The balance here at Chez GEW is, to say the least, delicate. I would imagine that it's the same way for most of you, too.
In order to teach full-time, be a good (enough) mom, and write a dissertation, every hour (nay, every minute) of every day must be put to good use. And things tend to go along fine until, well, until they don't.
Lately, there are some things going on that have helped me maintain the balance. First, I have some reassigned time at my college so my grading load is reduced. I still grade a lot (for my three classes), but it's a civilized number of papers rather than a tortuous number of papers. In addition, while one of my classes is a newish prep (first time I've taught it in years), the others are pretty well dialed (until I change them again, which is my habit).
Also, regarding the dissertation, I have been participating in Another Damned Notorious Writing Group, which is facilitated by bloggers Notorious and ADM. This group has helped me define clear, realistic weekly goals and, as a result, I've been making progress on the dissertation for the past couple of weeks. Granted, I'm going at a snail's pace, but at least I'm not at a stand still. It's been months since I've really made progress on a new section of the dissertation. It feels great. Slow and steady is good for balance, right?
But a few things are threatening the delicate balance. First, there has been dental work going on. I've had a few appointments to get a crown, and the Boy received his first filling last Tuesday morning and will receive his second this coming Tuesday morning (which means that, instead of being at work early, I will be by his side). Fortunately, these fillings are in baby teeth, so there is no permanent concern. Floss, baby, floss!
Then, last Wednesday evening, the Boy came down with a high fever. I spent from 3:00am onward up with him. The balance was threatened, and I was sleep deprived for a day, but, fortunately, he recovered after about 24 hours and we carried on with the week. Just a slight wobble.
In addition, we've been making some changes in the Girl's schedule. For the past year, she has been doing gymnastics, but now she is switching (it seems) to dance. We are trying out classes, working on new schedules, and seeing how things go. I'm also trying to figure out how to get her back into horse riding lessons now that her previous teacher is 40 minutes away and we just can't make that commute during the school year.
This weekend, we had a great time but we were booked out with playdates, a sleepover, and a birthday party for a cousin. As a result, it's now Sunday night, and I will be up very late grading essays and preparing for tomorrow's classes.
Even more significant, however, are some other health issues that we're addressing for the Boy. Those are a matter of their own, so I'll address those in a different post soon, but they might really shake the foundation. Nothing too serious mind you, but it's possible we'll be quite thrown.
For now, I'll get back to work, wobbling along with airplane arms.