The second semester of my doctoral program is coming to an end. I don't know why, but I am still always surprised at how tired I am at the end. Yesterday I wrote a simple discussion post for one of my classes and promptly passed out for two hours.
Sometimes I wonder how I'd have the energy to raise children.
When I have that thought, I quickly redirect my thinking. If I was raising children, I would do it. I would find the necessary energy. I mean, I've worked with thousands of kids. I've been in countless classrooms of 20 - 30 of them at a time. And none of them were even mine!
So I would've been fine. I would've been tired, but I would've been fine. Hell, I'm tired now. I think all adults are tired. This society doesn't value rest and it can be hard to find the time ourselves. (Side rant: Why does *everything* fall on the individual to solve??)
But I digress.
So, school. Finishing up the semester.
I'm lucky to be in a really good cohort. My classmates are smart, hard working, and experienced in a variety of settings. I am learning so much from everyone. We also help each other a lot. People will send each other articles they come across if they know it's on someone else's topic. We will zoom or group text to talk about our questions and confusion. It's really positive.
All of our research topics are varied. I mean, the topics are really all over the board. Everyone knows I'm studying women who are involuntarily childless after infertility, and everyone has been very supportive. Interestingly, one of my classmates is studying the opposite of my topic. She's researching post-partum health and wellness for women. We have had several conversations with each other about our topics and have shared articles with each other as we've found them.
It's truly been awesome collaborating with her.
We both agree that there is a severe lack of support for all women.
We must always know our limits.
She asked me for help with one of her assignments. I looked at the topic of her articles for the assignment. Lactation.
I couldn't do it.
I couldn't read two articles about new mothers and lactation.
And that's okay. It's okay that I don't want to read about that topic. I don't have to. It's fine. My aversion to the topic is not a judgment against me. It's just me protecting myself. Conserving my energy by shielding my heart.
I let her know I couldn't help because the topic was too difficult for me. She completely got it, even apologizing for asking (which wasn't necessary). I wasn't mad at her or sad for me. I just knew I couldn't put any time or energy into reading her articles.
We must know our limits and respect them.