My post-PhD identity crisis, #motherscholar edition

I am making a few notes here now that I hope to turn into a longer post later. As I scrolled Twitter and read there what some colleagues have been working on, I started to feel my current post-PhD existential crisis take a new and unexpected shape: the shape of wishing I knew a way to stay in academia.

Here are the things that have kept me from pursuing an academic career after graduation:

  • watching tenure-track colleagues be miserable
  • lack of mobility (it would be very challenging to find a position, even tenure-track, that would be worth uprooting my family for, and I refuse to live apart from my family)
  • being a mother (I also refuse to prioritize career over family)
  • being chronically ill/variably disabled (I also refuse to prioritize career over health)

Here are the things that today appeal to me about academia:

  • pursuing a research agenda that I design

That’s actually about it, and as a freelance academic/independent researcher, I can probably work out a way to do that but today it feels like it’s in conflict with everything else I’ve got going on.

Which is why I’m going to dive into the #motherscholar literature.

More on that later.

Kimberly Hirsh, PhD @kimberlyhirsh