Maternity leave and work of professional genealogist. How does it work together? Well, it works. Usually. This is going to be personal post. So you know me a bit better and you can imagine who is in the background of this blog. I have decided to write it after several weeks when I was overloaded with work and everything and got few questions when (and if) there is going to be a new post...
I have two small children (16 and 28 months old), live in the countryside, taking care for a house, garden and some animals (dogs, cats, ducks and sheeps), working as a professional genealogist, going to have third child in July. My husband is working as an IT guy and he works a lot from home which is a huge advantage. Well. That says a lot, isn't it?
How a typical day looks like in our family?
We are waken up by children somewhere between 5:30 and 7:00 AM. It mainly depends on weather - if it is sunny, they are up earlier, if it is cloudy, rainy, they are up later. I think many of you know it. Then the morning run starts - feed the children, animals, ourselves, drive the older one into kindergarden which is in town about 7 miles away, do the shopping.
The work itself starts after return from the town. I usually have about 1.5 hour for work when the younger one is able to play by herself (thanks God for such children!). I focus on projects which are to be finished earliest (well, I have to admit I do my best under stress ;o)) - search the parish books which are available online, process those records I have brought from archives, transcribe and translate found records, write the family history. The amount of work done depends on too many things, I usually do three or four things together.
I'm usually able to process about 15 records during that 1.5 hour period, write two or three pages of the family history, find up to ten new records and so on and so on. I try to do as much as possible because every minute is too valuable.
Next hour is dedicated to the younger one - food, play, garden (together with care for animals) and then preparation for a good noon sleep. She usually sleep two to three hours. These hours are mostly spent "at work" - answering e-mails, finding more records, answering e-mails, sending tasks to my colleagues, discussion about latest finds, answering e-mails, processing of the records, answering e-mails.
Afternoon is always the same - younger one wakes up, she gets food, we pick up the older one in the kindergarden, return home and spent hour or two in the garden (care for animals is automatic). I gave up trying to get to work in the late afternoon, I just wait until the children go to bed, because it's almost impossible to concentrate on anything when both are at home.
They go to bed between 7:00 and 8:00 PM and then there is again time for work, usually till 11:00 PM. I try to process the records and find some more but I recently found out that I'm doing mistakes in the evening. So I read books related to history, check new articles online, find resources for the family histories and so on.
Not too much time spent "at work" - but I have to handle it somehow and I try to do my best. You see that there is not too much space for something more. I can do quite many things during the late afternoon except work - that's time when I usually write blog posts (as this one is). And that's the reason why there are so huge gaps between some of the posts - when I'm too tired from work, when I have to finish too many project in short time, when I have to do too many things, I just have to put something aside.
Thanks for understanding in such cases - and don't be afraid, I'll continue with the usual blog posts!