children and careers

mynlieffm at mynlieffm at
Fri Aug 11 17:04:28 EST 1995

In article <Deborah_Britt-110895162142 at>, Deborah_Britt at (Deb Britt) writes:
>  Lately I have seen several postings from people concerned with managing
>to have a scientific career and a family as well.  I want to put in my two
>cents, as well as some words of encouragement to young women who want to
>pursue scientific interests and have children too. _Yes_ it is possible to
>be a scientist and a mother at the same time.  Children are precious and
>wonderful, and if you want to raise them and pursue a scientific career at
>the same time, go right ahead!  I am 33 and have two sons, ages three years
>and eight months, both of whom were born during my stint as a Postdoc.  I

I want to second this.  As a professor it is more common to encounter young
women who assume they will not work when they have kids.  
FYI - I am also 33 with 2 daughters (4 1/2 years and 15 months).  The first was
planned and born in the middle of my postdoc (a good time in my opinion) and
the second was born 9 months after I started a tenure track position (oops,
didn't think it would only take one try because the first took 8 months).  I
love my kids and I love science.  However, now I only have 3 more years until
they begin gathering my tenure file and I only have a very small grant for 18
months and no publications from here yet!  It will get done, right?

>field, you may be too old to have children.  I felt that having kids during
>my Postdoc was a good compromise.  However, I ended up working at the same
>Postdoc for five years (only in part because of the children, I was waiting

I was also a post doc for 5 years although I started looking for positions
after 3.  It took 18 months to find a job.

>flexible schedule of a Postdoc may also allow you to spend less on daycare,
>if you can trade off with your husband.

I took full advantage of this and worked Wed. thru Sun. until my first baby was
6 months.  My husband took care of the baby on the weekends.  With the second I
had her 1 week after I turned in my grades so when I returned to work after 6
weeks I managed this same weird schedule because it was summer time and my
chairman (a granddad) was understanding.  Of course when Maggie was 3 months
old I had to go back to Mon thru Fri because the students returned.

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