When I was preparing to defend my thesis I had in the back of my mind that I was about to embark on a seriously new chapter of my life. Starting with 10 weeks without work or a baby. I’ve spent the last 5+ years of my life in this lab. Doing research, stressing constantly, feeling like I should always be in lab, these things were the reality of what I was doing. This is what my friends and colleagues did, it was the norm. We planned our weekends around it, felt like we had to, and then the last couple months were spent continuing my research and simultaneously writing my thesis and preparing for the defense while formatting the paper and adding the last necessary details. Despite this not sounding like much fun, I was incredibly nervous about the impending gap in activity. No work, no baby yet….might seem like a dream come true, but I anticipated a lot of boredom after the first week. Fortunately, this has not been the case.
I don’t know how you ladies who worked up until giving birth get everything done! I didn’t realize how much was left until the work stopped. The last 3 weeks have been spent in a flurry of shopping, laundry, and set up. I’m not going to pretend it’s not a blast…
…but it’s also exhausting! Finding a pediatrician, making sure all of our insurance is up to date,taking classes, reading books, registering products for safety…PHEW! But in between that, I found time for a little baking.
From the Flour cookbook, I have made craqueline (above) and brioche au chocolate from a batch of brioche dough, and her delightful double chocolate cookies. I’m also making my favorite more labor-intensive meals (Smitten Kitchen’s Artichoke Heart stuffed shells, Stuffed cabbage rolls) and freezing halves of each for the postpartum period.
Aside from food, I’ve been working on a ton of knitting projects, catching up on some novel reading (The Lowland-Jhumpa Lahiri), catching up on some baby reading, and getting much better at napping.
I can’t believe it’s been almost a month since I defended my thesis, it still seems surreal. But I’m going to enjoy every moment of this break.