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Mama PhD

Mothers attempting to balance parenthood and academics.

October 20, 2008 - 10:04pm
The comments on Aeron Haynie's post last week got me thinking: are benefits for working parents fair? Some commenters suggest that they aren't, that parents get "extra compensation" in the guise of health insurance, tuition remission benefits, etc. Of course, those don't end up as money in the pockets of said parents -- but they are additional expenses paid by the employer, it's true.
October 17, 2008 - 6:27pm
Drama Mama is officially leaving the building. This is my last post for Mama PhD. Just so you know it’s not because I am getting “outed” at my university as someone concerned with issues of parenthood and academia (see last week’s post) or because I got my ego crushed a few months ago (see my post on sodium laurel sulfate) or because this doesn’t count as scholarship (although I still might consider Mama PhD the musical).
October 15, 2008 - 9:35pm
Today I travel to my lone academic conference of the year (not counting conferences within driving distance). Like many professors who teach at regional state institutions, one conference a year is all my university pays for. When I was starting out, I attended more, and paid for much of the costs out of my own pocket. While some conferences feel like a waste of time and energy, at their best conferences can be exciting ways to meet other interested scholars, learn about ground-breaking new research, get feedback on developing ideas, and network.
October 15, 2008 - 8:16am
Isn’t it funny how after you learn a new word you are suddenly aware of it being used all over the place? I feel like this happened to me with the academic career-family balance thing. Although there was general talk about balancing career and family as I went through my schooling, until recently I lived in a zone where there really was no recognition of the intricacies of balancing kids and academia; you just figured it out (or not).
October 13, 2008 - 11:29pm
This fall has been busy. I'm pretty sure I say that every year, but with three full classes, several important committees, and some significant deadlines looming, this one feels particularly so. And I came back to work this fall a little out of shape for teaching; after a quiet sabbatical, I found myself literally losing my voice mid-way through my second class every day for the first several weeks.
October 12, 2008 - 9:51pm
Dear all, This is the first time I come to this site. I have a question, and wasn't sure how to start a new thread. So I hope it is OK that I post here. I am a 30 year old female PhD student, and I will graduate next year. My husband and I plan to have two children in the next 4-5 years. And I would like to take a leave for a year for each kid, which accumulates to 2 years.(For medical reasons, I don't want to wait till late 30s to have children.)
October 10, 2008 - 3:54am
This blog doesn’t count for scholarship. My published essay in Mama PhD doesn’t count for scholarship. My participation in a panel on motherhood and academia later this month? That might count as service, but not scholarship. Unless I take the essays and turn them into a musical (and subsequently get the musical published and produced- on Broadway preferably) there just isn’t any way these issues of motherhood and academia can connect to my discipline. Not conventionally anyway.
October 8, 2008 - 10:18pm
This week I was invited by the University of Central Arkansas to read my essay from Mama, PhD and lead a discussion about gender, motherhood, and academia. The soft warm air and elegant buildings of the campus felt very exotic to this Wisconsinite. However, my conversations with faculty members were very familiar.
October 8, 2008 - 3:42am
“Ask not what your country can do for you – ask what you can do for your country.” John F. Kennedy spoke these words at his Inaugural Address on January 20, 1961. Though we all know this quote by heart, few of us live it daily. We all should be contributing to our communities, as well as our country. We as Mama PhD’s have a lot we can offer to our communities, but all too often find ourselves “too busy” to engage in these charitable activities. By definition, all of us Mama PhD’s have strong academic backgrounds, and children.
October 6, 2008 - 8:52pm
It's great to be part of this Mama, PhD community, where faculty with children can share their stories, weigh in on important issues, and generally feel a little less alone in the neverending negotiations that all parents who work outside the home perform. Today I'm struck by Tedra Osell's comments on parenting and pedagogy in her Monday Career Coach column.

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