I hear that women in academia have fewer children than similarly educated women in other professions. I am not surprised, though I hadn't really given it much thought. Other people with actual parenting/academic experience have commented on this, and as I am entirely unqualified to do so I will point you in that direction if you're interested.
However, this did make me think about my own plans and the fact that I have absolutely no peers or mentors who are FIELD SCIENTISTS who have (or had) children in their 20's or early 30's. Most of my peers are still grad students, post-docs, or are just entering their first tenure-track positions. Those I know who are expecting or recently had children are lab scientists; most of these people just started new post-docs or technician positions and won't be going anywhere for a while. The few field scientists I know who had kids did so in their early 40's. Which is great for them, but not something I want for myself; I'd like to have at least a vague chance of seeing any potential grandchildren, assuming I have a kid of my own.
I'll be teaching at a small liberal arts college (SLAC), so I know that I'd have an easier time than some giving up some research in favor of family. But I LIKE my fieldwork, I hope to keep doing it, and it wouldn't be easy to give it up entirely. How do other people make that balance...or do they just choose one or the other? That seems to be the only way to go, unless I can somehow convince Partner to be a stay-at-home dad. This is possible, I suppose, but it's still not very fair of me to take off to other continents for several weeks or months every year and leave him at home with the (hypothetical) kiddo.
I'm not too concerned right now. I'm hoping to get myself established before making those decisions, and I figure I have a few biologically relevant years left. Just one more bridge that we'll burn when we come to it.
1 day ago