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Tuesday, March 08, 2005



First, I'm sorry about the multiples envy thing. I started posting on your blog and THEN realized that maybe it was tacky (the whole issue of the formerly infertile), but it was sort of too late and I didn't want to draw attention to my tackiness by mentioning it and....anyway.

And second, what you write about not having a trustworthy mentor just hit me in the gut. Now maybe that's because I have an advisor who just informed me last fall that, rather than going ahead and writing the three chapters for the re-worked dissertation and then getting to work on the other two and finishing the damn thing, I should write an entirely new proposal first. Because that suits my interests best. Maybe it's because after ten years, I still don't think he listens when I talk about my subject. Maybe it's because every historian I know, from programs across the country, can talk intelligently and precisely about the causes for miserable morale in the field. But damn, are you correct: the mentors are missing. The people with whom it's okay to risk failure are conspicuously absent.

And I'm very sorry about the tears in the bathroom. I think I would be crying after the encounter you describe, and I wouldn't be dealing with pregnancy hormones. Never underestimate the pregnancy hormones, eh?

By the way, I never read Leach, she was the one major gap in my research. What's her particular freak-out?


My mother died a few years before I became a mother, and it is hard. I don't know if this is what is going on for you. I missed her because she wasn't here anymore, and I realized in a more real way what being a mother was, and I also realized how her somewhat serious mental health issues (can't think of what else to call this) must have affected my developing view of the world. It makes me sad.


my "chick in academia" low point was sobbing on the phone to another faculty member during my first year as a faculty member. A stupid administrative committee that was reviewing a protocol had rejected my proposal because I hadn't filled int the blanks the way they wanted me to. This meant my research program couldn't really start. I was about 10 weeks pregnant at the time. It's hard. And it's hard being with people who deal differently. Most of the time, we manage to be one of the boys. But it's damn hard when you're pregnant. There's only one solution -- there have to be more of us.



I hate to tell you this, but the "tears in the bathroom" thing = pregnancy. Which doesn't make it not real, by the way. The things that upset you don't change; your ability to ignore them does.

It doesn't entirely go away, by the way. Having kids makes it harder to ignore a lot of things. On balance, I think this is a damn good thing.

Emma Grahame

Dr B. is so right -- you may find that all kinds of things become unbearable now, from episodes of cop shows to the evening news, from conversations about child abuse to soppy stories. And while you are pregnant is the worst. Emma, you might find yourself crying about all sorts of things you didn't know you needed to cry about. It can be a good thing, if not exactly enjoyable.

And I always get teary reading Leach -- partly because she seems to have such sympathy and warmth. I always put that book down resolving (again!) to be a better, more patient and forgiving parent, which was her intent I'm sure. And my eldest is 17!

Emma also Jane.


Holy shit. I sobbed for 5 minutes after reading an article about the best hamburgers in NYC. I don't even eat hamburgers.

I can't even imagine having all those other stresses that would cause you to cry over something actually real.

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