Mama PhD

Mama PhD

Mothers attempting to balance parenthood and academics.

August 27, 2008 - 8:26am
Watching the Democratic National Convention this week, I was struck by the convention’s focus on mothers’ legacies, particularly in Michelle Obama and Hillary Clinton’s superb speeches. Clinton’s statement -- “My mother was born before women could vote. But in this election my daughter got to vote for her mother for president” -- highlights the incredible transition that took place in my own mother’s (and grandmother’s) lifetimes.
August 25, 2008 - 10:18pm
I read a piece in the Chronicle last week about being a parent and an adjunct. Maybe you saw it: "It's All in the Bag," by Corinne Bennet. You see, her nice, professional-looking handbag also works as a diaper bag, but she's in fact unable to bring together her dual lives as parent and part-time professor quite so neatly.
August 22, 2008 - 5:03am
I’ve just had two weeks of faculty orientation activities and I am so tired I can’t see straight. Between the introductions and receptions and workshops on balancing scholarship and pedagogy, I have had little time to chip away at these little things known as syllabi. Classes start next week. I had a plan to get everything done. It has not been altogether successful. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love all the orienting I have had the luxury of enjoying lately – it’s just the balancing thing already seems to be getting the best of me.
August 21, 2008 - 4:59am
Yesterday I met with the new chair of my department to tie up loose ends, hand over some paperwork, and give him whatever advice I could. I felt a bit like I do when I leave town and my husband takes care of our daughter: part of me hopes it goes well, but a selfish part of me hopes something goes wrong so he will see how hard it is. Like parenting, it is hard to really prepare someone for what’s involved in chairing a department. Neither endeavor looks that taxing on paper.
August 18, 2008 - 8:59pm
So the bathroom floor doesn't need replacing after all; instead, we need a termite guy. It may be more expensive than replacing the floor, but it will be less disruptive, so all in all I'm not too disappointed.
August 17, 2008 - 9:31pm
A few months ago, I just broke up with my ex. We have a child together...a 3 year old. The hard thing for me is juggling between raising my child and going to graduate school full time. I am just so busy, and I feel as if I am not spending enough time with my son. Do you have any tips for me?
August 15, 2008 - 5:00am
I was out to breakfast with my good friend and his son the other day and his son ordered waffles. The waitress brought the waffles and syrup but didn’t bring butter. He stared at the plate. He stared at her. He didn’t say a word. When the waitress left he told his dad she forgot the butter. “Why didn’t you ask?” his father said. The boy just shrugged. He was shy. I know this feeling. I remember this feeling from when I was nine, but I also know it from my present life. It has become an interesting challenge as I begin work at a new institution.
August 13, 2008 - 10:26pm
Lately, I’ve been enjoying long walks with a good friend and colleague on our city’s arboretum trails. Years ago, we started walking together a couple of times a week at the end of the day. These walks were a great way to vent our frustrations about departmental politics, share teaching moments, and touch base with each other about our lives. I learned about the challenges faced by small departments and long-distance academic couples while she empathized with the death of my father and my new marriage.
August 13, 2008 - 7:39am
Liz arrived on the ferry with her family last night. Remember when we talked about summer camp for biologists?
August 11, 2008 - 9:17pm
I had half a blog post written on how I used to find time to exercise, but don't anymore, and how I plan to get started again. It was a pretty good post, expressing both my frustration at how time has shrunk over the last several years and my gratitude that I have a good -- and free -- gym to go to on campus. Maybe I'll write it someday.

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