I am not sure what it is about October, but I have had more women in my office asking me about how I achieve work life balance. These conversations often turn into a discussion about how they want to go to graduate school, but are really perplexed about being able to “do it all.” I wish I had an easy answer.
I have lots of complaints, er comments, about this. I wish that safe, affordable child care was available for all who needed it. I also wish that better maternity and parental leave existed in the United States and elsewhere. But, it appears that these ideas are too burdensome on neoliberal economic policies and are somehow read as being anti-business. Well, this sort of attitude is anti-family.
To my students, I am able to attempt to balance my life and work thanks to a team of people that includes both of my kids, my partner, our sitter, and my in-laws. I am not embarrassed to share that we have an excel spreadsheet for each term and the columns are each of us in this team and the rows are the days of the week. Seriously, in order to get everyone to work, school, and after work/school activities—this is what it takes in my household.
I do not want to turn into the Bitch in the House, but it is a great book! And, the follow-up Bastard in the Couch is also worth reading. Be ready to negotiate and insist that your partner and you share in the joy and work of being a family.