My PhD supervisor is pretty awesome. I actually feel super lucky to have her. I’m in the final year of the PhD, currently on maternity leave, and she has got in touch to let me know about *the* perfect job opportunity. So, we’re meeting for coffee today (along with Nora), to discuss!
I say the job is perfect, it’s *almost* perfect. The only thing that lets it down is the location. It would mean a 1.5-2hr commute each way. That’s an extra 3-4hrs away from the little ones each day. It’s funny how my priorities have changed, and how in looking for a job, things like this come first. My first thought now is always – how will this work around our family?
This limits job opportunities massively – we don’t live in a big city, and so the chance of getting a research job in my field within a nice distance would be pretty rare. I am used to travelling to work, the drive itself doesn’t bother me, it is purely the time it takes away from the little ones, especially when it’s likely to mean missing bedtimes.
On another note, this also puts extra pressure on my husband (not that he would think so, I’m sure), but he would have so much more to deal with alone. Pickups from nursery or the grandparents… bedtime routines… and whilst these may seem like small, simple things, I am more than aware of how difficult they can be at times. They can be difficult when there are two of you, let alone having to face them alone all of the time!
The job is a 2-year contract, so perhaps I could cope with the travel for 2 years. I wonder, what would I regret more – missing so many bedtimes that I can’t get back, or passing up a potential dream research job? For us, moving closer to the job isn’t an option. It’s not easy for us to pack up and move now we have 2 little ones to consider, and when we have all of our family close by.
But anyway, before I think about these things too much… if I am going to even apply the job, I need to find time to do so! How do you manage that with a 5-week-old, and a toddler?! I barely manage to find the time to feed myself, let alone do something that requires actual brain power – applying for a job!
How do I apply for a job with baby brain?! I haven’t even looked at my CV in the 3 years I’ve been doing the PhD, and updated it with all that I have done! In just applying for this job, I have so much to do. I have around 2 weeks to figure this out. Two weeks may sound like a lot of time to apply for just one job. But, when you take out feeding Nora, feeding Stanley, changing nappies, sleeping, trying to console Stanley, time spent being unable to move because baby is (finally) sleeping on me, time spent trying to work out why she is crying, trying to get wind up, playing with Stanley, sterilising bottles, attending appointments, and the monumental task that is leaving the house… when you factor in all of this, and the fact that I only have 2 hands, I am left with zero time.
You may wonder how I manage to write blog posts, update Twitter, or post to Instagram… why can’t I use this time to apply for the job, or dare I say it, do some actual PhD work? Well, these things require little brain power, and little time. They only require one hand on my phone whilst the other is holding a sleeping Nora… and, I can just about manage these things one-handed whilst I am laying in bed at 3am and giving Nora her bottle! What’s more? I think this serves as some kind of therapy… an outlet… for time spent trying to juggle all of these things and barely keeping any of it together!
Here’s hoping my supervisor has some words of wisdom for this afternoon…!