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  • Mama PhD

    Mothers attempting to balance parenthood and academics.

Mothering at Mid-Career: Getting Back on Track
May 21, 2012 - 4:17pm

As I suggested last week, the first couple of weeks of May were taken up with professional development of various sorts, necessitating large chunks of time out of the office and away from the computer. While that kind of change of pace is good, especially right at the end of the semester, it conflicts with the kind of change of pace I really want in May: the one where I get back to my research full time.

Of course, as I’m pretty sure I’ve written before, that’s rarely what happens in May. Even before I took on my current position, which requires 2-4 weeks of faculty development work right when the semester ends, I always found May to be a problem. My intense desire for rest and relaxation bumped up against my desire to work — and usually won.

This year it has to be different. For one thing, I have to move out of my office soon—and moving will require cleaning and sorting. While on the one hand that will take time away from research, on the other hand it’s likely to surface forgotten files to jog my memory about my project. So all in all I think that will be a plus.

For another thing, I have a conference coming up in June. I’m presenting a paper that will be part of my current project—another way to get myself back on track, then, with that work.

Finally, I’m feeling a little competitive. My daughter is trying to revise a paper for possible publication—and I just can’t let her be the only one who’s doing that kind of work. She’s had a couple of weeks off, too — in her case, for wisdom tooth removal and a trip back to campus to see her friends graduate — but she’ll be getting back to work this week.

So I will, as well. I’ve got an accountability partner right here on campus and another one an e-mail away, so as soon as I post this I’ll be writing both of them with my plans for the next week. And maybe I’ll even have some progress to report to you, my faithful readers, when I come back in a week.

How do you motivate yourself in the summer? And what kinds of accountability mechanisms do you use? Let me know in the comments — I can always use the help!


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