Soooooooo - for those of you who still wander on over here from time to time, I'm still kicking! I made it through my first semester as a phd student, broke-ass, single mama. I'm not sure I did it with a whole lot of grace, mind you. (Or any). I'm pretty sure I have way more grey hairs (who are we kidding, I don't even know what my natural hair colour is anymore), lines around the eyes, and I may have permanent dark circles under my eyes from lack 'o sleep. I generally feel like I've been hit by a Mac Truck. But, it's a Mac Truck I really like to think about. I think about it a lot. What colour is it? Why is it on the road barreling right towards me? Why isn't it putting on the brakes? And who's driving that fucker, anyways? What do they think or feel about running my ass over? You see where I'm going here.... ? And though my body has taken a shit-kicking, my brain is in a constant state of whirring and motion, and holy hell, I love it. Love. It.
I've had fellow students ask me 'how I do it'. The single mom, phd student gig. I generally say that I cry a lot and drink a little wine. Or I drink wine a lot and cry a little. I wouldn't say that these bit of quippiness aren't true. Of course I cry and drink wine. DUH. But really, the truth is: being separated 'affords' me some nights without the kids. My "scramble" nights. I try to sandwich everything in then, so when I have my babes, I can focus mostly on them. Being a totally unreasonably hard-on-myself over-achiever, I more often than not fail at this sandwich-ing. But, in terms of school-work, it helps some (though still I am chronically overwhelmed and over-tired). In terms of missing my small peeps and generally feeling like a crap mom, it's not so much helpful. And the resentment (unfair and unwarranted) at having to miss all kinds of special lectures and school-ish things that happen in the evenings - also doesn't help with that 'fuck-up' mom feeling.
BUT- I passed my first term, with flying colours. No one pointed their finger, shouted "fraud" and bade me to "never darken these doors" again. No one gave me a B. (I know this fear is ridiculous. But I can't help it. I'm B-phobic). And though academia is not exactly renowned as the most parent and/or kid-friendly place (and let's be clear, it really really isn't), I have had a wonderful experience with profs in my first term, one a parent herself who understood the ridiculous amount of times I or my kids had the flu, and one, who (mad props JR!) even offered that I could bring my 3 year old to class if she wasn't too germy-toxic. These are not things I expected going in, and have been a really wonderful surprise. The kids are still alive and kicking, and sometimes (just sometimes), I feel like I'm doing a reasonably ok job with their little heads and hearts.
My task this term is to keep up the B-lack, and work on the self-care bit (which I may or may not have gotten a failing grade in last term). My current goal is to stay out of the hospital emergency room (lonnnnngggg story). In this vein - I've taken up a non-academic class (pole-dancin' - cause nothing says 30-something, queer single mama like pole-dancin'!). I'm also endeavouring to get more sleep, and you know, feed myself, more regularly. I have fantastic friends who, amoung other things, remind me to do these things.
And that, dear friends, is where our heroine finds herself these days. Tired, reasonably happy, as un-well adjusted as usual....