So, the Phd. That thing. That thing which constantly sits and niggles in the back of my mind every time I sit down to relax when Alfie has a nap or has gone to bed (after I've done whatever housework needs doing, fed the cats, fed myself etc). The thing which wakes me up in the night with cold sweats due to the nightmares I've just had about messing up the whole thing and having to pay back my stipend. The thing which is is the constant source of arguments between me and OH. The thing which I worked so bloody hard for and will complete no matter what...
I had to submit my annual review on august 12th - thank god I had the sense to write most of it before Alfie was born. I had a few bits to do on it, which normally I would have got done in a day, but because I have such little time now, it took me over a week to do, and that was before I had to do the final edits before submission. I did it, I had to, but it meant leaving Alfie to entertain himself by sticking him in the door bouncer or on his play mat with a load of toys. I don't like to do it, he's still so little and I feel so bad just dumping him while I do something else. The guilt is horrendous. It won't be so bad in a few months time when he's more capable of playing on his own, but that still makes me feel like a bad mother.
I'm at the point where the intense data collecting stage is about to begin. I'll be spending hours/days at a time in the hospital mainly observing but doing a few interviews, both here in Nottingham and in Lincoln. The logistics of it all is a nightmare. Alfie is 100% dependent on me for food so I can't leave him for more than 3 hours. We have to go to lincoln together, I have to get someone to take us and watch and him while I'm in the hosp. Its very frustrating and I've had to miss several meetings so far as I couldn't get anyone to watch him.
I'm terrified of the work load, not just the actual data collecting bit, but the work that goes with it, logging it, reflecting on it, all the paperwork, all the reading and analysing. I'm constantly getting emails from my supervisor and the team with thing to read, stuff to do, more meetings, more stuff and it just makes my brain hurt. I hate to say it, but right now, I don't want to do a PhD anymore. I want 6 months off completely so I can get Alfie on solids and less dependent on me, so I can get used to leaving him with other people. I don't trust anyone. I worry about Alfie constantly when he's not with me and it makes it very hard to concentrate on the meetings etc. I'm seriously doubting my ability to complete this Phd. At the moment my thinking is just get on with it, just do it and once it's done, don't worry about finding a job. Save lots of money so we've got a safety cushion and then I want to home educate Alfie, and probably have a second baby.
So many people said I was crazy for doing it, and that I should give up the Phd. Right now, I think they were right.