Sunday, March 1, 2009


That is how old I am. It was my 32nd Birthday yesterday and I was feeling pretty good about it. The monkey bought me a most beautiful bouquet of flowers, and a very sweet card. Mr.SM devoted the day to me. Literally he did, made me breakfast, went with monkey and I to the local kids science museum thingy, went shopping downtown, had a nice lunch out, then came home to chill. Literally, the whole family took a nap, then we rented season two of Battlestar Galactica. We watched disc one while enjoying a nice Chilean Merlot. Mr. SM did not turn on his computer, answer his phone or look at his work all day. Monkey took such a long afternoon nap that I had to actually wake him up at 6:15pm and he went to sleep again by 9pm. I purchased a membership to the science museum thingy, it obviously tired the guy out so we will be making the trip again. Plus he LOVED it there, start screaming when we left because he did not want to leave.

Anyways I was feeling pretty good and then I saw ScienceWoman's post. We share a birthday, so she's a full 2 years younger and way ahead of me career/education wise. I normally don't care about these things, but at 32 I get tired. I want another child and sometimes I just don't know if can do this. DrDrA had a post up about the low morale in science. I left this comment in the post, which really didn't have much to say about low morale due to funding, but about balance.
I love science. I really do, but I don't love it more than my family or my life. For example, right now the monkey is sleeping and I am relaxing by watching a movie and blogging. That is my preference. Yet I feel that I should be reading papers, analyzing data etc. I don't love science enough to make those sacrifices. I want my PhD, but I want it without costing my family time or friend time. I want study while I am at school, perhaps read a paper or two in the evening, if I feel like. I want to go to bed by 10pm. I want to be able to come home and make have with my family. I want to spend my weekends doing family/house things, not going into the lab or stressing about papers.
When I read Dr.Isis, DrDrA, PiT, I think I don't want that life, but I want that job. I want to have my cake and eat it to.


Juniper Shoemaker said...


You are awesome, ScientistMother.

Cath@VWXYNot? said...

Happy birthday! You are 13 days younger than me ;)

Mrs. Spit said...

A very happy birthday.

Brigindo said...

Happy Birthday. Those sound like very reasonable requests to me. Try to remember it is the system and not you that is crazy.

Amanda@Lady Scientist said...

Happy Birthday! It sounds wonderful. :-)

I'm right there with you for the wanting the job, but maybe not the lifestyle that goes with it.

Nicky said...

Wow, I agree with everything you just said. That's what I want, too. (And you're a whopping 4 days older than me, oh wise one!) Ever since having LL, I can't stop thinking about work/life balance, and what I really want that balance to be....

Isis the Scientist said...

Happy Birthday, dear blog friend. The Isis family is wishing you a very blessed 32nd year.

And, I gotta tell ya. I have an amazing life.

chall said...

Happy Birthday!!

It is funny to realise that you are the same age as I am (although funny might not be the word) and the same thoughts.... but I do not have a child. Still think about science in terms of "life" and "friends and family" rather than work work work... but I love it for sure, I am just not sure I love it that much.

Prof-like Substance said...

Crazy. You're one day older than me and it seems like there are a lot of people in this community that are within a month of the same age. Sounds like you had a good birthday. Hang in there, you can find the right balance, even if it takes a little bit to do so.

The bean-mom said...

Happy birthday, Scientistmother!

If it makes you feel any better... you are still two years younger than me!

Tina said...

Happy Birthday. Sounds like you had a wonderful day!

I feel like you wrote what is in my head! I know how it feels to be torn between two loves, career and family. Hang in there... having your cake and eating it too is what we are all striving for.

PhizzleDizzle said...

Happy Birthday SM!!!!

I hear you. I read some of these academic life blogs and I just feel tired. I think it's totally reasonable to decide that's not what you want. And also totally reasonable to decide that it is.

Hope you had a flippin awesome day!

JLK said...

SM, first of all happy birthday!

Your post struck a nerve with me. I really, really want to be a mom. But I also really, really want to be an academic. It's not that I necessarily feel that those two things are mutually exclusive - it's more that I feel like I will have to suffer in order to have both. I will not choose a PhD over children. But I don't know how I'll feel about myself for the rest of my life if I am forced to make that decision.

Cath@VWXYNot? said...

LOL, lots of us were born incredibly close together! Must be something to do with the convergence of the Western and Chinese zodiacs, or something


I appear to be an Aquarian snake. I'm guessing you all are too - or are some of you Pisces? Anyway, here's the write-up from this site:

"Enjoying penetrating intelligence, you understand everything very quickly. Nothing escapes the glance of your mind. And yet, because of your excessive cerebralism, you tend to judge by basing yourself on theories and not on realities and to get lost in abstraction. This is to say that you're of a basically utopian nature.

You always feel the need to please and make yourself accepted because it's unbearable for you to be rejected or ill-liked. You've have much charm and sincerity, with a deliciously romantic side; but you're also elusive and unpredictable. The spirit of equity and justice is very much developed within you.

You're better made for an artistic or intellectual career than for regular jobs. Rather dilettante, you can't bear sustained efforts. Generally, you can succeed in the professional and material domain only with the support of others, notably through love or marriage.

Amorous of love, you can know numerous successes heartwise. But you often remain dissatisfied because it's not easy for you to find a person worthy of your aspirations. Your fidelity is rather shaky. But once you've found your ideal, you prove to be the most exquisite of lovers, full of charm and attentions. Generally you get married young or not at all."

Does any of that predispose us to blogging and/or science?


ScientistMother said...

You guys are all awesome! I'm so late at coming back to this post, that I can respond to every comment but I'll try!

Juniper - thanks, I really needed to hear that!

Cath - Yeah to finally being younger than someone :)

Mrs.Spit - thank you!
Brigindo - Welcome to the blog! I think this is only your second comment, hopefully you will feel inclined to leave more! Yes I do need to remember its the system, but its a system I want to be a part of, that is the problem.

Amanda - thanks, it was wonderful, geeky but wonderful

Nicky - the balance is so hard, especially because my family and friends all have 9-5 jobs, that literally stop at 5. 1) they don't understand my situation and 2) I get jealous at all the free time they have.

Dr.Isis - thanks, and I know you have an amazing life, but its a CRAZY amazing life which is what scares me.

Chall - you always make me smile.

PLS - telling me I am older than you, while you have a faculty position and child does not help me! :) Just teasing, I think I have to learn not to compare, and just do what is best for me!

The bean-mom - woo hoo some else that I am younger then!

Tina - thanks! Its nice to know I am not alone in feeling alone

JLK - I have too much to say to respond here, look for a post dedicated to you!

PD - Thanks, and I do need to remind myself that either choice is reasonable.

Cath2 - that is so awesome! I totally see myself in that description, isn't it scary! I think I am a rabbit but not sure. we need to figure out that other Interview Q answer as well!

Cath@VWXYNot? said...

Yeah, I see myself too - although they're pretty good at writing these things in such a way that most people would probably agree!

BTW, I've been telling people that I"m actually 25, but only if the 5 is superscript ;)

Mad Hatter said...

Happy Birthday! And I'm not telling you how much younger you are than I am. :P

ScienceMama said...

Belated happy birthday. It sounds like you had a great one.

I know exactly what you mean. About everything. Sigh.

drdrA said...

Hideously late, but Happy Birthday!! Life is going to take you to places you never imagined- sometimes they look shitty from the outside- sometimes they look awesome from the outside- you just can't tell how they really are until you are in them yourself!

ScientistMother said...

DrDrA - its never too late to wish someone well. Thank you for thinking of me. I totally agree about things looking one way from the outside. Really, I must look like I live the crazy life trying to be a grad student, mom, wife and woman, but I wouldn't want any other life.

Nat Blair said...

Sheesh, how'd I miss this? And though it's belated, Happy Birthday!

And I just want to say, I can empathize with a lot of what you're saying in your post. I am totally hot for the science, but at the expense of my wife and 2 kids? I don't think so. (And that's despite not having nearly the societal crap that comes from mothers and working).