If you could do it all over again......

Dr. Anita DeStefano destefano at med-genepi.bu.edu
Tue Jun 23 14:19:15 EST 1998


Hi, another story...I had my first child 10 months ago.  I became pregant 2
months after starting my first faculty position.  I felt comfortable with
that because I joined the faculty at the university that I had done a
postdoc at and so I had actually been working there for 2 years, knew my
collaborators, had been teaching the course I would be teaching for a year
already, and had several project well underway.  If had been starting at a
new place I would have delayed the pregnancy.  I feel I got a fair amount
of science stuff done during my 3 month maternity leave and (in my
perception) it did not have a major impact on my years productivity. Our
main struggle is our commutes.  My husband is on faculty at a school 110
miles from mine and we live in the middle.  We each spend 2.5 to 3 hours a
day on the road. To manage we work staggered schedules and I have started
to work at home one day a week (my work is mainly computational) and that
makes a big difference to me, but I do not know how long we can keep this
up.  I feel as a faculty member that I have more autonomy over how and
where I spend my day compared to as a postdoc and that, combined with the
increased salary, makes me happy with our choice to wait until we both had
faculty positions to start a family.  However I think with the right
mentor, a postdoc can give you similar flexibility.  So while 10 months of
parenthood is not a great basis for hindsight, so far I would do it same
over again.  I should also mention, though, that I went straight thru
school and postdoc and started my faculty position at 30, so waiting for
the faculty position did not have any major biological impact in terms of
fertility.

Anita





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