Higher Education Webinars

Mama PhD

Mothers attempting to balance parenthood and academics.

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.
October 5, 2008 - 9:32pm
"Dr. K." asks: As an incipient Mama Ph.D., I’d like to know how parenthood affects your pedagogy. If anyone has had a before- and after-baby teaching career, aside from issues like daycare and fatigue, I’d be grateful if you could tell me how it changes a person as a teacher.
October 3, 2008 - 5:00am
So we were at the farmers market early in the morning before preschool and my son asked me if he could pay the man for our veggies. Sure, I said, and lifted him up to pay the farmer. He received two nickels change and I let him keep them. He was so excited he held them in his hands all the way to school. I told him to put them safely in his pocket until later. When I picked him up he remembered and pulled out the nickels. He held them in his hands the whole time we were at the grocery store after school getting all the supplies we couldn’t get at the farmer’s market.
October 2, 2008 - 4:47am
So far my sabbatical is not what I expected. I thought I’d stare for hours at a blank computer screen as I tried to muster enough enthusiasm to finish my book. My husband, on the other hand, was more concerned that I’d stay in my pajamas all day, not shower, and get nutty from a lack of social interaction.
October 1, 2008 - 6:27am
I do a lot of writing in the shower. Well, no, not actually writing things down on waterproof paper or writing on the tile walls with bathtub crayons (although that might not be such a bad idea). Instead my brain is abuzz composing paragraphs, writing lines for blogs, and thinking about proposals for projects. I’m supposed to be zipping in and out for a quick scrub, but needless to say, my showers are sometimes longer than they should be because I get lost in thought.
September 30, 2008 - 8:50am
Back in the days when my peers and I were having our children, I remember hearing that one friend didn’t plan to say “no” to her new baby daughter. She didn’t mean that she would indulge her endlessly, only that she was going to try to redirect her behavior rather than chastise it. I was incredulous — deep in the throes of parenting a four or five year old, I couldn’t imagine restricting my vocabulary that way. “No” was a necessity of life — and has continued to be.
September 26, 2008 - 12:20am
I have a friend in my discipline whose mother recently became ill. It is a relapse of cancer that she and her family thought had been resolved. It goes without saying that her family is devastated. This friend is also a professor who is struggling to maintain her classes and research while attending to the needs of her family. Her relationship to her department is strained, to say the least. She is asked to do too much, taken advantage of too often. Although she loves her work, it sometimes takes over her life.
September 24, 2008 - 3:42am
These last few weeks starting kindergarten have been hard! I remember this from my older daughter too; the adjustment is painful for my kids. Every morning I cheerfully walk my daughter into her classroom, trying to dispel her tears and anxiety with light banter, and she grips my clothes to keep me next to her just a little while longer.

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