Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Two is hard

Well it's been a long time, and I hate blogs that are just lists of excuses, but I have to say two kids is hard... much harder than one! I'm also loosing interest in anonymous blogging - I find it actually reduces what I can say as I don't want to give too much away. And every (female) astronomer I've met knows who I am anyway so it seems a bit pointless! So I'm not sure where this blog is going in the future, if anywhere......

Anyway enough of that, here's a update:

First the good news - after a wonderful 6 months maternity leave I'm back at work and getting busy with several exciting projects. I can confirm (anecdotally) the increase in productivity pregnant women have second time round - I have 4 (first author) papers published in the last year. I won another grant for 2 more years funding, so I got a promotion and a payrise (still a postdoc, but now a better paid one!). All this makes things look a whole lot rosier.

More good news - despite a slightly bumpy ride, and the annoyance that the new baby can't go to the same nursery as my older daughter the childcare situation is pretty good. The baby is within walking distance, so instead of the mammoth pumping I did for my first baby I just wander over there at lunchtime to nurse. I have been able to get away with no trips away from him yet (and he's 10 months old) with the help of my wonderful husband and parents who have come with me and the baby on a couple of trips I couldn't get out of. Oh and my new grant allows me to claim childcare for conferences, so we have a couple of big trips planned bringing both kids with us (last year for that before my daughter starts school in September - how time flies!).

And the bad you probably know. Funding for astronomy is decreasing or flat. No-one has jobs. I have two years, but my husband's postdoc officially ends this summer. I've been a postdoc for 5 1/2 years so the clock is ticking pretty loudly on my career. Yada yada. The only advice is to try to wait it out - funny thing is it just seems to keep getting worse.....

So the only solution is good research. With that I'v got to get on with work. An exciting paper in the draft phase - my favourite part of research. :)

Oh and Merry Christmas!

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