Monday, August 10, 2009

I can haz baby now?

Great question, Science Gal! So of course, getting this established funding has rekindled the thought of babies in my mind (like it ever went away, HA!). But unfortunately, the financial pressures on the homefront haven't changed: we still can't afford daycare. And while I appreciate all of the supportive comments assuring me it can be done, I'm just not so sure it's the right way to do it, for me and Hubby. For example, the way our work schedules are, we could actually avoid the cost of daycare altogether by me taking Baby at night while Hubby works and Hubby taking Baby during the day while I work. One of Hubby's coworkers does that...with twins! But that really wouldn't be fair to any of the 3 of us (I'm assuming we won't have twins, since neither of our families has a history of them). Hubby and I would never get any sleep or time together, and Baby wouldn't get the attention he deserves (I'm assuming Baby will be a boy because Hubby has a family curse that is 3 generations strong...but somebody please tell me if there's a real scientific explanation for that). It's important to me to be able to provide a positive early learning environment (hell, even my dog came from a breeder who focused on giving the puppies early stimulation!), and I don't think two exhausted, overstressed parents can provide that without help. For the same reason, I'm nervous about putting Baby in the cheapest daycare we can find because that's all we can afford. And we are not fortunate enough to live near the potential grandparents, so we don't have that fabulous built-in support system of free babysitting available at a moment's notice.

But Excellent U does have a matchingly excellent daycare center...which costs over $1000/month. I would love to be able to put Baby there, but I would need a $10,000 raise, which will be easy enough after I graduate. In fact, my current "plan" (I use the word loosely, as it is highly likely to change) is to stay on in my current lab after graduation and be a highly overqualified lab tech or "project manager" (or whatever the position was called...I forget). This would represent a step off of the traditional academic ladder, as you're never supposed to stay in one place for so long, but at this point, I feel like a need a break from the fast pace and high pressure of continually moving up that damn ladder. My idea is to settle down here for several years, say until my kids are in school, or I start to get antsy, before moving on to a "postdoc" (or equivalent "training" position if I'm no longer eligible) to restart my career path. Anyone know if this would count for one of those "reentry" awards? As for an ultimate goal, I would love to be either a staff scientist or independent researcher at NIH (intramural, so I don't have to worry about grants!).


  1. Just saw your post on babycenter ( -- I was wondering if you want to email me directly to talk about maternity leave policies? I'm a writer doing some background research on the topic. alisonfromme at nasw dot org

  2. I want to respond to your questionnaire and also give you a personal note as I'm currently a grad student mom and we had our first kid when my husband was in grad school (different U). Do you have an email address I could send it to?

  3. Of course! You can email me at aspiringmommyscientist at gmail dot com.