Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Science and laundry and dinner oh my!

I would think that for a first blog post I would come p with something prolific and profound to say. Something. Blogging sounded like a good idea, especially with all the fantastic, blogarific, female-science bloggers out there that I aspire to be like, but after playing with the colors and the templates and all the pretty buttons, my mind can find nothing to blog about. Let alone anything interesting that anyone would want to take pause and read.

So, here I sit, procrastinating on writing my first first-author paper in new post-doc lab, wondering when my new boss is going to figure out I am an impostor, when my old advisor is going to revoke my PhD, and when MrDrZeek is going to pull the laundry out of the dryer (we are an equal opportunity household- I clean and do dishes, he does the laundry. I hate doing the laundry, and cooking, well we split that up).

I have no LittleDrZeeks running around, and really never plan on having them. One of my biggest pet peeves, though, is when people tell me (well, us really since MrDrZeek does have some say in the whole birthing process) that we are being selfish. Selfish, for not having children. That I, as a woman, will not be fulfilled until I have children. That my self-worth will be decided, not by how many first-author papers I have or how much really cool science I can throw down, but by how many little pups I have in tow.

Now, please, before everyone gets in arms, I have a huge amount of respect and support for women who choose to have children and a career, especially in academia where there is such a stigma and poo-pooing on having children. If you can balance a career, do incredibly awesome science, and still look hot doing it (Yes, if you are reading Dr. Isis, I mean you), more power to you. I applaud you, I respect you, I admire you. But that does not mean that I am any less of a woman because I choose not to have children. That I choose to focus on my career, on my husband, on doing the things we want to do, which, I am sorry mom and dad, does NOT include having small DrZeeks running around the house. Does this make me less of a woman? Nope. Does this make me selfish? Maybe, if MrDrZeek wasn't on board.

One of the things that I find ironic about the whole thing is that motherhood is the big white elephant in the room, that it is frowned upon by those in the "old boys club," but choosing not to have children is met with a similar sort of disbelief, shock, and almost horror. Like there is something crossed in my wiring.

Anyways, I have babbled on long enough about this, just something to think about. Now I really should be looking at some data, getting things ready for tomorrow, and maybe helping MrDrZeek fold the laundry. Tune in next time for a slightly more coherent post, maybe with some pretty pics and figures- I am after all a scientist.


Candid Engineer said...

Welcome to the blogosphere. I know many female scientists who choose not to have children. I only feel badly about this when the women think that they have to choose between the two, and give up on one of their dreams. I take no issue with women who simply do not want children. Do a lot of people give you a hard time about this?

Dr. Zeek said...

Thanks for the welcome...

Yeah, I do seem to catch a lot of flack from people (mostly women and mostly those who have children). It happens more lately, probably because I and MrDrZeek are starting to get a little older. What really bugs me is when I tell them "No, we don't want to/plan to have children" and the typical response (9 times out of 10) is "Oh you will change your mind. Give it a few years."

I agree that there is no way a woman scientist should have to choose between motherhood and science. It is a sad state (as mentioned in oh so many blogs), but now, since I have heard it so much, I just find it amusing that there is such a knee-jerk reaction to the opposite end of the spectrum of not wanting to balance career and kids, and choosing a career over kids because you want to, not because you are forced to.

Thanks again for the welcome!