Yesterday and today I have been thinking about my values. How much does my son mean to me? How important are family holidays? How important is securing a permanent job in the light of losing a family holiday or two? These questions have gone through my mind when it has become clear that there is a fair possibility that I have to cancel our family short break during the autumn half-term and head to a job interview. The final details will be heard soon, but there is a fair chance, since I gather the potential half-term schedule of the interview panel is more important than the one of the interviewee.
I suppose most men would not bat an eye lid when faced with choices like this (I may make a gross oversimplification here), but for myself these things are important. I spend quite a lot of time away from Number One Son and I had been waiting for the break, but on the other hand, we will get the windows fixed, if I will secure a job in a nice university. Of course, this is on the back of leaving most of the summer school holiday to be covered by my Archaeologist Husband and without him I could not do what I do know. I probably should devote one blog to the good husbands behind successful female researchers. I know a few and their support is or has been paramount to us. Female scientists do not flourish with old-fashioned husbands.
With my current experience as a Skype Mum, it is clear that the best work-life balance is achieved for female researchers when you have a supportive workplace but also make sure that when you work, you are efficient and create new things and publish. The trust is mutual and work benefits both sides when planned and maintained properly. Thus, I must prioritise work sometimes, but I have to hope it will be rewarded with family time later.