Higher Education Webinars

Mama PhD

Mothers attempting to balance parenthood and academics.

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.
November 26, 2008 - 4:54am
When I was 17, I wrote an essay entitled “Why I do not want to have children.” My seemingly prescient mother saved it, along with other high school memorabilia, and when I came across the essay a few years ago I was amazed at the depth of feelings I’d developed at such a young age. The gist of the paper was that although I loved kids, I didn’t feel that I was capable of having both a family and a career, and I really wanted to focus on becoming a biologist. I pointed out that I knew many women who very successfully combined career and parenting, but I didn’t feel that I could.
November 24, 2008 - 8:56pm
Thanksgiving week offers a welcome break from the treadmill of the semester, which always seems to speed up just before it comes crashing to a halt. One day last week I spent 13 hours on campus, then returned less than 12 hours later. Feeling somewhat sorry for myself, I posted this information on my facebook page — and had almost immediate commiseration from colleagues on both coasts who found themselves in the same straits. Both are also mothers.

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