Sunday, October 26, 2008

Attachment and the Art of Compromise

One of the things I think I struggle with most is the pull I feel between being a mother and having a career. Dedication to family versus dedication to work.

In graduate school, this translates to feeling unsure whether I should take on less, do less, and strive to achieve less because it will ultimately mean getting to spend more time with my family and more time with my daughter, who seems to be having a hard time with my absence from the house lately.

I know it's a normal developmental stage, and I know separation anxiety is expected... but I also know how important attachment is to psychosical development and mental/emotional wellbeing (at least theoretically), and so it's hard to know how much to push toward independence and how much to concede we are still very linked and that she is my daugther who I love more than anything.

Lately, I've been wishing I could spend another semester at my current placement and then do a full second year at a K-8 school. I am enjoying the work, feeling bombarded by ideas and things I'd like to implement because I believe it will make a positive, constructive difference in the lives of my students, and I want to get as much learning in as I can.

But maybe such things are just as easily accomplished outside of school. I don't know. I have lofty goals, and I so rarely reach all of them. Some days that's easier to accept than others. For now, I lean toward making Ari the greater priority... and trusting that my ideas, ambition, ability, and strengths will still be present when we have moved into a phase of our family life wherein I have more freedom to pursue my passions and curiosities.

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