Fighting for balance…life and the Ph.D.​

For those who are new to the blog, let me start with a little introduction…I am a Ph.D. student, about to begin my second year. I study Sociology and Social Policy with a focus on childhoods and families. I am currently at home, in Zimbabwe, for my field work (data collection).

Being back home means adjusting to a new schedule. When I was back on campus in Hong Kong, I set my own time and I really thought I was managing quite well (if my 1st-year annual evaluation is anything to go by). But, since I came home to begin the practical part of my work, I feel so overwhelmed with the amount of work that is facing me daily.


Image from Google


I chose to live with my mum for the duration of my field visit. Now all my Zimbabweans know how a Zimbabwean mother’s household is run. There is no excuse for not waking up at first light to clean the house and run some errands, before anything else. I am a bit of a nocturnal animal, in that, I work better at night. This means I struggle to wake up early, my mornings usually start around 10 am, and I still need lots of caffeine to be fully functional. So when I realized I was waking up exhausted most mornings, I started negotiating with the matriarch of the house to cut me some slack in the mornings so I can focus on the Ph.D. What a laugh!!!  She told me point blank that I just need to wake up much earlier and I will be able to manage everything. In her words,

mukadzi anomuka makuseni, basa remumba first, then you can do whatever you want during the day” which translates to “A woman wakes up in the morning, house chores first then you can do whatever you want during the day”.

I had almost forgotten that to my mum I am always a wife in training (sigh). So, you see my predicament? I have academic work piling up and I have to balance it with all my other responsibilities as a daughter. I never thought I would say this, but I am realizing how hard that is. In my own world (which seems a bit selfish now), it was all about me, me, me. Now I have to stretch myself to make this work, which is a challenge at the moment.


Image from Google


Guess the lesson here is that I have to find balance, in all things. I am not sure how, but I have to. If you have any tips, please drop them below…



5 thoughts on “Fighting for balance…life and the Ph.D.​

  1. it’s a good recaps, trust me mom ‘ll be relieved and happy that someone can finally assist her with few house work. Back to you, you need a proper time management in order to strike a balance …


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