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On Choosing Children

Courtesy of Stephanie Mohr It's happened again: One of my colleagues in the lab has announced she's pregnant. As a postdoc, I've based most of my life decisions on what's best for my education and career. So far, starting a family has not factored into the equation. Most of the time this seems right: I worked very hard to become a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology at Harvard University. I am proud of the accomplishment. Why not continue on that path? And

Stephanie Mohr
Courtesy of Stephanie Mohr

It's happened again: One of my colleagues in the lab has announced she's pregnant. As a postdoc, I've based most of my life decisions on what's best for my education and career. So far, starting a family has not factored into the equation. Most of the time this seems right: I worked very hard to become a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology at Harvard University. I am proud of the accomplishment. Why not continue on that path?

And then, another pregnancy.

As a postdoc and a woman, I face a contradiction between rational thinking and a ticking clock. I decide to put science ahead of starting a family, and go home and tear my hair out because my colleague believes she can have both. One moment I'm staring at ultrasound photos and marveling at the developmental biology experiment in my colleague's...

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