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post #261 of 409
Quote:
Originally Posted by rock_dr View Post

I am starting a faculty mom's group at school. I'm so tired of feeling isolated. Do any of you guys have such a thing - formal or informal? If you do, or wish you did, what kinds of things would you look for in a group like that? Mostly I'm looking for social networking and support, but then I start thinking like an activist too...
Well, I tried this about 3 years ago. I had met maybe 3 other faculty moms in LLL groups so I started with them to see if there was any interest in putting a group together. They shared with me the names of other moms in their departments or colleges. I believe I also got a distribution list of the faculty women's caucus-- only a portion of those people were moms of course. Anyway I sent out e-mails saying what I wanted to do. I believe I got about 20 responses back saying people were interested-- this was out of probably 100 addresses I had. Several of those said they thought it was a good idea but weren't interested in participating at the time. Most people who were interested said they would like to get together during the work day, i.e. not interested in play groups or family activities on weekends. So we started with just a monthly lunch. This probably lasted for a year, and sadly the numbers just dwindled to about 3 of us "core" people. The good news is however that those moms are now good friends of mine and we get together and get our kids together pretty frequently. I was pretty disappointed that this did not work out, but I know people are busy and not everyone is interested in getting together with other working moms. I am thinking of trying something like this again, but not making it just faculty moms, but rather working moms. I now feel like I have connections with a variety of working moms and I've been thinking of sending something out to see if people want to do meetings, play groups, activities, etc.
post #262 of 409
Quote:
Originally Posted by rock_dr View Post
I am starting a faculty mom's group at school. I'm so tired of feeling isolated. Do any of you guys have such a thing - formal or informal? If you do, or wish you did, what kinds of things would you look for in a group like that? Mostly I'm looking for social networking and support, but then I start thinking like an activist too...

That sounds like a great idea, but also a lot of work.

I felt SO isolated with my first dd. And somehow when my second dd was born I knew what I had to do: I organized a weekly playdate with 2 acquaintances, rotating among the houses. I found it better to just find a small group with whom I can chat than to find a big group.

As I'm typing this I realize I also have a second play group: we share a summer CSA share with kaybee's family and another academic family. We all gather weekly to split the share.

Between the two playgroups (which unfortunately usually occur on the same day : ), we seem to have lots of parent friends. But the key was to throw out the invite and just make time for it.

So anyhow...although the formal thing sounds like a very cool idea, to me it also sounds like a lot of work to take on yourself. Can you reach out to one or two people who have kids and get the ball rolling? Or maybe find a class (like a music class or a swim lesson class) to take your dd to where you might meet other parents?
post #263 of 409
yeah, I realize I'm in danger of signing up for more than I have time/energy to deal with. At this point I'm willing to set up a first meeting and just see who shows up. The women's center on campus is helping out. I've just had such a tough time finding mom friends - I've tried la leche league, a local baby wearing group, and a local working mom's group... and still it's been so difficult to find anyone I can relate to! of course, ella is only 2.5 months old at this point, so maybe it just takes more time than I've given it. And maybe I just have to wait till AGU to meet with other geo mamas
(I submitted an abstract so am committed now!)
post #264 of 409
Quote:
Originally Posted by rock_dr View Post
And maybe I just have to wait till AGU to meet with other geo mamas (I submitted an abstract so am committed now!)

I'm on the fence, on the agenda for discussing with advisor tomorrow (I'm still ABD). But if you bring dd to the meeting, for sure you'll meet some other parents.
post #265 of 409
Hi all I just wanted to update you to let you know that I've taken a leave of absence from grad school this semester and will do so again next semester while I figure out what exactly I want to do with my diss. Next fall I will be eligible for tuition reimbursement at my job and I should have a clearer sense of what I want to do. I feel like my choice is to either change my topic or withdraw from the program. We'll see what happens.

Thanks for your advice!
post #266 of 409
Quote:
Originally Posted by rock_dr View Post
And maybe I just have to wait till AGU to meet with other geo mamas
(I submitted an abstract so am committed now!)
Eeeek, you're ahead of the game! Are you what, abstract #52? My goal is to get in under 9000 this year.

I'll be there, but my kids will be at my parents' house. I'll be staying there and take the train into the city, so I'd be up for lunch! I've notices that slings, strollers, and backpacks are pretty common at AGU now.

On mom's groups: I've really struggled finding a "tribe." I'm slowly finding a few jr faculty with kids. We're now a group of 3. There's a pretty active jr faculty group here, organized by a woman in this dept, but it's dominated by single people. As I find people with kids I invite them to join. It's a tiny thing, but it does help me feel as though I'm not totally alone in my quest for tenure while parenting.

There's a "working mother's support group" on campus that I tend to avoid. It's not just for faculty, and it's dominated by staff. While there's nothing wrong with that, I'm finding that I'm really out of place. Also, the parenting styles there have me even more an outsider.
post #267 of 409
Hello again, all.
Just a quick "HI" since the semester has started anew.

If there were an oncampus moms' group I would be particularly interested in ways to get together outside of work hours, particularly before or after dinner time, really anytime from 5 to 8. Weekend activities would also be nice.

Right now there is one other junior faculty who has a toddler similar aged to my son. We get together for a playdate every tuesday after work, alternating between her home and my own. It's very informal, low key, no frills. I love it.

Perfectly in line with Murphy's law my toddler has gotten sick on the eve of the first day of classes, so I'm at home after taking him to see the doc. He is in the crib fighting his much needed nap.

I'll miss the summer and the extra hours to be with him, but I think the fall will be great. It will be cooler out soon and he and I can go out longer and more comfortably to the surrounding parks.

I just hope he gets less illnesses this fall/winter. Last year was so rough.

Do you guys ever marvel at how clueless some of the other faculty can be about what life is like with kids?
post #268 of 409
Flydale and Rock DR:

I just submitted my third year review last year.

I remember wondering whether to include the baby thing in my letter...and pretty sure I opted to out it...it just was not relevant. My record was strong, my research strong, there were no holes in productivity to explain.

I remember in my one section on teaching, I mentioned it b/c it was relevant to the fact that I had a very light course load for two semesters.

So I guess I only mentioned it if/when it was relevant to the record/work I was reporting.

If you are in a small dept, even if you're not...the tenured faculty are very likely to have this in mind anyway; and they might even mention it sort of in passing as they discuss your portfolio. Example "I notice Dr X only taught one class in the Spring" "Oh, remember, she was on FMLA...." But better to just inert it yourself if it's relevant to explain a gap. If not, I would not include it.
post #269 of 409
Rock Doc, I put it in a footnote that referenced by teaching schedule. In the end, the overload would have looked pretty weird without any explanation. On the academic mom's group front, I'd really like one since its a small town and the only parent's group is one that is not conducive at all to working folk and all my dear friends seem committed to not having kids. So while there seem to be many babies around, the parents I don't seem to naturally fall into the same circles. I would certainly appreciate a more formal group ... so let me know how it goes... you may inspire me to do the same.

Sleepymama, welcome east, and I'm so glad the transition sounds like its been a good one.

Ana_Isabel, I hear ya on the Murphy's front. My little one has decided to go from sleeping decent chunks to waking every two hours (something he has NEVER done) right as classes start :

of course I think that could be a result of me being around less. Could he be trying to make up for that time at night? or I could just think that because I'm going through some major mama guilt now. with dd I was a grad student and had way more time to spend with her for way longer. ds now is only 6 months and I feel awful that I am gone for chunks at a time. Anybody else having a hard time leaving your lo at the beginning of the term?
post #270 of 409
Flydale

Ugh..so sorry about the suddenly sleepless nights.

It is NOT because you are around less. Oy...Mom guilt really "sucks" to put it technically.

Our babies/toddlers are so sensitive, they know when there is any change in routine, so that is bound to manifest itself in some way, particularly sleep.

Actually I bet it's a dreaded Murhpy Law coincidence.

This summer I got to spend tons of extra time with Diego, not going in to work until 11am; but he remained clingy as ever. I think most of it is their temperment, largely unruffled and unmodified by our working schedules. He is just my Mr Clingy. Mama's boy.

Well I'm home from work again today, poor kid still has a fever. He's napping now...so here I find myself in cyberspace.
post #271 of 409

Thank you

I just wanted to thank all of you professor moms who helped me with my email to the faculty about maternity leave course coverage. With a *little* extra help from the dept chair, I have pretty much Oct 1 through Thanksgiving break covered. There are 2 days in each course which are TBD, but I think I'll just give the students a break, as I am showing them 2-3 films in September (evenings). For Health Psych, we're also going to get together and cook a dinner, if I can scrounge up some funding.

Thank you so much for being a supportive group. I really appreciate it.

Best of luck with your courses (and research!) this semester.

ASusan
post #272 of 409

Nursing between classes

Hello all, kalamazoomom suggested I post this here, maybe some of you can offer advice. X-post from Lactivism:

[I am going back to work next week as a professor at a private university in NY. I requested my employer a place to nurse my son between my morning classes if the need arises since he is not fond of the bottle and just while we transition to this new stage. The response I got was disheartening, basically I was told I could nurse him in one of the "nicest" ladies room in the building and that I could drag a "nice" chair in from the adjacent office.

I think this suggestion comes more from a place of ignorance rather than malice, but I would still appreciate any suggestions on how to respond to them in a way that educates them on breastfeeding. I am afraid I will be labeled difficult because of my insistence on being provided a decent place to nurse but at the same time I'm not afraid of demanding my rigths.]

More background: My office is in a different building from where I teach and too far to make it back in the 15 minutes I have between classes. And the bathroom response came from the associate dean for the college.
post #273 of 409
Quote:
Originally Posted by historymama View Post

[I am going back to work next week as a professor at a private university in NY. I requested my employer a place to nurse my son between my morning classes if the need arises since he is not fond of the bottle and just while we transition to this new stage. The response I got was disheartening, basically I was told I could nurse him in one of the "nicest" ladies room in the building and that I could drag a "nice" chair in from the adjacent office.

I think this suggestion comes more from a place of ignorance rather than malice, but I would still appreciate any suggestions on how to respond to them in a way that educates them on breastfeeding. I am afraid I will be labeled difficult because of my insistence on being provided a decent place to nurse but at the same time I'm not afraid of demanding my rigths.]

More background: My office is in a different building from where I teach and too far to make it back in the 15 minutes I have between classes. And the bathroom response came from the associate dean for the college.
I pumped for about a year and a half at the college where I teach. I pumped in the bathroom for the first month until I grew more confident and asked to pump in the office I share with another faculty member. (I should have done this from the beginning.) In general, I found that most people were accomodating, just not experienced with it, since we have so few younger women on campus. I agree it's probably more ignorance than malice.

It could be that the assoc. dean just doesn't have any creative idea of where you could pump in private. Perhaps you could do the legwork on this and propose an idea. Have you scoped out possible locations in the building where you teach? Is there a faculty lounge there? Offices? A nurse's office? (After my experience, the next pumping faculty mom was given private time in the health center.) Maybe if you take a look there and see what options you might have, you could bring specific suggestions to the dean. If there don't seem to be any options, maybe you could ask him/her to see if there are any faculty members who won't be in their offices when you plan to nurse and if they could donate their space for that small amount of time.

I'm sure others will have suggestions, too. Good luck!
post #274 of 409
susan: that's awesome you have it covered!


on where to nurse/pump/whatever:
The first thing is to find a place. In order to do that I would scope it out -- is there a department with offices in the building? I often pumped in the conference room. I knew no one was in there (especially over break) so I just locked the door and had a spot. Is there a friendly secretary in one of those buildings?

Can the HR folks help you out? More people work at a university than just the faculty. Sometimes there can be helpful people in human resources who help others with this sort of situation.

Aside from the obvious: a spot to sit -- do you need much else to nurse your son? If my hubby brought Leah to work for me to nurse we just sat outside the room I worked in on the couch. I didn't need much.



I would find a way to make something work and then after you're done approach the dean about making it easier for future faculty members.
post #275 of 409
I'm gathering from the breastfeeding thread that the issue is distractions for the baby, so a quiet place is needed. Sitting out on in the hall won't work.

I'd scope out a spot on your own in the building. If it needs to be cleared with someone, then just ask say "I'd like to use XX room to nurse my child from 10:30-10:45 MWF. May I have a key?" That way you take the initiative to find the spot that fits your needs. Seriously, very few people understand the need to find some place to nurse or pump. Sometimes it's just easier to do the ground work and lay it out instead of asking for someone else to find the spot.

I'd be interested to hear the solution you find. Good luck!
post #276 of 409
Historymama. how close is the building you are teaching in to the library? Would it be possible to go over there and either find a quiet spot, or maybe even use a group study room if one is available?
post #277 of 409
These are all great suggestions. I'll definately do the legwork of finding out a spot and then bring the ideas to the dean. The library idea is good but is just too far, it is a big campus with ample green space between buildings. This is a Catholic university, just breaking into hiring young women so it is not surprising that I got this response. I guess it was naive of me to think that they would come up with a suitable option since they know the building and its space better than anyone (illustrated by the fact that she could point out the "nicest" bathroom in the building: )
post #278 of 409
History Mama:

Where is baby while you are teaching, I'm confused? You only have 15 minutes between classes, but where is baby in the meantime? Are you wearing him while you teach?

I think the response you got was way better than you'd get in most places. I think at my university theyd' be like "Um...you have your own office; just bf baby before and after your classes"; and I think my assoc. dean would just blush at the mere mention of "breast" in breastfeeding.

I love the idea of talking to "local staff" to see if they know of little rooms that are not in use. however real estate in most universities is precious, and most rooms do tend to be booked, and you risk being walked in on.

I think that even in the most ideal progressive university this would be a problem. Even if a campus had a powerful moms group and they had a special nursing mama's room on campus...there would still be those moms who taught too far away from that room. I dont' think it's malice either, or ignorance...just the real estate reality of universities; there is not likely to be a small cozy private room available at every corner. I know I have to move mountains to reserve rooms for my research and our departmental colloquia.

Def. talk to the staff and let us know if they come up with creative ideas.
post #279 of 409
ivette - were you able to find a place to pump?

question for you all. Can I do this? I could post in breastfeeding or life with a babe, but some of you know best what I mean by fieldwork…

I really need to do some fieldwork this fall with 2 students and 2 oil company reps (who are funding us) in a very remote part of utah. Fieldwork is not so much hiking but cliff-scaling, or scrambling across unstable rocky slopes, and usually it’s very hot without much shade. Bringing ella (currently 3 months old) into the field during the day is just not an option. The only way I can think to swing it is get a hotel in town and pay someone to come down with us (or maybe dh can take some time off). Staying in a hotel adds up to 2 hours to our commute time and thus shortens the field day. But the main thing is, how do I feed her?! How awkward is it to try and find a shrub or rock to hide behind every 2-3 hours for 20 minutes or so to pump, carrying an ice pack in my backpack?! Remember these are industry reps with us, not just my students. Or should I try to somehow go all day (9-10 hours) without pumping, and just try to build up a bank before we go and feed her in the am and pm as soon as we get back?? I really don’t want to endanger our bf relationship – we have a good routine now with the right supply, no plugged ducts or mastitis so far. I don’t want to push my luck but b/c this involves our funding I feel like I need to find a way. wwyd?

ps - faculty moms group is in the works but not meeting until end of the month. turns out to be complicated when you get other entities involved.
post #280 of 409
Rock Dr, my first thought is there any way you could postpone the trip?

How many days will you need to be there?

I would *not* recommend not pumping during the day. I think you'll be uncomfortable, not to mention risking mastitis. And I do think it would be likely to jeopardize your supply long term.

If you didn't stay in the hotel would you be camping? Any chance your DH or someone could be persuaded to come with you and camp at some nicer kind of campground in the area?

I'm thinking I would lean toward taking a manual pump and a cooler with ice packs in your backpack.
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