Thursday, 13 February 2014

Day 35: Working Moms Dinner + Yet another Snow Day!

What went well? 

  1. Class got cancelled today due to snow (yes, again) but the guest speaker got rescheduled so it was ok. Plus, I'm glad it wasn't Intro Buddhism or Sociology of Education that got cancelled - I would have been very sad to miss those awesome classes again!!
  2. Got heaps of research done. Am starting to see some trends in the way "mindfulness" has been used historically. Earlier usages (16th-18th centuries) were primary in a Christian context, to do with ideas about awareness or memory (especially of God or his qualities), whereas in the Western psychological literature, the earliest usage was around the start of the 20th century, and uses were quite divergent in the first 80 or so years. Watch this space.
  3. Went to a Stouffer event, a Working Moms dinner, where we had a conversation with four women working at Stouffer who are also mothers. It was really interesting and actually pretty enlightening. My key takeaways were:
    1. There is never a perfect time to have a child. They will turn your life upside down regardless of when it happens.
    2. What you think you want now may not be what you want in a few years' time. Keep an open mind and be creative with career possibilities.
    3. There is no one solution for balancing your career with your family. It all depends on your personality and your unique situation including variables like the presence of family members, the supportiveness of your partner, whether your career is one where you can take a break, and your financial circumstances.
    4. We should be talking about these issues, we shouldn't be afraid to mention that we have children (for fear of not being taken as seriously by other academics etc.), and if we have the power, we should be actively creating supportive workplaces if we want to change the culture and the structures.
    5. A supportive partner is key.
    6. There may be "seasons" where you focus on building your career, where your partner makes sacrifices for your career, where you make sacrifices for your partner's career, where you both make sacrifices for your family.

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