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Bowdoin Books

Professor Mommy: 
Finding Work-Family Balance in Academia
by Rachel Connelly and Kristen Ghodsee

Professor MommyProfessor Mommy is a guide for women who want to combine the life of the mind with the joys of motherhood. The book provides practical suggestions gleaned from the experiences of the authors, together with those of other women who have successfully combined parenting with professorships. Professor Mommy addresses key questions—when to have children and how many to have; what kinds of academic institutions are the most family friendly; how true or not true are the beliefs that many people hold about academic life, and so on—for women throughout all stages of their academic careers, from graduate school through full professor. The authors follow the demands of motherhood all the way from infancy to the teenage years. At each stage, the authors offer invaluable advice and tested strategies for juggling the demands and achieving the rewards of an academic career and motherhood.

Written in clear, jargon-free prose, the book is accessible to women in all disciplines, with concise chapters for the time-constrained academic. The book's conversational tone is supplemented with a review of the most current scholarship on work/family balance and a survey of emerging family-friendly practices at U.S. colleges and universities. Professor Mommy asserts that the faculty mother has become and will remain a permanent fixture on the landscape of the American academy.

Read an excerpt on Inside Higher Ed

About the Book


"Bowdoin faculty members Connelly and Ghodsee are mothers who've struggled with the challenges of research, teaching, publishing, and caring for children in defiance of the conventional wisdom that women in academia have to choose between family and career. They devote an entire chapter to debunking the myths that discourage many women from pursuing tenure during their most fertile reproductive years. Drawing on their experiences and on surveys of and interviews with a variety of women in academia, they first review the decision to have an academic career and the decision to have children, including how many and when to have them. They proceed with a detailed chronology of the tenure track, a comprehensive guide, and unwavering encouragement. They are frank about sacrifices and challenges encountered during graduate study and the PhD dissertation, and they detail the hurdles presented by low salaries, undesirable work locations, and long working hours. But they also note the rewards of both academic life and motherhood. Women interested in careers in academia should appreciate this helpful, encouraging resource."— Booklist 

» Rachel Connelly's faculty page
» Kristen Ghodsee's faculty page 

Media Coverage

» Inside Higher Education - The Value of Self Promotion
» Science Career Magazine - How to Promote Your Work (And Your Career)

Book details

Cloth 1-4422-0858-9 / 978-1-4422-0858-2; Electronic 1-4422-0860-0 / 978-1-4422-0860-5

Purchase the book

» Rowman & Littlefield
» Amazon
» Barnes & Noble

Kindle version available!