IUBio Biosequences .. Software .. Molbio soft .. Network News .. FTP

If you could do it all again..

Caroline J. Walker walkerc at CLEMSON.EDU
Tue Jun 9 12:45:42 EST 1998

	I left having kids until I was a postdoc.  In grad school I hadn't
met my husband so having children was not an issue, but looking back at how
stressful grad school was I am glad I didn't have to combine the two.  I
have found that the flexible scheduling of a postdoc has been wonderful for
having children.  I have been able to take nice long maternity leaves and
have been able to arrange part time work.  At the same time I have kept my
publication record going (albeit at a slower rate) and my hands-on skills
up to date.  The down side is that it delays a move onto the tenure track.
It is constantly frustrating for me to see my male  contemporaries able to
go right into tenure track positions and combine it with having a family
without missing a beat.
	The other disadvantage to my mommy route is the perception that I
take my science less seriously - and I am sure that some of you thought
that when I mentioned long leave and part time work!  This is not the case.
I think I have a balanced view point where my commitment to my children is
important, and that is nothing to be apologetic about.  The science can go
slow for a while and the world will not fall to pieces!
	Anyway, the net effect of having a long postdoc for me is that I
have been able to take a step back and really think about what I want to do
with my career.  I have deprogrammed myself from the idea that going into
industry is some sort of failure or that I am a "leak", and have realised
that academic science is not for me.  Furthermore, I think I will enjoy the
variety and challenge of industrial work and feel good about the applied
aspects of what I am doing. How successful I am in making this transfer
remains to be seen!
	I have many friends who are in the same boat, thinking about the
best time to have kids, and I get angry at the lack of options women have.
There is no good time to do it!

Good luck,


More information about the Womenbio mailing list

Send comments to us at biosci-help [At] net.bio.net