast cancer. I missed a credit card payment because I never saw the bill – but at least our other house sold. I need to start ordering supplies for next semester’s labs (and for fall term too), but I don’t know what the labs are going to be yet because I haven’t written the damn lab manual because I don’t know where the field sites are going to be because I haven’t seen the state yet because travel with a baby is not fun and I just haven’t made it a priority. And I need to finish some data analysis for next month’s conference that mercifully I am not attending but that I did submit an abstract for and convince my post-doc advisor to give the talk for me. And the library wants our reserve requests for next semester before the end of this one, but damn if I don’t have a clue what readings I want them do outside of the textbook, because the British publishers still haven’t shipped my review copy. And the Princess Pup is stuck outside with dirty water because I didn’t have the free hands to give her a clean bowl of water this morning because I was running late and Minnow was fussy. And the poor dog deserves clean water if nothing else, because I don’t have time to walk her more than twice a week when she was used to being walked twice a day and her yard is smaller now than it used to be. And my car is overdue for an oil change and my teeth are overdue for a dentist appointment. And if my mathematical equations are a little flawed then that’s just the way it’s going to be because yesterday I didn’t get breakfast til 11 am, having gotten up at 5:30, and I didn’t get lunch til 2:30 and today’s not looking a whole lot better. Stupid faculty meetings.
So for any of you who want to hold me up as an example that we can do it all and it is possible, please don’t give me that burden too. My plate’s already a little full.