child or children?

Tue Oct 27 19:21:00 EST 1992

I am sure your concern is most women's concern.I am 32 and my little
boy is only 5 months old. Looking around my colleagues here, I am not unusual at
all. Many of my friends (in Biology as well as other high demanding professions)
dare not to have any pregnancy until early thirties. I think it is part of the
reality and part of the philosophy. Take myself for example, I finished
graduate school in five years and went on for postdoc for three years. I did not
want any child simply because I didn't want to slow down my career and also
because I wasn't mentally prepared for it. My feeling is that if I am not
ready it won't be fair to the child either. Although I know some people who
were pregnant at bad timing and still can handle well both career wise and
family. I decided to have a child in the third year of my postdoc, not
necessarily because it is the best time but more because I am mentally
ready (It is a strange feeling like a clock starts ticking "I want to have
my baby even at the expense of slowing down my career a little bit")  and
also because the age factor (I don't want to become a high-risk mother for
personal reasons).So best time or not, I had my first child.
I am setting up my own lab, so in a way it is slow anyway. But with a 5 month
old, every parent knows that it just means a full time job after work. Even
with a good husband's help, it is not easy. I don't have any flexibility of
staying late in lab neither any free social interaction of TGIF once it's past
six. It is fulfilling to be a mother but I do start wondering do I want a
second child? Can I afford quality time for another kid since it
will be three years before I consider having the second one and will be about
the same time for my first tenure evaluation.
So Dorothea, I guess the best time to have a child differs from one person to
another. In a way it depends on how much you want to have one and how much
people around you can help out If you do, with some planning and organization,
you can minimize the side effect on you career.But again, you gain something
else. It's just too bad that we can't tell men " now it is your turn".     wen

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