Mama PhD

Mama PhD

Mothers attempting to balance parenthood and academics.

February 4, 2010 - 12:44pm
We received our fall semester course evaluations on the first day of the spring semester. The timing seems akin to going to therapy with your ex-boyfriend immediately before setting out on a blind date with a potential new one. A strange analogy, but you get my point.
February 3, 2010 - 8:54am
When I was pregnant with my daughter and unsure what was going to happen to my academic career, a woman I admire, a full-time mom/scientist, told me that she thought of her life in terms of five-year blocks. These blocks corresponded loosely with her children’s developmental stages, and with each subsequent phase she was able to take on different projects or increase the amount of time she devoted to her own interests.
February 1, 2010 - 9:51pm
Today was a snow day of sorts and tomorrow's another one, so I'm feeling a bit behind. I've been thinking, though, about what I've learned so far this semester — here's a start: 1) Startitis doesn't work when you make a big mistake near the beginning of a project but don’t notice it until the end. Ask me how I know this.
January 31, 2010 - 8:31pm
When wives earn more outside the home, and husbands take on more housework, marriages tend to be happier! Men are now doing twice as much housework, and three times as much childcare, as they did in the 1960s! It says so right here in the New York Times, so it has to be true, right?
January 27, 2010 - 8:46pm
It’s a humbling experience when you realize that, yes indeed, you are one of those over-educated Americans who can be taken in by an email that asks you for credit card information or by a telemarketing voice that promises to lower your interest rates if you will just provide them with your card number and zip code.
January 27, 2010 - 12:02pm
I snow-balled a meltdown as I hurrumphed around this evening, distressed at the resistance of my family to help out with dinner and other immediate chores. In fact, for the last several days, maybe a week, our household has been edgy and uncomfortable; tonight things fell apart very easily. My husband glued himself to his computer shortly after walking in the door.
January 25, 2010 - 8:37pm
After blogging at this site for well over a year, I start to fear that I'll repeat myself. And, sure enough, when I sat down to write a post about knitting, I discovered that I'd done it before. That earlier post was a pep talk of sorts, a reminder to myself that I need to make time for things I love that aren't directly related to my work.
January 24, 2010 - 5:05pm
I am a regular guest panelist on the British literary podcast Litopia after Dark. One of the topics discussed on last week’s show was the success, or lack thereof, of men writing in a woman’s voice, and vice versa. All of us had examples of writers who had convinced us (Roddy Doyle and Henry James are my personal favorites), and others who had missed the mark. One panelist, though, had a particularly valuable perspective to share: she had spent the first twenty-odd years of her life as a man.
January 21, 2010 - 7:28am
Monday our semester begins and I’m struck once again by how fortunate I am to begin again, to start over. How many professions offer the chance to start fresh twice a year? Unlike most years, I haven’t spent my whole break obsessively planning my courses. I’m trying to focus more on my own scholarship and writing, so I decided not to start working on my syllabi until the weekend before. In addition, the recent horrific events in Haiti have made it difficult to focus on much else.
January 20, 2010 - 8:19am
On our recent New Year’s trip to Friday Harbor, Washington, my eight-year old had the chance to reconnect with one of his buddies, a boy his age he’s known and played with since they were toddlers. A group of us went for a long walk in the woods, and the boys tagged along. The boys were shy together at first, but they soon adjusted to their own pace on the hike, falling behind to splash in puddles and pick up sticks.

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