Wednesday, August 26, 2009


Willow and I are each teaching two courses this semester, she on MWF, and me on TR. And we decided that instead of putting Junebug in daycare at 11 weeks, we'd share childcare at home this year.

It's only the third day of classes, but it's clear that this semester will be different from previous ones. So far today, instead of writing, reading, lesson planning, grading, or corrsponding with students, I've taken the twins to daycamp (they start Kindergarten on Tuesday), fed Junebug, rolled around on the floor with him during for some tummy time, gave him a bottle, rocked him to sleep, did some dishes, and folded some laundry.

It's not that I resent doing the work itself--certainly these tasks were in the short term more satisfying to have experienced and accomplished than revising a page or so of a chapter first drafted six years ago--but I am getting paid to work the equivalent of a full-time job, and I wonder about my ability to actually do that job this year. Willow has the same worries, too. the novel she's 200 pages into hasn't gotten much attention since Junebug was born, nor have the short stories she's been pecking away at in the interim.

There's a real push-and-pull here, one no doubt experienced by most dual income households, the negotiation of free time, tiny resentments that might develop over this hourlong span or that, or forgetting that the adults in the house need to spend time with each other, too.

Junebug is napping at the moment, and with some chores done, I've taken a moment to blog, and not to fix the pagination on the collection manuscript, not to prep tomorrow's classes (William Blake followed by Susan Glaspell), not to peck away at that chapter...But what I really want to be doing right now? Napping right alongside the boy.


Sisyphus said...

That sounds like a _really_ lovely day! I'm sure that you two will figure out a way to get it (mostly) all together and covered ... it will work out somehow.

And I can't believe your twins are kindergarten age!!! (pictures? pleeeze? maybe on facebook?)

Earnest English said...

I have no words of wisdom for you at all. All I can say is those of us who are single-income also have this problem. I have a full-time job, but I try to relieve my partner from childcare at every opportunity. Which still means it's hard for me to get my work done.

So I say: I hear ya.

(My word today is humbi, which I take to mean humble.)

Anonymous said...

I completely get this post. Mr. P and I are also dual-income academic parents. It's a very tricky dance -- and petty resentments are so quick to emerge, esp. if you're both tired, feeling overworked and yet under-productive. I'll just second that point you make about spending time with each other. Super important, as you know.

As for your work, at home and on campus, you'll get it done!

Isn't it funny how we can be so anxious to get our "work" done at school, but then find ourselves missing that tummy time so much that it kills us to be at the office? !

Anonymous said...

As 1/2 of a two professor household with three kids, I really do get what you're saying, completely. It's a tough balancing act...and when I've been in your shoes I chose the nap. :)