I just don’t know how people do it… Cleanliness as the first casualty of overwork
There are many examples of people who work on their PhDs, have a part-time job, and a family and social life, and I am just baffled about how they do it. I don’t have children and the work I do on the side of my PhD is usually part of a strategy to advance my post-PhD career (publications, teaching, event organisation, module development, research projects etc.). But even at that I struggle with overwork, lack of sleep and grumpiness around my husband (who, incidentally, also works super long hours)!
Recently my husband and I were looking forward to friends coming to visit and stay with us from Switzerland. But we were both so busy with work and so tired in the evenings that we simply didn’t get around to cleaning the apartment. That was until the very evening before these friends were due to arrive. Then with a last-minute deadline gusto we set about doing laundry, vacuuming, dusting, mopping, and cleaning on the one and only evening that we could take off. The whole experience was horrible! It took four hours to get through the work, and we had lots of stupid arguments about vacuuming and dusting and scrubbing the shower!
That sort of angst is not worth it.
As a follow up, we have decided that it is perhaps best for our relationship and for our work-life balance that something gives. And in the end, it is the cleaning that is the first to go. We can’t reduce our workloads at present, we can’t ignore our sleep requirements, so we’re going to ignore the dust balls that go floating through our living room. Or at least, pass the responsibility onto someone else. Practical decision: let’s find a cleaning service.
It kind of grains against my sensibilities that we have proven too busy to take proper care of our home. But, sometimes pragmatism must win out over pride. Drafting chapters, and not sweeping dust balls, is number one on my to do list!