Monday, August 18, 2003

Tick, Tick, Tick

Last night on Sixty Minutes, one segment, The Biological Clock, discussed the findings of Sylvia Ann Hewlett, author of "Creating a Life." Hewlett found that many women with incomes of $55,000 were putting off having kids until it was too late. These women wanted to use their twenties and thirties to pursue their career never thinking that their eggs were being depleted every month.

Like those women, I put off having kids, but by the mid 30s, I knew it was time to get to work on that project. My problem was unlike the women interviewed on 60 Minutes, I was never able to get the career going. I didn't finish my diss until my mid 30s. My annual social security statements from the government are embarrassing. The few years that I did work full time, I chose professions that pay squat -- publishing, teaching, museum assistance. Like I have said before, I have a real talent for under achievement in the salary arena.

After I graduated, I had one small kid and plans for another. I didn't think that an assistant professor salary ($35,000)would cover all the child care and assistance I would require. And I have deep ambivalence about the range of child care options. So I put off plans for a full time job for another couple of years. They may never let me back in the ivory tower. I may be relegated to the off-white garage out back.

But Donatella Versace thinks that mixing kids and work is no big problem. Stop whining, darling.

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