Monday, July 23, 2012

Non-Maskable Life Interrupt

Last Tuesday, my daughter was born.

I've been mostly off the Internet ever since, and certainly not doing any scientific work.
Fortunately, this was planned for: I've got six weeks of paternity leave scheduled, and am looking forward to taking all of this time to learn what parenthood is like and who is this little person who is my daughter.

And yet... I find that my reactions as a parent are clearly shaped by my inclinations and education as a scientist.  Rocking a fussy neonate to sleep, cooing to her in woogie-woogie tones, "Oh, don't you worry little thing, you don't know how to regulate your emotional state yet, so you're just counting on us your parents to do it for you... isn't ooo?  Yes, yes, you're using your parents as an externalized regulatory mechanism, you silly little mammal you."

I've had to set down and ignore two position papers that I was in the middle of writing --- hopefully I'll be able to come back to them before my colleagues completely run out of patience, but maybe I won't.  Work/life balance has an entirely new meaning now, and I will be utterly fascinated to find out how I am able to navigate this balance between fatherhood and science.

Right now, though, I'm taking everything one hour at a time, and I think that's the right way to do it.

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