If I choose to put my kids in school, got a full time lecturer position or whatever, I would fit in with many of the women I work and study with. It would be normal for me to do this with them. When I decided to have R, one colleague said "But why when you are just about to have all them in school?" I didn't remind her that I home school. I keep that to myself unless asked outright. And sometimes this normal does look very attractive. What would it have been like to have six kid free hours a day? What would I do? I imagine all the work I would accomplish. The articles! The SOPs! The applications completed! Oh my!
I go to the park, on a day when I have to work. We are going to hike. It's wonderful. I enjoy being outside. I enjoy talking about my children. I enjoy not thinking about work. Until I realize it's now a half hour until I have to be on campus so no more sitting on the bench, soaking up the sun. I have to rush off to work. Not so the moms I am with. They are able to stay at the park for another hour. As I hurry suddenly sluggish children down the wooded path, I wonder what it would be like to just focus on the children and homeschooling. Oh to have each day just be about the beasties and their schooling! To not have to worry about correcting or applications or papers!
Today as I rushed to my mom's house for an impromptu visit, I pondered how I always feel like I'm running into two different directions. Frequently at the same time. Three days of the week, I can't really plan much as I have to go to work. If I do go out, it's this packing nightmare where I have to load the van with not just the beasties' stuff but all of my work stuff as well. Plus lunch for them and dinner for me. I'm usually tired on the days I don't work because I stay up until 2 am working on graduate applications. This is the only time when R is asleep enough for me to concentrate. I wonder sometimes if I'm just giving crap to both lifestyles. Maybe if I just choose one I'd be able to do that lifestyle justice as opposed to always feeling like I'm leaving shit undone.
And I also wonder if it would make me feel part of one world or the other. Would I have closer relationships with either group if I were to just plant some alliances? If I do go to graduate school, how will I interact with other women in either group?
Part of me knows that the allure of either world is based largely on fantasy. Many of the women I know in graduate school do not have children. And those who do struggle with the same things I do even with their kids in school. My homeschooling friends confide that things would be easier financially if they worked and as one mom told me a long time ago "I just want to be able to dress like a grown up once in awhile."