It can be complicating, I think, to start a brand new tenure-track job with 2 kids in tow. Everyone’s life has complications, of course. I’m just sharing about mine, which tend to center on the two tiny spawn I brought into this world. These wee little bastions of germs. They’re cute, yes. And they go to daycare.
And when my son first started daycare in Old State, we were ALL three of us sick for a good 6 months. Daycare germs have a bad rep for a reason folks. It was pretty horrid.
Well, we got through it, and all of our immune systems were stronger for it. And then we moved to New State. New State, new germ biome. And the kidlets started daycare and guess what? We’ve ALL 4 been getting sick. The wee one almost constantly as this is her first go at daycare.
And it’s been especially challenging because some of the illnesses have come about on days I cannot really miss. Or I could, if someone would cover my attendance/participation-based course. But…twice now, no one will. It is AGGRAVATING. The first time I brought my sick son with me. He had pink eye. Yeah. The second time this happened, I had strep throat. And was still contagious. NO ONE would cover. And it wasn’t made clear to me until later that I could, in fact, just outright cancel the course. It was couched in a way that it sounded like that wasn’t an option.
And all that would be frustrating enough. But then one colleague has to go on and insinuate that I’m flakey or perhaps just goofing off and then calling off. No folks. Legitimately sick. This is what happens when you have young kids. You all did 20+ years ago. Try to think back, remember, and have some frickin compassion.
I am NOT a flake. It’s not because I’m a woman. It’s not because I’m a bad mom. It’s because we moved to a new germ community, and we’re going to get sick.
I just can’t help but think, if I didn’t have my two little disease carriers, it would be a bit less of a problem. So add that to the list of potential complications with having kiddos during the early years of your PhD: you get to go through the daycare blues at least twice.