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kids and careers?

nishir at ohsu.edu nishir at ohsu.edu
Wed Aug 25 18:55:18 EST 1993

In article <25gohhINNgig at newsstand.cit.cornell.edu> kh11 at cornell.edu (Kathie
Hodge) writes:
>For a few months now I've been reading this group with interest.  It
>seems like a good place to ask a question that's been bugging me - when
>to have kids?
>It seems like there will never be time.  I'm 26 now, and have three or
>four more years to go on my Ph.D. and then maybe a post-doc or two and if
>I'm lucky enough to actually get a job when I'm done then I'll have to
>work like crazy for five years to get tenure and wow!  I'd like to have a
>family at the same time somehow without spontaneously combusting.
>How do you do it?
>Kathie Hodge
>grad. student in mycology
>Cornell University
>kh11 at cornell.edu
No time is good for having kids unless it's after you get tenure, by which time
it will be pretty late.  If you want kids, just have them, and deal the best
you can with them when they come.  If you keep thinking about it, you might
never have them.  I had my first kid almost 5 years after I started as an
assistant professor and just before I was due to come up for tenure (I also had
a competitive renewal for NIH that I wrote just after I came back from
maternity leave).  I'm not sure I would recommend that to anyone.  I just use
that as an example of how to take a deep breath and jump in.  I just saw myself
getting older and older because I had put off having kids when I was training. 
It was hectic and crazy, but with a very supportive spouse, I managed OK.  I
got the grant renewed the first time it went in and I got tenure.  The only
recommendation I would make is to make damn sure you really want them. 
Maturity and sense of purpose is a very good foundation to put the added stress
of kids on.  Some people achieve such maturity as grad students; others have to
wait until they are much older.

Rae Nishi
Cell biology & Anatomy
Portland OR

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