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

Judy Stone Judy at amida.zoo.duke.edu
Fri Jun 26 11:32:24 EST 1998


Janet asked about having kids while working on her degree.  Most of the
people who have responded to this thread have had their kids later and
have been glad to be well-established by then.  I worked before entering
grad school and so didn't feel that I had the luxury of waiting.  I had my
first kid at 33 during grad school and my second at 36 in the first year
of my postdoc.  For me, grad school was much easier.  My advisor was great
-- he didn't care where I wrote my dissertation as long as those chapters
kept coming in.  I was able to take my baby to Costa Rica for two field
seasons.  No--it was not heroic -- I stayed at a field station where meals
were prepared for us, and a  babysitter came from 6 a.m. to noon everyday
so that I could work in the field. Having the kid as a postdoc was
harder.  I had switched to lab work, which is completely incompatible with
children.  My sponsor never pushed me but I have had problems keeping pace
with my own expectations of how productive I need to be.

I have felt some struggles with self-perception as a "serious" scientist
but finally decided that the fact that I was still doing science was
evidence that I was dead serious.  Light-weights don't lug breast pumps.

My youngest kid is now 2 1/2 and I am beginning to feel that my
productivity is returning to "pre-kid" levels....actually somewhat higher
since I know better what I am doing.  I feel blessed to be able to have
such a rich life and my kids give at least as much back to me as I give to
them.



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