Why am I surprised?

Why did I expect that this baby (my blog, my PhD) would survive the arrival of another with needs that are so much more urgent and life critical?

Benjamin is now 9 months old and each time he develops a new skill (like being able to nap for more than 40mins, or eating solid food , or starting to crawl) I find myself daydreaming about how this new stage in his life (and mine) might afford me with new opportunities for getting some work done. I hope you are not as surprised as I am to find that as yet, these hopes are largely unrealised.

But we are out there doing a little bit of fieldwork every week. Ben is remarkably helpful in just generally being adorable while we go to church on Sunday morning. He makes starting conversations so much easier. Indeed, even when I go to church without him, he opens doors for me because people ask me where my beautiful baby is. He does add some complexity to the challenges of concentrating and taking field notes though, neither of which are incidental to the process of participant observation as a field method…

People have been very generous with their time and I have done a number of interviews. I am, however, still trying to get the autophotography exercise off the ground and have not even started thinking about the Bible study focus groups. I am quietly and very cautiously optimistic that I will get both done. Perhaps not before I head off to congregation 2, but perhaps during a return visit in the months to come.

In the meantime, while my Anthropology project might be moving slowly, the tiny anthropos that has been given to me to teach and care for is coming along quite rapidly. See for yourself:


2 responses to “Why am I surprised?

  1. Why the guilt? You are doing the most important work imaginable, bringing up your beautiful little boy. Take care of him and everything else will fall onto place. And, actually, it sounds like it is, and that he is being a tidy little helper himself in this regard.

  2. Natalie Swann

    Thanks Andy! I appreciate your support. I suppose I’m more entertained by the fact that I expected I would be able to be particularly effective at combining a PhD and parenthood than feeling burdened with guilt.

    I don’t feel guilty very often… but even if I did, guilt is a prerequisite for doing a PhD, right?!

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