I’m a new mother to a beautiful four-month-old girl. I’m also a contract lecturer and have to take work when I can get it. One of the things I love about my job is that I can work from home and take her to university with me, but I’m not sure how to set up my office to suit us both.
College is not necessarily about receiving an education, though this can still be achieved. Instead, college is about trading the least amount of work required to receive one of those job-granting acronyms: B.A., M.S. and so on.
If you’re a woman in academia and at all maternally inclined, then you’re probably familiar with the book Mama, PhD: Women Write About Motherhood and Academic Life. You have either come across it — it’s been recommended to you, you’ve read about it, or you’ve been given it as a gift. Like those little green Bibles that seem to flood campus about once a year, finding their way into every dorm, surfacing in corners of classrooms and generally sneaking their way into the hands of welcoming and reluctant recipients alike; Mama PhD has a similar way of circulating among the female and the scholarly.
As I was approaching my last year of grad school for my Master’s in English, I had been dating an awesome, goateed, tattooed locksmith for a few months. That Christmas, as I was choosing my thesis advisor and getting ready to embark on the challenge of writing a full short story collection, my body started to feel a little weird. What I thought was nerves over the impending thesis, we came to find, was actually our little droidlet beginning to grow. Surprise! The following August, my son was born.
My husband and I just started our first year of college together (he’s 25 and I’m 22). We just got married, but our problem is that we both want a baby, but aren’t sure if its such a good idea.
I am a twenty-seven-year-old who is applying to medical school next year. I would start in Fall of 2013. By the time I start medical school I will be twenty-nine and my partner will be thirty-seven. We will most likely be in a new city far from family and friends, and our main income will be from school loans and scholarships.
Here’s our problem: we really want to have children.
Why do I hurl myself into a defensive monologue about why I don’t want to work with kids? Why does the defensive part of my brain override every other avenue the conversation might have taken? Why don’t I focus on what I DO want to do instead of focusing on what I don’t want?