Hi everyone! Thanks for starting this thread!
I am in year one on the TT, at a new university. I already had 3 years at another institute (also TT), and was there when I had my son in late 2003.
Re. stopping the tenure clock: This was a new option at my previous job, and I was the first person to apply for it. We did have the ability to go up early if our progress was good. I think the flexiblity is worth it, and I definitely had a hard time getting my labwork going, plus teaching during that first year back. I was also offered time towards tenure at my current position (going up at 4 vs. 6 years), and I declined because of my child (and hoping for another, we're currently TTC). Several faculty did not understand this AT all, but that's OK. Perhaps I should not have been so open.
Here are a few other things that have come up for me:
-recruiting for other positions. There is a huge expectation at both my jobs that people will be available for entertaining candidates. I tried a couple of dinners when I had no chance to meet during the day, and these were disasters for my husband! So- now I'm the first to sign up for B-fast or lunch so that I can still fulfill my obligations.
-course scheduling: I second the longer classes, fewer days option. I have had schedules where I was teaching EVERY day, and this about killed me with prep at night. I also think getting help for the grading (if this is an option) can be great for the easy to grade papers. We can apply for student assistance for this here. I am at a high teaching load but still significant research expectations institute (non-research I) and I've been absolutely buried with papers at times.
-timing of the birth of the next baby. This can't always be planed obviously
, but we are on the quarter system here, and I really want to have the next baby in March/April so that I have both Spring quarter and Summer quarter off. I am on a 9 mo. contract, so this works. We'll see though, as much control as I'd like to have- life often has other plans!
Congrats on the jobs everyone- I am getting tired of hoop-jumping, and hope that this is the last of it!