And, I am privileged, because it has taken me until becoming pregnant and having a baby to feel like the cards are somewhat stacked against me because of my gender. I started my PhD this September. And, transitioning into academia has been very hard simply because it is a culture in which women predominantly do not have kids. No one has done anything rude or told me I can't succeed. But, the fact that the majority of my mentors have chosen not to be mothers is daunting. I had one professor tell me out of the blue that she “doesn't know how she could do her job if she had kids.” Though I think she meant the comment in admiration of my work ethic, it did make me question if doing both is possible (while maintaining some level of sanity).
While finding myself intimidated by the prospect of walking the line between mother and academic, I have also found myself grateful for participating in a spiritual community that affirms a sense of 'calling' or 'vocation.' It is easier for me to approach life these days as a journey towards a 'call' rather than steps along the academic career. A call doesn't really have failures or 'publish or perish' threats. Maybe my call right now is simply to negotiate a way to straddle the roles of mother and academic, while making intensely personal choices about my own priorities.
In any case, having a daughter has certainly troubled my academic aspirations, but it has also ignited a desire to passionately live into my muddled calling so she knows she can follow her vocation, whatever that may be.