How does she do it? How do you do it?
Questions or comments about juggling motherhood and science?
A recent blog post, “How does she do it?” featured stories of women in neuroscience who have successful scientific careers and families. This post prompted a few of us who are plant scientists and moms to share our stories, in hopes of inspiring and supporting others as they decide whether and how to “have it all”. We hope that by showing how we’ve juggled these two different roles we demonstrate that a scientific career is not incompatible with motherhood, and that by sharing our hard-won strategies we make the road a little smoother for others.
Eight women scientists balancing their pursuit of science with raising children shared their stories and advice for those who choose to take on this challenge - their stories are here.
Are you considering parenthood but not sure if you can manage it? Do you have advice for others? Please share your stories, questions and thoughts below.
NOTES: The challenge of parenthood is not only a women's issue, but it is one of the issues that most impedes women's careers; there are no shortages of successful male scientists who are fathers, but many of us were raised in a culture in which women were told that they had to choose between being successful in their scientific career or parenthood, which is why we've invited women to share their stories. However, raising young children is difficult for everyone, and we're happy to hear suggestions from men who are learning how to balance the roles of parenthood and scientist too!
Parenthood is not only an issue that affects scientists, but as pursuing a tenure-track career requires extremely long hours, offers relatively low pay and remains unsettled until you are in your 30s, scientific careers are particularly hard to fit around parenthood.
Women face many challenges in pursuit of careers in science, and by no means is the role of mother the only obstacle. We don't intend to imply that solving parenting issues will solve the systemic challenges women face.