Tuesday, June 23, 2009


OK, it's been a while again. I'm having a bit of an identity crisis. I always thought of myself as part of the "women in science" set, but these days, with my career on hold for my family, my project rapidly headed down the crapper, and my motivation dwindling to a near all-time low, I'm even a bit more saddened that 9 times of out 10 when I interact with someone else from the lab they ask me about my pregnancy and not about my work :( Is it because they think it's not worth talking about any more? I'm not one of them anymore? Or just an innocent curiosity about pregnancy?

I'm trying hard to make an effort NOT to bring it up myself because I don't want to be one of those women who can only talk about babies when they're pregnant. Of course it is an important part of my life now, but it's not the only part (or is it?) Most days I'd just rather go back to being "one of the guys".

I feel rather out of the loop though, in between PhD and postdoc, without any meetings/conferences coming up (except a talk I'm giving Friday at a local symposium), no manuscript I'm working on, a project I won't be able to see to its finish... I'm reading lots of other blogs out there with people counting down to defense, waiting for reviewer comments, writing grant applications and I just don't fit. I feel like I'm already "out" of science. And I'm sad about that. And I don't see when or how it's going to get better. I think back to the very kind email I got from one PI whose lab I applied to for a postdoc and she wrote that science will always be there for me when/if I want to come back, but I haven't even left yet and I still feel like it's already gone.


  1. Aw - sorry that you're feeling kind of like an outsider right now. I think it's just because you're in a transition phase. You'll get back into it (if you want to) at some point!

    As for people talking about it - ugh. People just seem to focus on one thing (and think your life is all about that). Before we got married, the only thing anyone would ask me about was the wedding. Now it's the defense. When I'm PG it'll be about that. They don't seem to realize that it's just PART of what's going on with you, and maybe you actually WANT to talk about something else.

    Maybe to feel more science-y you can read some papers and review them on the blog for us? :D

  2. I think that the questions about pregnancy would be more of the innocent kind. It's not something that I've ever gone through, but (hopefully) will some day. So, I'm naturally curious. I don't ask (unsolicited) questions of random pregnant women (or even those that I know pretty well)-- just throwing that out there. However, I do know some socially awkward people who would, though. :-)

  3. Thanks ladies
    I guess it doesn't help that I'm stuck by myself in this little room in the corner most of the day. I think if I saw my lab mates more often than at lunch time and seminars it would help. Stupid laws in PhDLand

  4. I'm sorry to read this jenn :(. hang in there. you'll get through it! don't give up your science dreams.

  5. Sucky. I hope you find a way to feel comfortable. You're always welcome to read blogs and be part of the women-in-science conversation even if you aren't currently practicing science. you're still a scientist. Maybe blogging will help keep you in the scientist frame of mind for when you're ready to jump back into it.