Thursday, October 22, 2009

WiA 2009 Thursday: Parenthood: the Elephant in the Laboratory

Panel discussion on the the book edited by Emily Monosson
(Editorial note: I actually tried reading this book [Motherhood: the Elephant in the Laboratory], but couldn't get through it because I found the stories so depressing.)

Emily Monosson: Did not include all stories on parenting as a professor because other books are out there. Focused on non-academic career path.

Heidi Newberg: department policies need to be backed up. I.e. of maternity leave given, do not simply redistribute their workload to their colleagues, have the resources to cover them without creating resentment

Mark Olsen: father of two small children. Wife is a dental hygenist, he has the more flexible schedule, so when the kids get sick it's his job to take care of them.

Anne Douglass (chair): Two daughters are grown now, one a medical doctor, the other a chemist

So many women here have stories about raising their kids, have kids of various ages. But no one ever seems to talk about it. Motherhood really is that elephant in the laboratory/observatory/pick your metaphor. I wish we could have more frank conversations about raising kids on a regular basis, outside of specific forums like this one, without fear of how we'll be perceived by our peers, advisors, employers, etc.