Wednesday, March 28, 2012

2012 Intentions First Quarter Results: Friendship

Original Intention: "I want to try to plan one social outing each weekend...[and] focus on growing the relationships I do have"
Grade: B

I have done pretty well with this. I've ignored the working-mom guilt, and actually spent some time with my friends on weekends. I also overcame my intertia and reached out to actually make the plans, since they weren't exactly falling into my lap. I've had a couple of brunches with my girlfriends and we even had all my lab friends over for a pot-luck dinner party [btw, great way for parents to hang out with their child-free friends...have them over after kids are in bed! no need for babysitter!]

I would say the biggest obstacle I've met here is my guilt over being the only one taking time to myself. As in, G just doesn't do it. He says he doesn't mind, but it makes things feel so...uneven. Yeah yeah blah blah these things even out over years in a marriage, but I don't like feeling like I'm the one taking advantage. Also, I know now how amazing it feels to get out on my own and I'd like to help him have the same experience. But again, blah blah can't change anyone else...etc...

I'm not giving myself an A here because I'd like to expand on this intention and really try to meet some new friends. I went to a "working moms" happy hour once this year, and met some nice enough ladies...maybe I'll try more of the activities scheduled through that group, or the neighborhood group that's trying to improve the local elementary school (i.e. the reason most people LEAVE and move to the burbs before the kids turn 5). My problem is, I just wasn't feeling it with any of the moms I met in those groups and so I kind of wrote them off. But, maybe I need to give it more those big group situations, you really can't tell one way or the other until you've hung out a few times. I thought all the women in my book group were super-weird, but I kept going, and now 3 years in, I've realized that only half of them are super-weird---and I like them anyways.

I've also been keeping in touch with my far-away friends. I need to just pick up the phone. Reading facebook status updates doesn't mean that I'm "caught up" on their lives. I really do value some of these relationships, and need to put the effort in to maintain them.

More happy hours, more phone gabbing, more book club...this sounds like it'll actually be fun!


  1. You seem to be doing an amazing job balancing a rich, full life. I'm super impressed. And yeah, those groups where the only thing bringing you together is motherhood? I never feel it, but nobody else wants to talk babies constantly, so there's that! And I imagine if you keep reaching out, your chances of finding a real friend type is higher.

    1. Hmmm...I think I may be misrepresenting myself...drudgery interspersed with chaos really best describes the bulk of my life. This is just me aspiring towards the "rich full life" I've always dreamed of.

  2. I have been computer-less for a little while so I haven't had a chance to comment on any of these posts about checking-in but, like bunny, I am seriously impressed. Honestly, I was impressed that you took the time to state your intentions in the first place. I tend to be a bit defeatist, which means that I reject the notion that one can do it all to begin with and therefore most likely sell myself fairly short (I'm also shitty at multi-tasking and therefore feel more comfortable focusing on just a couple of balls in the air at one time).

    The fact that you are at such a crucial point in your career and simultaneously mothering 2 small children is head-spinning. This may be my pessimism coming through but I imagine that there is just no way that it won't be hard as hell for a few years. I have NOTHING figured out myself but, watching others (in science and elsewhere) has led me to come to one particular conclusion: YOU can't do it all but you can learn the skills to get others to do a lot for you! Established professors (and I know that established is the operative word here) get students and post-docs to do a shitload of work for them. I suspect that the successful ones are also paying people to take care of their kids and homes, getting others to do their cooking, delegating, delegating, delegating. I suspect that this is where many of us females fall a bit short - our tendency is to feel the need to do things ourselves.

    I seriously think that you are doing an incredible job and I'm inspired that, despite being in the middle of the cluster%$#*, you are not letting go of the parts of yourself that are so important. I honestly think that only a minority of academics can say that.


    1. Thanks slowmamma, but like I said above to bunny, I'm starting to feel like a bit of a fraud...when I look at my life "inspiring" doesn't really come to mind. I think I need to write a follow-up post to this follow-up post...