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Being a Postdoc Parent
I'm a postdoc at UCSF who just recently became a mom. I've been having a heck of a time finding a balance between taking care of my new baby (who totally rocks, by the way) and keeping up with my research. Thinking there might be others in my situation, I helped found a postdoc mom's group over here at UCSF. So far, it's been a smashing success... lots of new moms talking about everything from pumping milk to weird baby skin ailments. After the lunch meetings we all feel better about our relationships with our strange little new family members.
Then one day, we were discussing our career aspirations. Every single one of us used to be 100% committed to getting academic research positions, but now that we're moms, most of us are thinking that we just don't have it in us. 70 hour work weeks, moving our families to whatever university will have us...is it really worth it? Plus we feel like we've lost so much time after the unproductiveness of pregnancy and the time constraints of motherhood. Can we ever recover?
So, we're thinking we need to look outside of our group for support and advice. We need the input of women who had babies while they were postdocs in the biological sciences and went on to succeed in the academic research job market anyway!
Are there any women like that out there? If so please, tell us: are the hurdles to academic positions at major research universities really that hard to jump when you're carrying a baby or two? -Spike's mom
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