Mama PhD

Mama PhD

Mothers attempting to balance parenthood and academics.

December 11, 2008 - 9:51pm
Last week was the anniversary of the legal hearing that made our daughter’s adoption official. And so, as much of the world prepares to celebrate the ultimate in unplanned pregnancies, I want to write about something a little different; I want to write about what adoption looks like today, in the United States. For if “The Lattice” is an alternative approach to one’s career, adoption is also an alternative approach to becoming a parent.
December 10, 2008 - 10:53pm
Last week I was a part of a panel in a colleague’s course on family values. The panel, “Mama and Papa PhDs,” was comprised of two male and two female professors, all of whom have young children. I was primed for the discussion with fresh statistics regarding the difficulties women professors face, yet I found the stories of the male faculty members the most revealing.
December 10, 2008 - 9:41am
It’s that time of year again when the boxes of Christmas decorations come out of storage and for a few days our living room and dining room are a chaotic assemblage of boxes until we finish decking the halls. After the kids had done their decorating last night, I carefully unwrapped the layers of bubble wrap that protected my set of vintage glass ornaments. These once brightly colored balls, the type of kitschy holiday decorations that probably cost a dollar at a dime store in the 1950’s, are concave on one side with tiny plastic and wood figures nestled in their glitter-snow centers.
December 8, 2008 - 9:40pm
Several of our recent Mama, PhD blog posts have generated a lively discussion in various other corners of the blogosphere. I happened on one such discussion at 11-D, the blog of political scientist Laura McKenna.
December 8, 2008 - 7:02am
Last week I promised to write about the “male” career model. I want to begin by reasserting my prior advice to young ambitious women, to “do whatchalike” and try not to worry.
December 4, 2008 - 10:09pm
December 2nd was the 28th anniversary of the murder of four American churchwomen in El Salvador in 1980. The best known of these is Jean Donovan, a lay missionary from the Cleveland, Ohio diocese. Also from the Cleveland Diocese was an Ursuline Sister named Dorothy Kazel, a graduate of our Ursuline College and a member of the local community of Ursuline Sisters here in Cleveland. These four women followed their hearts to work with the poor of that country, and in the process ended up giving everything for their beliefs.
December 3, 2008 - 10:19pm
I want to introduce myself as a new writer for Mama, Ph.D. — Long Distance Mom. I will share Thursdays with fellow blogger Aeron Haynie (a good friend who helped me survive my grad school pregnancy). As a filmmaker and film studies scholar, I am used to traveling frequently to complete my creative and scholarly work. But now I also travel for love. For the last decade, I’ve been involved in long distance relationships — first with my partner, and more recently, with my children.
December 3, 2008 - 9:19am
I also read the article from The New York Times that my blogging colleague Libby Gruner referred to in her post yesterday, which discusses corporate world changes in attitude in thinking about the career ladder more as a career lattice.
December 1, 2008 - 10:00pm
A recent article in the New York Times suggests that rather than career ladders, we should be thinking of career “lattices,” with both vertical and horizontal moves possible in the long-term development of a career. It’s an appealing image to anyone who has ever wondered if they’re cut out for climbing a ladder all the way to the top.
November 30, 2008 - 7:40pm
A scientist/reader writes.... I urge you to show a bit more flexibility in your advice on the career/family bit. If the goal is a faculty position in the sciences, there is usually an interim postdoctoral stage. Postdoc can be a great time for maternity and infant bonding- whether you are headed for a research-intensive university or a liberal arts college.

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