Skip to main content
Premium Trial:

Request an Annual Quote

What About the One-Body Problem?

Over at her blog, Professor in Training highlights the struggles that single academics, those who she says comprise the "overlooked demographic," face on a day-to-day basis. The blogosphere, she points out, has been rife with dialogue on work-life balance and the importance of sharing the chores at home. "I guess the general feeling is that us single peeps have it good all the time and that the apparent lack of responsibilities or family duties make it that much easier to get both work and home stuff done," PIT writes. It's difficult to do the housework alone, she points out, and "who do you ask for help when you need a ride home from the hospital after surgery?" she asks. "People with partners and/or children aren’t the only ones who find it difficult to juggle the home/work balance," PIT says. JaneB at Now, What Was I Doing? says that, as with all work-life situations, being single as an academic has its ups and downs. While "some evenings I relish the freedom to have fruit and cheese or a bowl of cereal and call it dinner without thinking about anyone else's needs or opinions," and watching — let alone raising — children "is exhausting." Jane B says that, in her opinion, there are two aspects of being single that "really stand out as being made worse by the nature of an academic career." Namely, some scientists say that "their partner/childrens' 'demands' force them to get some balance into their lives," which she can attest to: after having spent a few nights a week with a friends' child, acting as a surrogate 'aunt,' JaneB reflects that at that time, "I was probably the happiest and most balanced at work that I've been in this job." Additionally, the blogger writes, "It is really hard to keep work in its proper perspective when there are no close, intimate, regular human connections to hold it up against."