Being a parent and a professor is commonly talked about, among professors, as a tough combo. I do agree in principle, but I’ll just say that being a parent and trying to do anything else is the hard part! But it happens, and people make it work, and everyone survives.
But thankfully, Davidson College has a parental leave policy that allows for both maternity and paternity leave, in equal measure. I’m not sure why an employer has to pay for this to happen, since our country and community are the true beneficiaries of children that turn into productive adults, but this is the situation we find ourselves in…. It certainly is a good bonus for being an employee at Davidson, so it helps with recruitment I suppose.
I took my paternity leave this past Fall, and it’s been terrific to be with our new baby as they grow up from a newborn to an infant, and finally, to a little kid. It’s also been really important to be around and provide attention and support to the older siblings that are trying to figure out, first, WHO IS THIS BRAT, and second, WHY ARE THEY TAKING ALL MY TOYS?! It’s not unlike navigating a faculty meeting.
I want to thank my department for supporting my time away from my teaching responsibilities, and to Davidson for giving me the option to be where my family needed me most.