I've been lurking for at least a year now. I just need to vent to sympathetic eyes who won't judge.
I'm an untenured asst prof in the SUNY system whose program is closing. I have two year old twins, and husband dissertating and most likely ending his 6 month contract with the local AF research lab without renewal (unless he get a grant). When we moved to NY last year to start my second academic job (the last place closed their program too), we broke the bank with the move and trying to sell our house on the other side of the country - and of course the market crashed so we still own it. We are just getting back on our feet and the job situation is causing me a lot of distress. That and the end of the semester.
I'm back on the market, he's on the market. We have no idea where we will be next year or how we will pay the bills in January. The idea of moving with three year olds is not my idea of a good time, not to mention the money it takes to move. I'm frustrated because I can't seem to keep a job. The department I'm in now is supportive of me but the administration is not because they are trying to get rid of my colleague and closing the department with the budget issues is an easy out (the real reason is much worse), and regardless my husband's field is small and not in this area.
I love my kids and my husband and my job, but I'm stressed and it is taking it's toll on me and my family. A friend of mine who called right after I had to deal with a major toddler meltdown about changing a diaper accused me of not liking being a parent and I can't seem to shake it. She just has no idea of how much pressure it is to be untenured in a dual academic family in this job market. I think part of it is that i feel guilty of the kids being in daycare and the fact that I, like the rest of you, work a lot.
I wish I could find a better balance for my self as well as everyone else, but I'm the main breadwinner and don't have a choice. The hubby gets it, but the non-academic friends don't. Thanks for listening and letting me vent.
HUGS. I am on the market for the first time; DH is specialized academic support staff in my field (which, thank goodness, is easier than complete dual career.) It is exhausting and emotionally draining. I am so sorry you are going through it again, and so soon.
I talked to a mentor about this just the other day, and she confirmed that even without a partner and children, it's a highly stressful process, but with them, it's insane. Hang in there. Of course you don't sound completely thrilled to be parenting at every moment right now. No matter how much you love your kids, having them adds significant extra pressure to an already incredibly pressurized experience. The fact that you didn't seem overjoyed about parenting three year olds in a moment of added stress is NOT a big deal.
Of course, we all know that three year olds are sunshine and roses 100% of the time if you aren't otherwise stressed.
My post-doc is running out in August. Am madly stressed applying for more grants/post-docs + TT positions . . . all of which seem to be due between now and the first week of January. Two colleagues basically agree that my first draft of my grant application sucks, I found out last night that one of my recommenders didn't get the letter of recommendation in on time, and I'm wondering if I'll ever get my career off the ground.
On the positive side, DH has a good, well-paying, relatively stable job he enjoys. The downside of that, of course, is that we basically need to stay in this area for his job, and that limits (tremendously) my job opportunities.
All this to say, I get your stress. Not everyone will understand. They don't need to. You know what's going on in your life. You know how hard you're trying to balance everything. It's tough. You have to develop a thick skin. Hang in there.
I understand completely. I spent a year trying to transition from a research postdoc into a non-research career just so that I wouldn't face the challenges that you are. I delayed having kids until this transition was complete. This transition was a very frustrating time for me, as I was paid very little for an internship working for people with much less education than me. I understand the terror of not knowing if you will ever have a good/secure job after all of the years you put into your education. My husband is now untenured faculty, and while I miss research I'm glad that my career and hours are stable.
I understand how hard this is for you. Hang in there, it will get better. I'm sorry you're friend accused you of not enjoying parenting...does she even have kids? If so, it's hard to imagine that she doesn't feel this frustration at times. I feel it almost daily, and I don't even have twins!
I'm sorry mama that you're have so much uncertainty and stress in your life right now. I hope it gets better and more stable soon. When I was finishing my PhD while pregnant with DS I was really stressed not knowing what's next. I made a resounding choice to not stay in academia in large part due to not wanting to deal with the stress and time drain of getting tenure and moving all over for it. I wish you luck. Academia is tough and really doesn't support balance in your life. :(
First of all, as a member of an academic couple, total sympathy on the job issue. We are very lucky that one of us (dh) was able to get tenure. Of course I have had zero luck finding a job of any kind and am stuck on the adjunct track, but that's another issue.
I have to say I think your friend was really out of line. You are dealing with incredibly stressful circumstances. Many parents have bad moments. Sometimes it's a symptom of depression, but it can also just be a bad day.
That was such a hurtful thing to say and I'm sorry you had to hear that.
Being a mom can be stressful under the best of circumstances but add in job hunting and moving and the stress can skyrocket. DH landed a postdoc a little over a year ago and has to start job hunting next year. He is already stressed. *nervous laugh*
I really appreciate the support and while it sucks that others are going through the same things, or have gone through it, it's also good to know there are others who understand. We did have good news through - he committee has accepted his data for the diss and he can begin writing it up. One step close to him being done. There has also been a job that has opened only two hours from where he will most likely end up and one of my closest friends is current the "hot shit" (his words not mine) there right now, as he just started a fairly successful research center and got tenure. He is going to pull strings for me, since a number of people on the hiring committee are also on the board of his center. It's not ideal ot commute, but there is always on line classes.
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