astra_nomer: (Default)
The abstract deadline for the winter AAS Meeting is Wednesday. Childcare grants for attendees are due November 15.

Which brings me to this item which I caught on the radio the other day. The crux of which is that annual meetings of the American Dental Association have drop-in, on-premises daycare available for parents who attend the meeting.

Having brought the family to at least one AAS meeting with me, I know what a godsend this can be. This bit from the article summarizes it nicely:
ACCENT president Diane Lyons founded her company in 1991. Before that, she was an event planner. She says she hated leaving her kids in hotel rooms with unfamiliar baby sitters on business trips.

LYONS: People didn't want to know you brought your children. They wanted your kids somewhere else, so you could be focused -- when really, it helps a parent to focus if you know your child is being well taken care of, and they're entertained.

Then again, the AAS is a lot smaller than the ADA. And I'm willing to bet that the AAS has a smaller percentage of women, who (rightly or wrongly) are more often in charge of overseeing childcare than men. So if that $50,000 figure doesn't scale well with demand, it might be hard to convince the AAS to subsidize childcare. Still, I wonder if this sort of thing might work out economically for the AAS. You could raise conference fees or apply for an outside grant or find a corporate sponsor.

Still, it is heartening to see that accomodations for childcare is becoming more commonplace.
astra_nomer: (Default)
Last week, we shipped the kids off to my in-laws. DH and I got a bit of a chance to catch up with each other, with team building exercises like getting a several-hundred-pound bathtub out of the kids' bath and onto the curb. Oh, and there might have been a dinner and movie in there, too - my brain is a bit congested with dust resulting from the demolition of the bathroom.

Where was I?

So, on Friday, DH went off to retrieve the kids, on his own, since I am both weary of traveling and wary of sleeping arrangements at my in-laws'. I had the whole weekend to myself! In which I discovered that single, childless people have oodles of free time. I cleaned up my side of the bedroom, went grocery shopping, watched a couple of movies, worked on my paper some, hung out with a friend, and still had lots of time to play stupid computer games. I mean, I knew that having kids meant I had a lot less free time, but geez!

The family returned Sunday evening, and suddenly I felt overburdened all over again. Back to the daily grind. I love my kids and husband, and I have no regrets about getting married and having children early, but those couple days reminded me of some of what I've been missing.
astra_nomer: (Default)
I'm a bit late to this news tidbit, but there's this study that's been recently published about how working mothers fare in the job market. It seems that you can draw up the perfect resume for a woman, but if you insert a single line in it, about being a PTA officer, suddenly you don't land the interview or get the job or earn as much money as you would have otherwise. (see also.)

Relatedly, having children can be a real liability for women hoping to get tenure, whereas it seem to be an advantage for men.

Consider, also, that astronomy is small enough a field that pretty much anywhere I apply, there will be at least one person who can say, "Dr. Nomer? Yeah, I hear she has two kids." So really, there's no sense in hiding the fact that I'm a mother, even if it doesn't show up on my resume. I also wonder how much of that factors into my big, fat, and growing pile of rejection letters.

I wish I could change these things. You know, shake some people up and make them aware of their unconscious biases, maybe slap them around if they're conscious (the biases, I mean). But at the same time, I don't want to create bad feelings, because it really is such a small field and my position in it is precarious enough as it is. Raising a ruckus will probably just grant me a "shrill feminist" label, and who wants one of those in their department, spoiling the good-old-boy atmosphere? I guess I'll just have to be a quiet, bitter feminist until I get tenure, then all hell can break loose.

EDIT: You can find the study by Correll et al. here (p. 1297), but I don't have permissions to see it.
astra_nomer: (Default)
I like to read Leslie Morgan Steiner's blog at the Washington Post, called On Balance. She talks about many of the issues facing mothers these days, but primarily those of working parents. And while I don't agree with everything she says, she was spot on in her post yesterday, where she tore into a New York Times article with the headline, "Poor Behavior Is Linked to Time in Day Care". She writes,
What the New York Times did not emphasize on its front page yesterday: that the increase in problem behaviors is extremely slight, reflected in a one percent higher score on a standardized assessment of problem behaviors for each year spent in a day-care center. ... That the research showed time spent in high-quality day-care centers is correlated with wonderful results such as higher vocabulary scores through elementary school.

And her explanation for the sensationalist nature of the headline:
The Times' primary reader audience consists of elite, well-educated, wealthy men and women, people who have a choice about what kind of care their children receive. These are the moms most conflicted about day care, since guilt accompanies choices about whether to work or not.

She is so right. Enough with the guilt-trips for mothers who choose to work. Stop telling us that we are ruining our kids' lives by working oustide the home and that we should be blamed for anything bad that does happen. And to those who say, "oh, don't listen to them, you can just brush the naysayers aside," well it's pretty darn hard to do that when you face the naysayers everywhere you turn, including the front page of the New York Times.

In other news, I took my car in for a carwash yesterday morning in celebration of 80-degree weather. They even vacuumed the floors and wiped down the interior windows. Yay, sparkly car! Then I made a quick stop for coffee and a scone. And wouldn't you know it, some bird thought that my car was much too shiny and left a splat on the driver's side window. Fortunately, the weather was too nice to let that ruin my mood.


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