I was finishing up my PhD when my daughter Emma was born. Many of her early days were spent strapped to my chest while I typed the final draft of my dissertation, bouncing up and down on one of those big exercise balls to keep her happy.
My peers and advisors could see the logic of working the few meetings I had left to attend around a newborn, but they were very surprised when I chose to stay home after graduation. And I understand. My life is very different than it would be if I continued along the academic route. I change dirty diapers and clean up messes instead of getting papers published and attending conferences. I also get smothered in hugs and kisses instead of writing up research in a lonely office, and I read beautifully illustrated children’s stories instead of sitting in long faculty meetings.
I wouldn’t have it any other way.