Hi just found this thread and its very interesting for me!
Namaste_mom: WOW! It is inspiring to hear that others have done it. I feel so much joy when my fellow grad-mom friend actually get their degrees, and then when they get tenure track jobs- makes me feel like I *can* do it and its not hopeless.
I am in the final months of writing my dissertation. I had 2 kids while in grad school who are now 6 and 2. (#1 born my first quarter, #2 a month after my quals). And I am pregnant with #3- unplanned and conceived while using birth control. And talk about no money, its very stressful! I can't really afford any daycare and I am using family for help right now while I finish. I am at the end of support time so I have zero income and January, unless I can convince my program to pay me fees for winter quarter, I will also have to start repaying loans. DH works but doesn't make enough for us to live on his one income. We are currently eligible for some forms of public assistance (food stamps, WIC, medicaid for me).
I also do not know IRL any female professors with more than 2 kids. Actually, I know very few with even that many! I know one male professor who had a second marriage and third kid, but his other two were young adults already.
I know two other PhD mamas with more than two- one had 4, one had 3. Neither of them have gotten tenure track jobs yet, though they both did complete their degrees. There were quite a few mormon grad students at my campus, but they all are men with a SAHW... but that is another story all together and many of them were professional students, or were planning to move back to Utah where big families are seen as a positive.
So, this wasn't a decision I actually made, and I have no words of wisdom about it. But it is the situation I am finding myself in. If/when I get a job- not so sure a thing in the current economy/job market- I am worried about how to balance three kids and academic work, though I partly made the career switch into academics b/c my previous job was totally unbalanced and I could never see how I was going to have the family life I wanted. I am also worried about how people perceive me in the academic workplace. I am not even going on the job market this winter (baby due Oct 24 and I am aiming to defend in late Feb/Early March)... I do however plan to apply for post-docs. But I wonder does this sort of thing come up in the interview process? And in terms of how I am perceived if/when I get get a job? I have definitely felt that some (not all, but some) professors and fellow grad students don't take me as "seriously" b/c I have children (though people were to pc/progressive to say much to my face).