I’m the new mommy blogger here at ScienceBlogs.
I don’t write about the latest ground-breaking research in my field. I don’t even publicly reveal what my field is.
What I do write about are my experiences as an early career scientist who also happens to be a woman.
I share my life as the mother of a spunky seven-month old girl who has already “helped” with field work and seminars. I describe the dramas of being a first-year assistant professor, scrambling to write lectures and grant proposals and figure out what “service” means, while trying to be home for a little playtime before my daughter’s 7 pm bedtime. I write blog posts while pumping breastmilk and strategize research ideas over the course of 2 am feedings.
I blog because a few years ago I was a graduate student contemplating my future. I loved doing research and envisioned myself as a professor leading a team of graduate students and traveling to conferences and exotic field locations. But I also wanted to be a mom and have a healthy relationship with my husband. While I knew a few successful women scientists, I didn’t understand how they could meet all the competing demands on their time and energy. I worried about finishing my dissertation if I got pregnant. I worried about what would happen to my husband’s career and my marriage, if I couldn’t find a job, and had to keep moving from post-doc to sabbatical replacement ad infinitum. I wondered how I could handle extended field campaigns if I had a toddler. Most of all I wondered if I was the only one struggling with these issues or whether other women woke up at night with the same dreams and nightmares.
I blog because now I know that other women are struggling with these issues. The response I’ve gotten over the past two years of blogging has been unbelievable. I don’t pretend to be an expert on women in science issues. I don’t profess to have all the answers. I just follow the old adage – I write about what I know. And right now, I know that I have to finish preparing for my lecture and write a few more sentences of my grant proposal, because sometime in the next hour, my daughter is going to wake up and want her mommy.