I was going to start blogging a research diary anyway but there is a whole extra urgency to that now under Covid19 confinement. I’m working at home with my little one, and my Dad will be joining us once we have all completed quarantine. Working as a single parent (and carer) regularly feels a like mission impossible. Now in self-isolation, the level of difficulty has now zoomed up again onto a radically higher level.
It’s early days… we are probably all still in a kind of emergency response mode.. still in a kind of shock adapting to the new circumstances. However, I’ve got to work, I’ve got to care for the family’s wellbeing, and I’ve got to carry on. So writing about this uber wierd process feels like a vital necessity in order to process, not get stuck, and free up headspace for all the regular work and domestic stuff that still needs doing.
More thoughts some hours later…
The irony is that I’m doing some work on Gender and Research (gendered patterns in decision-making, career progression etc) alongside my PhD, so I know this is a structural issue. It helps me feel stronger as I feel like a mini warrior in a bigger battle, for a greater cause, with many people going through the same thing in different ways around the world (not just in workplace or in research). However, sometimes it hits home that maybe I’m in an impossible vicious circle, like I’m struggling away to just get a few hours of work in, and maybe it’s never going to be enough to break out of the cycle.
Little glimmers of hope keep me going when there doesn’t seem to be a light at the end of the tunnel… like a mysterious package of puddings (!) from an unknown sender arrived in the post yesterday… and an unexpected act of kindness from a stranger which made all the difference on Day 1 of self-isolation. Which reminds me to breathe and remember that my feet are actually already on the ground (albeit a bit wearily at times).
Some hours later
Have to stop working in order to clean the kitchen at least a little bit. Our oven is broken and so – even though we are self-isolating – the repairperson had to come by. The lovely repair guy wore a mask and plastic bag thingos on shoes, but still they were kneeling on floor and touching things. I completely cleared kitchen beforehand so it would be easy to wipe down. Too tired to do a complete focused clean now, but at least have to mop floor so I can go in to get essential items.
Some hours later still…
I want to share these things. I need to share these things. But I’m also aware of the negative imposter-narratives that could lurk amongst the words. So, I need to articulate this and frame this politically….. the gendered (re)distribution of labour …. not stopping there but also going into deeper intersectionality… drawing strength from the wonderful political feminist work of Jo Spence, one of the driving forces behind the Hackney Flashers Collective which facilitated / created the images shared at the top of this post and here:
No time to write more now as super super tired and need to zzzzzz but more later…
… will write again tomorrow X
p.s. it was my little one’s birthday today… we had a lovely play in the morning and did prezzies X