Bundle Guest Blogger, Biomedical Engineer, and Mother of two.
Science is something I’ve always been drawn to. It's in my veins. And, those of you who share my passion for discovery and quest to find solutions to the unknown, know the joys I speak of. This love doesn't ebb and flow, it’s part of your being. I have such fond memories of late nights in the lab testing materials and participating in conferences to share my findings and partake in thought-provoking discussions with colleagues. It was so fulfilling and I felt like I was making a real and impactful contribution to the biomedical community. I was published and on track to get tenure in a few years. Then my biological clock came calling and I felt the tug that so many career scientists feel...do I choose a family or my career? It was a hard choice that I debated for a long time. Knowing that I couldn't manage both given the lack of care options at academic institutions and conferences, and not to mention the cost for care on a researcher’s salary, I chose family and was led down a different path.
Being out of the academia and research circles for over a decade I assumed that times had changed and scientists were afforded more options as they entered into the modern workforce. Alas, I was disheartened to read in Nature last month that the same challenges I faced over 10 years ago still remain today. Back in 2010, there were not a lot of viable options for last minute care, but today there are high-quality services, like Bundle, that offer trusted care when working parents need it most. So my parent-scientist friends don't get lost in the tug-of-war you may have with child care, instead I challenge you to seek out STEM positions that offer you a care advantage and provide you balance for both your love of family and science.