Dr. Mom, My Adventures as a Mommy-Scientist

Discussion of my journey from grad school to postdoc to tenure with two kids, a husband, (and a bit of breast cancer) in tow.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Yeah....It's Fall

I have been in denial the last month, refusing to believe that my summer is over. But this morning as I walked the dog, the red leaves made it abundantly clear that it is indeed fall. Argh. I am so...not...ready. Most of my summer goals have been accomplished, but all the little things: letters of recommendation, 2 pg descriptions of research, newsletter that I edit, these are not done, and I feel the crushing weight of the academic year and wonder if I will ever again see the light of day.

The last few nights have not been pleasant. DH is still out of town so in addition to all my normal chores, I am doing his too. I totally punted on my class and had to spend much of each evening getting ready for teaching. Now, I have a few people "yelling" at me for things I promised last week...but just didn't get too. Ah yes. The school year as I remember it has arrived. Let's just hope that the enthusiasm of a new crop of students carries me through. Actually let's just hope that I can recruit some new students to the myriad of open positions that I have.And, let's hope that the leaves stay green as long as possible.

Friday, September 17, 2010

How big is too big?

One of the things that I am struggling with right now is trying to figure out how big my lab group should be. I really enjoy mentoring my students one on one, and I don't think that I want to have a mega-lab, which would make this impossible. However, I keep getting pulled in new interesting research directions, especially since so much of our stuff is working.When I first started, we were working in two different research directions. Now, I can say that we probably have four. Any one of these would be enough to build a career on, but I have always enjoyed breadth over depth. I originally thought that as areas didn't work we would prune them and I would be left with a manageable amount of projects. Unfortunately, a much larger number of projects have worked than not worked, which leaves me with a vast wealth of projects. And, just when I think okay we aren't going to do X anymore, I will meet five other people who love the way I do X and want to collaborate in just the area that I need help with. Its a little maddening at times. Long story short I have no idea what I want to do with all this. My lab just seems to keep growing. I am generally happy with this, but sometimes we have so much going on that I spend all my time fighting fires and not enough doing essential tasks (writing grants, paper, getting ready for teaching). I just don't know how Mr. Big and Famous types do it.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Work-Life Balance Redux

My husband is working a consulting gig right now. meaning that for the last 4-5 weeks he has only been home on the weekend. On a positive note, this has been great for my productivity. I can work as late as I want in the evening with no pressure and I have pumped out my tenure package and 3 papers in the last month.

I love my job. I really do, but after over a month, it is getting a little old. Sometimes it is an excess that shows us where our priorities lie, and as much as I have enjoyed this time to clear out my inbox, I miss my husband. Kids are great, but it is not the same. So DH, come home.

Hit Counter by Digits Who links to my website?