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  • Mama PhD

    Mothers attempting to balance parenthood and academics.

An Introduction
August 4, 2008 - 4:55am

Hello, IHE readers! I am your new guru for all questions about motherhood, academia, or anything you want to know.

Qualifications? Well, for one, I'm a mommy. Duh. Therefore I know everything. Next question?

Oh right, this is academia, and we want a comprehensive review. Okay, fine. Besides being a mommy, I am also Bitch PhD; I was blogging academia back before IHE was a gleam in your daddy's eye. I've given talks and published stuff about mommyhood and academia and blogging -- it says so right there on my CV. I wrote my dissertation with my Pseudonymous Kid sitting right there on my lap--well, some of the time. I admit it; mostly he was in the front room with the nanny, or being babysat by one of my grad school friends, so I'm hip to that child-care juggling game, too.

But there's more! Despite being in the English Department, I had a real bonafide tenure-track job for a while there. At least, until my Seasonal-Affective-Disorder-related suicidal depression convinced me and my husband that we really needed to move to a sunnier clime. So yes, I know from mental health. (First piece of advice: if you're planning on going to graduate school, get a good therapist. No I am not joking.) Oh, did I mention that my job was in Canada? Yes, that accounts for the snow sickness; it also gives me international academic expertise.

Anyhoo. After spending a couple years being one of those "post-academic" types, I am returning to the hallowed halls, as an adjunct at my local community college. A job which, I hasten to add, I am very happy with: I like teaching composition, I love the community college student population, and for now, at least, I'm happy with the multiple income streams of blogging, a little freelancing, and a little teaching. And yes, I am well aware that my ability to enjoy this particular career arc is not unrelated to having a fully-employed husband, but I've been the primary (only) wage-earner, too.

In short, I have Done It All, Had It All, and am now playing the Balancing Game. You might, if you were uncharitable, say that this means I haven't yet figured out what I want to do when I grow up, but surely that makes me all the more expert at thinking through the various and sundry complications of academic life.

So g'wan. Ask away.


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