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If you could do it all over again...

Rae Nishi nishir at ohsu.EDU
Sat Jun 13 01:15:58 EST 1998

In article <35796087.0 at news.ic.sunysb.edu>
lhyatt at life.cc.sunysb.edu (Laura Hyatt (EE)) writes:

> A question for all women with children who are tenured faculty with grad
> school and postdoc behind them: 
> If you had to (could) do it all over again, when would you have elected to
> have children?

If I had to do it all over again I would have done it the same-- I had
my first child after I had a job towards the end of my phase as an asst
prof.  I had the second after I got tenure (I was 37 with the first and
40 with the second).  This was after 5 years of grad school and 6 years
of postdoc.  The primary limitation with the way I did it is fertility
and possible complications such as the increased incidence of Downs. 
But aside from that, I liked what I did because I worked really hard as
a grad student and postdoc and got a good position (I think I would
have "given up" if I had had kids then-- my life was complicated
enough).  I then worked real hard to get funding and my lab started. 
Then once things were rolling (and I was more mature) I got to have
babies and start raising a family.  This, of course, would not have
been possible without the support of my husband, who shares equally in
housework, cooking, and raising the kids.  He's a neuroscientist, too. 
Some people say that if you're an older mom you might not be able to
keep up with your kids, but that's not really true these days because
of our heightened consciousness about health and diet.  In fact, I am
stronger and faster now than I was in high school.  I run 5K and 10K
races and lift weights three times a week.  Science is still fun, too.
I am thankful that I have had the privilege of having many
hard-working, wonderful people in my lab.  This definitely relieves me
of the burden of having to do all the experiments myself.  I typically
work 10 hr days but I have fun at home with my kids-- it's nice to have
something different to think about at home.  I guess I'm really lucky!!

reply to nishir at ohsu.edu
Rae Nishi, PhD
Dept. Cell & Developmental Biology
Oregon Health Sciences University
Portland Oregon 

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