scientific meetings with infant
guenzel at mail.rz.uni-duesseldorf.de
Sun Jun 22 06:25:38 EST 1997
>I am planning to travel in the fall to a scientific meeting with my
>three month old infant.
I had attended a scientific meeting with my daughter, when she was only 8
weeks old (and she wasn't the youngest baby at that meeting!). Of course I,
too, had a baby-sitter with me. As I was still breast-feeding her, I worked
out my time-table (there were lots of parallel talks) and wrote down, when
I could be found in which room. I also tried to sit in roughly the same
place in every room (something like: left corner in the back) so I could
easily be found and discreetly steal out of the room.
At that meeting, I didn't go to any evening events, as I was far too tired.
However, by fall your child will be about half a year and things will
already be easier. At later meetings I have done both, taken her with me
for dinners, but increasingly, went on my own. The problem about taking the
child with you is, that you are distracted, even when it is asleep. You
can't concentrate on the discussions of the people around you, but when the
child wakes up, you also can't properly concentrate on the child (which the
child usually finds quite annoying!). Although people always were very
positive about being accompanied by a baby, my advice would be, if
possible, go to the dinners on your own and enjoy your "freedom" for a few
hours (if that is ok with your mom).
Another point is that, if you take the child with you, the people around
you often start to only talk about children, even if you want to discuss
science. And that can be quite frustrating at times, because it gives you
the feeling of not being taken seriously as a scientist (even if this is
not at all intended by the others).
On the other hand, a positive thing about taking a baby to a meeting is
that you suddenly notice that there are several other women in the same
situation and this can sometimes be a great comfort.
In any case, enjoy your meeting!
My mom has agreed to come with me and
>watch the baby while I am attending meetings and (hopefully)
>presenting my own work. I would appreciate any advice from people
>who have done similar trips. Anything I can do or plan in advance to
>get the most out of the meeting and make it easiest on all of us? What
>do you think about evenings? Is it appropriate to go to dinner with other
>researchers and invite mom and baby along (provided baby is having a well
>behaved night) or should I forgo this type of interaction unless I leave
>mom and baby behind or am meeting people I know very well (e.g. colleagues
>from my own institution).
>p.s. congratulations Sarah!
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