It's my pleasure to join Astronomum in contributing to this blog - and I thank her for the kind introduction she wrote! Over the years I have been involved in many outreach programs, especially some dedicated to encourage girls to consider scientific careers, but lately if you ask me how the status of women in science will be improved, my view has changed slightly. I still believe that these education programs are important and can make a difference, but more and more I think that the best thing I can do "for the cause" is work hard, and be a succesfull astronomom. In all modesty, I hope that I can be a positive role model and show by the way I manage to both be a decent mother and scientist that this is a path that every woman could consider for herself, if she chooses to. If my stories here can help or encourage anyone, or even just entertain, then this would be a small step in the right direction (and for my own benefit, this will give me the chance to vent some of the frustrations encountered along this road, because let's be honest, it's not always a smooth ride!)
So you already know the basics about me. I'm a postdoc in astronomy with a 3.5 year old son (let's call him Chatton - i.e. "Kitten" in french, one of my many nicknames for him). Boyfriend is also a scientist, so as so many other women out there I'm juggling career and family life, with the infamous "two-body" academic problem looming over me. I will write again soon - I have four years worth of "astronomom" stories to share, after all! But now it's time to get back to work. I'm trying to catch up after a week that reminded me of the challenges of wearing both the mom and the scientist hat: as Boyfriend was at a conference and Chatton on "fall break" from kindergarden, I experienced both being a single mother and a stay-at-home mom, with a couple of papers to write and the application deadlines of this year's job hunting season on the horizon... but more on all of that soon!