Professor Mom

Chronicles the life of a mom, teacher, and writer trying to stay sane amid the chaos of daily life.

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Omaha Mama's picture Omaha Mama

Ah yes. And what reactions you might get from friends/co-workers when you discuss the fact that you'll be taking some time off. Perhaps never to return to full-time work because that's what your family needs. I've been FASCINATED by the variety of responses. Good for you for remembering, for trying to treat others better than you had been.


Aliki McElreath's picture Aliki McElreath

That happened to me when we moved here, Omaha. Many people in my graduate department were shocked (and on occasion rude) about the fact that I was planning on staying home for a bit with baby L. and not jumping right into trying to find work.


mouse's picture mouse

I'm very lucky right now to have a principal who's also a mother--her kids are just a few years older than Scooter. When we scheduled a separate meet-the-teacher for him, to take care of overload issues, she told me to take my time, even though it meant being late to a meeting. My (part-time) position is quite friendly to his school schedule too. I'm hoping it stays this is more than just my first impression.

On the other hand, I'm finding my PhD work frustrating, in part because I'm surrounded by people who either are not parents or arrange their lives so that being a parent barely registers on their academic schedule (usually by having a partner picks up the slack). Before I had Thumper, a number of people assumed I'd wait to have a second child until I was done with my degree--I don't think they could conceive of my desire for another kid being stronger.


Aliki McElreath's picture Aliki McElreath

I had the same issue with T. Everyone urged me to wait until I finished my Ph.D before having a second child but wanting another child wasn't something I could approach in a rational, logical way. I knew we were both ready, and I wasn't going to put it on hold any longer. Thank goodness we didn't--we wouldn't be lucky enough to have T. in our lives if the timing had been different.


Lilianpw's picture Lilianpw

Wow. This post. I have no words. I HAVE to write about it in my blog sometime or another, and I'll probably end up by quoting so many parts that it might be more useful just to ORDER the readers to read it ;-).

Anyhow... I feel GRATEFUL for my student visa that didn't allow me to work, except at the university and we'd moved away, that way I stayed with the boys (and worked on the dissertation) for four more years. Thankfully we were able to live a very frugal lifestyle on one postdoc income.

It was not until I had defended the dissertation in 2008 that my greencard arrived in the mail. As you know, I've been mostly "working in the margins" -- if at all -- since then, let's see if this next "gig" works out any better than the previous ones! ;-)


Aliki McElreath's picture Aliki McElreath

My going back to work was a mixed blessing, indeed. I can't say that I would have completed my dissertation if I hadn't been working, but I know going back to work played a huge part in my not completing it. However, I also learned that I could do professionally what I love (teach & write) without it, and I was able to let go of the idea I had that I wouldn't be worth as much without the actual Ph.D in hand.