Tuesday, May 19, 2009


So, to update from my post yesterday, I was going crazy with all the what ifs, and so I knew I just had to take action... I'd been thinking for weeks and weeks, and it was getting worse, not better. So I sat at my keyboard and I typed out emails to each of the PIs that offered me an interview. I told them I was sorry for causing any inconveniences, that I had postponed my interviews earlier because my doctor had asked me not to travel until a safer point in pregnancy, and that now that it was becoming clear this little person was pretty darn likely to show up in November I was really not in a position to make decisions about big moves and new jobs. So I told them I decided to stay put for now, cancel the current interviews and re-apply for postdoc positions next spring. I heard back from 2 of them so far, both invited me to let them know if I wanted to re-apply whenever I was ready.

I'm still alternating between feeling like a huge disappointment to myself, my PI, and my colleagues, and feeling relieved that now I can just shift my focus to the work I have at hand in the lab, and staying healthy and reducing my stress level. Husband found a promising job ad to apply to and has spent the last few days re-vamping his CV and putting together all the other paperwork they're asking for. Let's see how that turns out.

I wrote a long time ago that I was reading the books Mama, PhD and Motherhood: the Elephant in the Lab and that I would post reviews when I was done. I finished the books ages ago, but haven't been able to gather my thoughts enough to write a review. Maybe I'll still get to that. But for now, let's just say, when I first read the books, I was so disappointed. So disappointed for the women who couldn't have it all, who made major sacrifices, either in their career or in the way they raised their families to try to just do the best they could... and now I feel like I know a bit how hard those decisions must have been and how complex. And I have new-found respect for those brave enough to contribute their stories.


  1. I think you know in your head that you made the best decision for yourself right now :) Really, postponing things by a year (and not even!) won't be that big of a deal down the line. It's great that you've already heard from two PIs that are willing to have you apply at a later date!

    I look forward to your reviews of those books - I have them in the "to read" pile, and will probably get to them after the defense.

    You're doing great!

  2. I've been reading your decision and I'm positive that your decision to postpone won't at all be a big deal.

    Like I said, universities are changing in that they are recognizing the need to count "academic years" and not just real time passed.

    Whenever I make big decisions, I don't look back at the whatifs. Just look forward with hope and excitement. Having a baby and a career is an awesome task. But from what I can tell you are a thoughtful person and seem up for the challenge.

    Good luck!

  3. Jenn, it sounds like you made a good decision, it really does. I am glad that you can now stop with the what-ifs and get going with the right-nows! Best of luck to you and your newly growing family :).

  4. I'm glad things are working out! Stay healthy. :)