Sunday night, my kid fell asleep around 8, but was back up around 11. He couldn't sleep because he was worried.
About third grade. What if he didn't do well? What if he didn't know anyone? What if no one liked him? What if...
At first I responded all kindly and mom like. You'll do fine. You'll know people--it's the same school you've attended since kindergarten. People already like you. Etc. Etc.
After 5 or 6 rounds of this, concerned mom was replaced by stern, "take your butt to sleep" mama.
The next morning, as we were walking into the school, my nephew tells me, "The Kid says he scared."
I grab my son's shoulder, turn him around, and say quite firmly, "I do not want to hear another negative word. There is nothing to be scared of!"
And I thought to myself, God, where does he get all that negativity from?
Lo and behold, a lightbulb has popped on! He gets it from me! And not just because I bitch at him about doing substandard work and have probably given him a complex, but because he hears similar sentiments spewing forth from my mouth like geysers of doom. (I don't know what the hell possessed me to write that sentence, but it's descriptive, huh?)
Like two hours ago, I was whining to my sister, in front of the kids, that I'm never going to get this degree. Oh, and not for reassurance and ego-stroking. I really, at this moment, am unsure. I cannot bring this current chapter to a close, I don't have all the stuff I need to write my resistance chapter, and my chapter on gender issues (the first one I started then stalled out of this summer) seems so repetitive of parts of my chapter on working conditions. I feel like I'm on a downhill spiral: my chapters are getting progressively shorter (and they weren't all that long to begin with) and less-inspired (to put it nicely). I am scared. Terrified.
And I can't go to my advisor because 1) she's probably tired of my melodrama and 2) there is no reason that I can't do this. I love my topic, I have strong writing skills, and God knows I'm not the only grad student with a kid and mental health issues.
What I lack is motivation and models. My intrinsic motivation burns itself out quickly when it does surface and, not having to be on campus the last 2 school years means my extrinsic motivation went waaaay down (you tend to write more when you see your advisor every other day, I believe). And models--Lord, I'm the trailblazer in my family when it comes to education on this level. I don't know how to adequately balance all parts of my life and I think the academic part gets short-changed.
In the end, I can only do what advisor says: get in front of the computer and write. But what will it take to get me there consistently?
And how do I make myself into a non-negative model for my child?