The other day, this blog discussed an assistant professor’s controversial solution to the sick child problem, one of the many challenges facing academics who are parents. Now Kirstie Ramsey, a pseudonymous untenured faculty member in a STEM field, considers the larger question: when is the right time for an academic try to “expand your family?” Her thoughtful and helpful essay at Inside Higher Ed combines her own experience with what has obviously been deep thinking on the topic.
No answer is right for everyone, she knows, and things don’t always work out how or when we plan or hope. (Note that she sagely speaks of trying to have a child). But there are questions that can help faculty members of both genders to clarify both the practicalities of the issue and their own values. She lists and discusses some of the important ones. You can find her essay here.