Promises Promises

I told a friend a while back that contrary to the image on a blog, no one’s marriage is perfect and that I would post sometime about Josh behaving like an ass. Problem is, when I tried to do it, I realized I behave like an ass sometimes too and I probably couldn’t be trusted to acknowledge both. But let me assure you grief and stress makes us both less than wonderful at times. Particularly of late.

Having to finish by April is putting a huge burden on Josh. And yet he’s still doing so much for Samuel and me. He still participates in nighttime feedings (first trying to calm Samuel, to see if he’s really hungry or just needs some help getting back to sleep, then burping him and putting him back to bed when he’s done eating). Samuel has for the most part begun sleeping through the night (4-5 hours of sleep straight is what our no cry sleep book tells us is “through the night), but last night he had a bad night, perhaps because he had his 2 mo. shots yesterday.

I feel guilty, not because Josh has said or done anything to indicate I should, about what our pregnancies have cost him. Obviously the biggest loss being the opportunity to know his first-born son. But beyond that, they have stolen from him the opportunity to enjoy his dissertation and the writing process. I’m not having the best time either, but I know that if it were necessary, I could be happy doing something else. I will plug away, for the reasons I’ve listed before, and because I realized the other day as I walked the library stacks that I can love this life, if only I can jump this final hoop. But I could enjoy another life. Not Josh – he wants this more than I do by far. He’s an intellectual; I’m a pedagog. I’d prefer to teach at the college or university level, but I could be very happy at a community college. I just want to sit with young adults in a classroom and talk history.

Josh has a lot of work ahead of him between now and late April. I’m confident he can do it, and hopeful that I can help.

As for myself, I am committed to a complete first draft of my diss by August 15th. And then I will hopefully teach, revise, and go on the market in the fall.

6 responses to “Promises Promises

  1. Sounds like a good plan, all around.
    Realistically, though, once you made the decision to have a baby before finishing grad school neither of you was going to get to enjoy the writing process uninterrupted. Either by good things or by bad. And I am betting Josh is enjoying this winter’s challenges a hell of a lot more than last winter’s.

  2. Yes and No. Of course we knew the writing process would be interrupted somewhat, but both of us have an adviser who had a baby during grad school. They told us that it was the best time to do it. They’re still right. I just think I’ll never stop being pissed off about what we’ve gone through hence I’ll keep finding reason to complain about it.

  3. I’m facing similar questions about writing with distractions. But given that you want children, it seems that both of your schedules in grad school must be more flexible now than your first teaching job (no matter what type of school). I think maybe if you reframe the question in terms of now vs. later, you might have a different perspective. Not that that makes the now any easier.

  4. Not at all. I’m not complaining at all about distractions and Samuel. Of course my schedule is flexible, that’s why we chose to get pregnant in the first place, and to try again so quickly, while still in grad school.

    It’s just that we both so enjoy intellectual engagement, and our grief and the difficulties of pregnancy made that nearly impossible. We could barely attend any lectures.

    Of course I’d rather have Samuel than attend any lecture, but it shouldn’t have been this hard to get him here.

  5. It shouldn’t have been this hard at all my dear.

    That said, it’s normal to be an ass sometimes, for you and him, and if you were never like that—I’d wonder if it were possible. Parenting after infertility and loss is quite the challenge, always.

  6. I’ve done well. But my husband is an uber-achiever. I look at him some nights as he reads journal articles and crunches numbers in Exel and I wonder if he remembers his first born. He does.

    I’ve found a mediocre, salaried contentment. He’s bound for something more.

    I hate that I’ve caused him to cry.

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