I’ve been thinking about how my life will change with the addition of a child (she’ll be here in roughly 3 months). The baby part is flat out scary. I expect that for a while my life will center around sleep deprivation and bodily fluids. But, after that, how will my life be different? The real answer is that I simply don’t know – but I can ponder the idea.
I don’t live a wild and crazy life, so there are no wild parties for me to give up (I never enjoyed them anyway). I don’t base jump off high-rises or go spelunking in unexplored caves. I’m not in the army anymore – there are no more late night calls where I have to pack my dirty laundry and head off somewhere potentially life-threatening. Overall, the danger in my life is minimal.
Once I’m past most of the sleep deprivation (does the sleep deprivation ever really end?), I’ll continue my focus on science. In fact, since I’m super lucky to have a supportive supervisor and committee – being a grad student offers me a lot of flexibility for the next few years.
I usually spend about a month a year in the field, sometimes a lot more and sometimes less. For this summer’s field work someone went in my place (at 7 months pregnant no one thought I should go) and I don’t know if I’ll manage field work next summer. One of the things I like about the science I do is the field work so I hope to resume field work sometime in the future. However, I am thinking of putting a three week cap on the length of individual trips.
When I was a kid I drew and created things. I tended a sub-plot in my mom’s garden where I grew zinnias and beans plus, I kept chickens. I spent endless hours exploring my forest and local beaches including watching the critters there. I read voraciously about adventures and nature. I even wrote stories and kept notebooks full of observations and ideas. I still do all of these things and all of them can be done with a child.
I suspect that my life is about to fundamentally change, but in a lot of ways stay the same.
Image is from here.