Wednesday, February 10, 2010

field ladies with babies

As previously noted, it seems that now is the time for educated women to get pregnant. Post- or late grad school. Early faculty. Finally making some kind of decent paycheck. Facing the final countdown on the biological clock.

So I shouldn't be surprised that almost everyone I know seems to be pregnant or dealing with small children. College friends, colleagues, wives of colleagues, colleagues of colleagues. My sister. Everybody making babies.

I've also been observing fellow female field scientists during my last two field seasons, as there were pregnant women in the field in both cases; one had a hard time and left early, but the other did fine. I don't know that I would choose to do that, but kudos to them for making it work.

The other thing I noticed was the commonalities of the ages of kids for slightly older academics - people who are approximately 40, or approaching it. Many of these people have kids, and all of those kids are six years old. How old is your daughter? Six. This was repeated often enough that it caught my attention, and it fits with the current rash of early-30's baby-making.

Not that this is unexpected or new information. But there's a difference between knowing something will happen and actually witnessing the arrival of the next generation. I think this has done more to my mental picture of my own age than even getting a job and buying a house has done. Procreation seems like a more decisive separation from what came before.

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