Thursday, February 19, 2009

Okay, on with the introductions

Yay, how exciting! People already came to visit me! :-) Okay, so I guess that means I better go ahead and introduce an anonymous sense. As the blog description says, I am a 4th year PhD student in [Life Science] at [Excellent U]. And as implied by the pseudonym, I very much want to "have it all" in the sense of both a happy family and a sucessful career in scientific research. I should clarify that I am not yet a mommy (or expecting), nor a full-blown scientist, although at some level, I feel ready on both fronts.

On the baby front, I have always heard that there is simply "no good time" for kids in an academic career, and that you should "just do it when you're ready." Well, Hubby and I have been married almost 3 years; we own a 3 bedroom house in a nice suburb with good schools; we've practiced our parenting skills by raising 2 dogs; we've never been partiers or had much in the way of social lives that we wouldn't be ready to give up; our friends (not counting my fellow grad students) are having babies; and if careers weren't an issue, we would probably already have a baby.

However, despite my excitement about the possibility of becoming a mother, I'm terrified of doing it during grad school. I guess mainly this is because the two women in my program who have had kids during grad school are not doing so well academically. I really don't see myself in either one of them (they don't seem very self-motivated, which I am), so I think I may have better chances of working it out, but it's just not comforting. So part of my motivation in starting this blog is to seek out new role models and advice about this question of whether it's a reasonable choice to have a baby during grad school. There's so much more I could say about my conflicting feelings about everything, but I think you get the gist, so I'll leave it at that. I'm open to any and all opinions or tidbits of wisdom you'd like to share.


  1. I should note that, as I'm new to the land of women in science blogs, I have not had time to read all the archives of everyone on my enormous new blogroll, so if you've discussed this topic previously or recall someone else's discussion of this, please send me a link! Thanks.

  2. Hi! I just found your blog. Husband and I have been married about 3.5 years now, and have been trying (so far unsuccessfully) to start a family for the past 1.5 years... If I had my way, the plan was to defend my thesis near the end of my pregnancy (a la Jenny F Scientist), take a half year or so maternity leave, then start my postdoc. Since that didn't really work out as planned for us, I'm totally unsure of when is the *new* right time... Have a look at Sciencewoman's archive (when she was still back at and Jenny F Scientist's blog ( for how they made it happen... good luck!

  3. Hi, and a very warm welcome! I think for what you want, you've chosen the right community! I've found much motivation, support and advice from the bloggers on your blog roll. From what you write, I'd say you can do it! Make sure you're self-motivated and ambitious at work, can arrange and pay childcare, have a partner who is willing to take his 50% share of the household and you're perfectly set.

    I've been with my partner for 1 year, and in grad school for 6 month, he for 3month, when I got pregnant (unplanned). My research included field work in far-away places.

    Nonetheless, here I am, 4 years later, with two extraordinarily cute children, I finished my PhD, I just got an excellent post-doc position that for sure will further my career, and my partner will finish his PhD next year. And I am damn proud of that!

    Would I have thought about this long time before, I would have been to afraid to do it. But looking back I would not change a single thing.
    Good luck,


  4. welcome to the blogosphere! You've entered a wonderful community of bloggers that will provide you with awesome advice and tons of support. You have to be self-motivated, but you also will needs lots of support and encouragement. Its not an easy transition from SAHM when you're on mat-leave to coming back to school. It is easy to wonder if its worth it. Keep you eye on the ball, have some cheerleaders in your corner and you will be successful.Good luck