Potential new threads - Child Care

Rae Nishi nospamnishir at ohsu.edu
Tue Oct 28 12:17:45 EST 1997


I have had two girls (now 6 and 3) and my thoughts on having a family
and being a scientist are the following:

1. Having a cooperative spouse who is willing to take on half of the
burden is very important.  I would go nuts if I were a single parent or
the equivalent (actually, I am pretty stressed right now because my
husband is at Neuroscience and will be taking a short course
afterwards, so he will be gone for 10 days).  We have no immediate
family here in Portland so we don't get any help from grandparents etc.
 But we do have some great and very close friends (who are also
scientists) with kids nearly the same age as ours.  We have a
cooperative drop off and pick up arrangement for daycare that lessens
the burden.  We also share babysitting duties when there is no school
or childcare but we have to work ("funny" holidays like Veterans Day.) 


2. Great childcare that you trust is of supreme importance but hard to
find.  There is childcare available here on campus but I visited it and
didn't like the militaristic atmosphere, so I eventually found one off
campus that I find is outstanding.  But it would be alot nicer if it
were closer and more conveninent to get to. I don't know how to improve
the quality of daycare on campus without getting directly involved--
and I don't have time for that. I had to put my kids in daycare when
they were 6 weeks old (due to teaching obligations and grant deadlines)
but they are fine and well adjusted, nice children. I think they adjust
to childcare better if they are babies, rather than toddlers who are
developing a mind of their own.

3. It is tough being a scientist and having a family, but not
impossible. I waited until I was an asst prof before I had my first--
but I was lucky in not having problems conceiving-- my second was born
right after I turned 40.  I have been very fortunate to have children
who have become very healthy and resistant to disease (after a
disasterous first year in childcare-- my first one had one ear
infection after another).  My immune system seems to have adjusted as
well. 

reply to nishir at ohsu.edu
Rae Nishi, PhD
Professor
Dept. Cell & Developmental Biology
Oregon Health Sciences University
Portland Oregon 



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