Susan Bassow earned a PhD from Harvard University in 1995; her disser­tation on climate change and its impacts on forests led to an American Association for the Advancement of Science Fellowship in Washington, D. C., where she worked (before and throughout her first pregnancy) for the Environmental Protection Agency and President Clinton’s White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. Currently, she serves on the Board of Trustees for the Thorne Ecological Institute, organizes science and math programs for the local elementary school, and cares full time for her daughters, ages six and nine. In a typical week, she and her family ex­plore nearby fields and ponds, hike in the mountains, feed butterflies, and promote science and math education.

Leah Bradshaw is a political theorist at Brock University in Canada. She wrote a doctoral thesis, then a book, on Hannah Arendt, to whom she re­mains indebted for Arendt’s example of how to live, love, and think. Recent work has been on the relationship between emotions and judgment, nar­rative and philosophy, classical notions of love, and empire and polis. She has three children, all of whom call her “Mom,” and one mother who insists on calling her “Doctor.”

After enjoying years of great travel while studying the evolution of a large group of South American butterflies, Dana Campbell finished her PhD from Harvard University just as her first daughter was born. Despite an attractive postdoc offer to work in the exciting new field of “evo-devo,” she chose instead to stay at home with her baby. She is still “at home” full time, now with two daughters and a bunch of interesting projects, which in­clude building an interactive animal database for kids, writing a science/ psychology activity book for parents of young children, and developing a

Web site for nontraditional academics. Dana and her family live just out­side of Washington, D. C., and spend summers in the beautiful San Juan Islands of Washington State.

Jennifer Cognard-Black’s teaching at St. Mary’s College of Maryland is akin to the multitasking she engages to be both a professor and a mother. Her courses range from fiction writing to Victorian literature to a class on the literatures of food, “Books That Cook.” Her publications include a book on female literary friendships across the Atlantic, Narrative in the Professional Age (Routledge) and a coedited collection of letters by Victorian women writers, Kindred Hands (University of Iowa Press). Under the pseu­donym J. Annie MacLeod, she also publishes short stories, and, most re­cently, she’s written an article for Ms. Magazine on plastic surgery. Jennifer is most proud of her daughter, Katharine—her truth and her light.

Nicole Cooley has published two books of poetry with Louisiana State Uni­versity Press, Resurrection (winner of the 1995 Walt Whitman Award) and The Afflicted Girls, and a novel, Judy Garland, Ginger Love (HarperCollins). Her writing on mothering has appeared in the anthologies Toddler, Liter­ary Mama: Reading for the Maternally Inclined, and Fence Books’ recent collection, Not For Mothers Only. She is an associate professor of English and creative writing at Queens College-The City University of New York, where she directs the new MFA program. She lives in New Jersey with her husband and two daughters, Meridian and Arcadia.

Martha Ellis Crone lives in Upper Arlington, Ohio, with her husband and three daughters. She was one of the first two students to earn a BPhil from the University of Pittsburgh’s Honors College and she also holds a PhD in Political Science from The Ohio State University. Currently a freelance writer and editor, she is working on her first novel, Entanglements, about a university student dealing with an unexpected pregnancy. When she’s not writing, she can usually be found driving a Nissan minivan in circles around her suburban town, picking up and dropping off progeny and lis­tening to audiobooks.

Angelica Duran is an associate professor of English and comparative liter­ature at Purdue University. Born and educated in California (University of California, Berkeley, BA and MA in English; Stanford University PhD in English), she nevertheless and thoroughly enjoys living in the U. S.

Midwest during the school year with her husband, Sean, daughter, Jacque­line, and son, Paul. In the summer, the family travels nationally and inter­nationally, most recently to Argentina, Costa Rica, Spain, Thailand, and, of course, the extended family’s center in Oaxaca, Mexico.

Rosemarie Emanuele has a PhD in economics from Boston College. There, with the assistance of a grant from the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University, she began research into volunteer labor and the economics of nonprofit organizations. She currently teaches in the mathematics depart­ment at Ursuline College in Pepper Pike, Ohio, where she can often be heard talking about economics or her daughter with equal enthusiasm. Her research has appeared in several economics journals, as well as in interdisciplinary journals studying the nonprofit sector.

Elrena Evans holds an MFA from The Pennsylvania State University and writes for numerous mama-centric publications, including a monthly col­umn for Literary Mama (http://literarymama. com). Her work also appears in the anthologies Twentysomething Essays by Twentysomething Writers (Ran­dom House) and How to Fit a Car Seat on a Camel (Seal Press). Although Pat the Bunny fits perfectly on her bookshelf next to Power/Knowledge, she still hasn’t decided about finishing the PhD. She had no complications with her second pregnancy, and lives in Pennsylvania with her husband, daughter, and son. Her Web site is http://www. elrenaevans. com.

Della Fenster submitted her dissertation in mathematics to the University of Virginia balancing her eighteen-month-old daughter, Hannah, on her hip. Hannah is now fourteen and has two younger brothers, Colin and Casey. Della is currently an associate professor of mathematics at the Uni­versity of Richmond. She enjoys teaching across the mathematics curricu­lum as well as the university core course that focuses on great literature. She also recently worked with an undergraduate student to create a travel course to Vienna. Her research has appeared in notable journals with long names, while her personal essays have found an occasional home in Skirt! Magazine. She makes an effort to strike a careful balance between dark chocolate and exercise.

Leslie Leyland Fields is the author of five books, among them Surviving the Island of Grace (Thomas Dunne) and Surprise Child: Finding Hope in Un­expected Pregnancy (Waterbrook). She lives on Kodiak Island, Alaska, with her husband and six children, and teaches creative nonfiction in Seattle Pacific University’s MFA program. Her next book, forthcoming from Water – brook, will expose ten parenting myths (out of a field of, say, fifty-seven), among them “Loving Your Child Is Natural and Instinctive” and “Parent­ing Is Intense for Only a Season.” Her two Web sites are Leslie Leyland Fields (http://www. leslie-leyland-fields. com) and Surprise Child (http:// www. surprisechild. com).

Caroline Grant spent nearly three years writing a dissertation that about seven people read (including her mom). Now she is senior editor of Liter­ary Mama (http://literarymama. com), where she also writes a monthly movie column for a broad audience (still including her mom). She holds a PhD in comparative literature from the University of California, Berkeley, and has taught at Berkeley, Stanford University, and the San Francisco Art Institute. She lives in San Francisco with her husband and two sons, a life she writes about on her blog, Food for Thought (http://foodthought. org).

Elisabeth Rose Gruner is an associate professor of English and women, gender, and sexuality studies at the University of Richmond. Her research on children’s literature has appeared in The Lion and the Unicorn and Chil­dren’s Literature, while her work on Victorian literature has appeared in Tulsa Studies in Women’s Literature, SIGNS: Journal of Women in Culture and Society, and the Journal of English and Germanic Philology. Although her tenure case made the Chronicle of Higher Education, she has managed to combine professing and parenting reasonably successfully, most recently by becoming a columnist for Literary Mama (http://literarymama. com). Her essay “Mama Mentor” appeared in A Cup of Comfort for Teachers, and her nonacademic writing has also been published in Brain, Child: The Mag­azine for Thinking Mothers, Toddler (Seal Press), and Literary Mama.

Jessica Smartt Gullion is a medical sociologist who conducts research on lay perception of medical knowledge. She is currently working in an applied setting outside of the academy, and teaches a class as an adjunct professor. Her writings on motherhood have appeared in the Journal of the Association for Research on Mothering and on Mothers Movement Online (http://www. mothersmovement. org). She would like to note that none of the individuals mentioned in her essay currently work at that university.

Lisa Harper is an adjunct professor of writing in the MFAW program at the University of San Francisco. She received her BA in English/creative writing from Princeton University, her MA in English/creative writing and her PhD in English from the University of California, Davis. Her non­fiction writing has appeared in Gastronomica, Literary Mama, Lost Maga­zine, Princeton Alumni Weekly, Fortnight Magazine, and The Irish News. Her academic writing has appeared in The Emily Dickinson Journal, Literary Couplings: Writing Couples, Collaborators, and the Construction of Authorship, and Switchback. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband, daughter, and son.

After receiving a PhD from the University of Florida and then spending five years at the University of Montana-Western, Aeron Haynie is now happily ensconced (and tenured) at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay where she actually gets paid to teach Dickens and develop cool interdisciplinary courses like “The Culture of Food.” She’s been published in such places as the Victorian Institute Journal, Literary Mama, Radical Teacher, and Free Verse.

Sonya Huber is an assistant professor at Georgia Southern University in the Department of Writing and Linguistics, where she teaches creative writ­ing and composition. Her first book, Opa Nobody (University of Nebraska Press), presents a portrait of her anti-Nazi activist grandfather in fiction and memoir. Her work has appeared in Fourth Genre, Literary Mama, Pas­sages North, the Chronicle of Higher Education, and anthologies from Seal Press, University of Arizona Press, and Prometheus Books. She lives in Statesboro, Georgia, with her son, Ivan, and husband, Donny Humes. She should never have worried about having a quiet and judgmental Gerber baby, because instead she got a skateboarding, air-guitar-playing, story­telling ball of pure independence.

Amy Hudock is a single mom who lives outside of Charleston, South Car­olina, where she and her daughter ride horses, swim at the neighborhood pool, and fish at the waterfront park. She holds a PhD in American litera­ture and women’s studies, and is the chair of the Humanities Department at a private college preparatory school. She is the editor-in-chief of Literary Mama (http://literarymama. com), coeditor of Literary Mama: Reading for the Maternally Inclined (Seal Press), and author of essays that have ap­peared in Skirt! Magazine, ePregnancy, Philosophical Mother, Pregnancy and Baby, Single State of the Union, and A Cup of Comfort for Single Mothers. She blogs at Single Mothering: Southern Style (http://singlemotheringsouthern style. blogspot. com).

Megan Pincus Kajitani made it almost to the end of her four-year Javits Fellowship before leaving the PhD path. She came away with an MA in media and cultural studies from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a job as a career counselor for graduate students at the University of California, San Diego. Now Megan is a freelance writer and editor; her Web site is at http://www. mpk-ink. com. Recent publications include columns in the Chronicle of Higher Education, a chapter in Children and Media in Times of War and Conflict (Hampton Press), and an essay in Sun – shine/Noir (CityWorks Press). Motivated by the events described in her Mama, PhD essay, she also writes a blog called Having Enough (http:// www. having-enough. com). She lives with her husband and daughter in Carlsbad, California.

Julia Spicher Kasdorf is the author of two collections of poetry, Eve’s Strip­tease and Sleeping Preacher, both from the Pitt Poetry Series (University of Pittsburgh Press), a book of essays, The Body and the Book (Johns Hopkins University Press), and a biography, Fixing Tradition (Pandora/US). Most recently, with Michael Tyrell she edited Broken Land: Poems of Brooklyn (NYU Press). She directs the MFA program at The Pennsylvania State Uni­versity and lives in Bellefonte, Pennsylvania, where she is raising a child with an artist to whom she is no longer married.

Jean Kazez lives in Dallas, Texas, where she divides her time between writ­ing, teaching, and enjoying life with her husband and two children. She received a PhD in philosophy from the University of Arizona in 1990. She has written about ethics and everyday life in her book, The Weight of Things: Philosophy and the Good Life (Blackwell), as well as in essays about altruism, happiness, and the Mommy Wars in Philosophy Now and The Philosopher’s Magazine. She is currently working on a book about animals as well as on essays about the ethical dilemmas confronted by parents. You can find out more at her blog, Jean Kazez (http://www. kazez. blogspot. com).

Natalie Kertes Weaver is a theologian, poet, painter, daughter, wife, and mother. She chairs the Religious Studies Department at Ursuline College in Pepper Pike, Ohio, and teaches a wide range of courses in theology and religion. She has published academic articles and is currently writing a book on the theology of family and marriage (Saint Mary’s Press). Natalie holds degrees in classical languages, philosophy, and ethics, and completed her PhD with a dissertation in feminist theology from Loyola University

Chicago. Natalie is married to her college sweetheart, with whom she has one son, and hopes to grow her family after she is tenured.

Cynthia Kuhn lives with her husband and two sons in Colorado, where she is an associate professor of English at Metropolitan State College of Denver. Her writing has appeared in publications such as McSweeney’s Quarterly, Literary Mama, and Copper Nickel; she is also the author of Self – Fashioning in Margaret Atwood’s Fiction: Dress, Culture and Identity (Peter Lang Publishing) and coeditor, with Cindy Carlson, of a forthcoming collection of critical essays, Styling Texts: Dress and Fashion in Literature (Cambria Press).

Laura Levitt directs the Jewish Studies Program at Temple University where she teaches courses in religion and women’s studies. She lives in Philadel­phia with her partner, David, and their two dogs, Moses and Walden. She is the author of Jews and Feminism: The Ambivalent Search for Home (Rout- ledge) and, most recently, American Jewish Loss after the Holocaust (New York University Press). Her academic writing is eclectic. She often writes in the first person. Laura’s students are in many ways her children. This academic family includes a number of PhDs: Tania Oldenhage, Michelle Friedman, Marian Ronan, Deborah Glanzberg-Krainin, Liora Gubkin, and Amy Weigand.

Julia Lisella is an assistant professor of English at Regis College, teaching courses in American literature and poetry writing. She continues to be fas­cinated by the connections between the working lives of the women writ­ers she studies and teaches and our own lives. She is at work on a book about maternity, modernism, and radical women poets of the 1930s. She is the author of two books of poetry, Love Song Hiroshima (Finishing Line Press) and Terrain (WordTech Editions).

Jennifer Margulis is a recovering academic who lives in Ashland, Oregon, with her husband and three children: Hesperus (eight), Athena (seven), and Etani (four). Recently a Fulbright Fellow in West Africa, she has eaten fried crickets in Niger, lectured on slavery in Mauritania, appeared live on prime-time TV in France, and performed the cancan in America. An award­winning professional writer, consultant, and photojournalist, she has pub­lished in the New York Times, Ms. Magazine, Wondertime, Parenting, the Christian Science Monitor, and dozens of other magazines and newspapers.

She has also edited or authored four books, including Toddler: Real-Life Stories of Those Fickle, Irrational, Urgent, Tiny People We Love (Seal Press).

Alissa McElreath lives in Raleigh, North Carolina, with her husband, two children, a dog, a cat, and a crazy rabbit. She holds an MA in creative writ­ing from the University of Binghamton and an MA in English language and literature from the University of Rochester. Her doctoral work is cur­rently on hold as she juggles full-time teaching, writing, and parenting. She hopes to complete her second novel by the end of next spring and hopefully, will do more with it than leave it to slowly gather dust at the bottom of a drawer.

Josie Mills holds a PhD in English with a specialty in creative writing (poetry) from the University of Denver. Her poetry has appeared in national and international journals including Talking River Review, Bitterroot, Colo­rado Lawyer, and Mantis, a Journal of Poetry, Criticism, and Translation. She lives in Denver with her husband and two sons and is a member of the English faculty at Arapahoe Community College in Littleton, Colorado.

Anjalee Deshpande Nadkarni is a playwright-actor-director living in Syra­cuse, New York. A graduate of the MFA directing program at Northwest­ern University, she studied under Robert Falls of the Goodman Theatre. Before and after graduate school, she freelanced as an actor-director. Her acting credits include projects filmed in New York, Chicago, London, and Mumbai; her favorites remain the 1996 film Once We Were Strangers, which competed at the 1998 Sundance Film Festival, and the 1998 program The Prodigal Daughter, which aired in India on D-TV. Anjalee currently teaches at Le Moyne College and continues to write whenever her two-year-old son allows.

Susan O’Doherty is the author of Getting Unstuck without Coming Unglued: A Woman’s Guide to Unblocking Creativity (Seal Press). Her work has ap­peared in numerous publications, including Eureka Literary Magazine, Northwest Review, Apalachee Review, Eclectica, and Literary Mama, and the anthologies About What Was Lost: Twenty Writers on Miscarriage, Healing, and Hope (Penguin) and It’s a Boy! (Seal Press). New stories will appear in Hospital Drive and in Sex for America, edited by Stephen Elliott. Her story “Passing” was chosen as the New York story for Ballyhoo Stories’ ongoing 50 States Project, and will be distributed in chapbook form at bookstores throughout New York State. Her popular advice column for writers, “The Doctor Is In,” appears each Friday on M. J. Rose’s publishing blog, Buzz, Balls, & Hype (http://mjroseblog. typepad. com/buzz_balls_hype). She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and her thirteen-year-old son, with whom she is unambivalently delighted.

Tedra Osell earned her PhD in English from the University of Washington in 2002, and wrote her dissertation about eighteenth-century pseudony­mous periodical publication in England. She was an assistant professor at the University of Guelph in Ontario for three years before making the difficult decision to give up her position and move home to the West Coast. She has published essays about eighteenth-century pseudonymity in Eighteenth-Century Studies and about contemporary pseudonymity in the Scholar and Feminist Online and the Minnesota Review. She plans to return to teaching at some point, but for now she is a writing mom. Tedra blogs at the Suicide Girls newswire (http://suicidegirls. com/members/Bitch_ PhD/news), where she comments on feminist and reproductive rights issues, and at her own blog, Bitch, Ph. D. (http://bitchphd. blogspot. com), where she comments on anything that crosses her mind.

Miriam Peskowitz is the author, with Andrea Buchanan, of The Daring Book for Girls (HarperCollins), The Truth Behind the Mommy Wars (Seal Press), and two academic works, Judaism Since Gender, edited with Laura Levitt (Routledge), and Spinning Fantasies (University of California Press). She is the cofounder of MotherTalk (http://www. mother-talk. com), an on­line book review site that connects mothers, bloggers, and authors. Miriam was an award-winning and tenured professor at the University of Florida, a post she left in 1998 when her first child was born and her workplace had no formal family leave policy for professors. She has also taught at Emory University, Temple University, and the Reconstructionist Rabbinical Col­lege. She lives in Philadelphia with her husband and two daughters. Her current Web site is http://www. daringbookforgirls. com.

Christy Rowe is a lecturer in literature/humanities at the University of Denver, where her academic interests range from twentieth-century poet­ics, to travel writing, to sci-fi and fantasy studies (with an emphasis on the cyberpunk movement). A travel addict, she’s been to four continents and twenty-plus countries. She has published both critical and creative work (mostly poetry) in journals such as McSweeney’s Quarterly, the Denver

Quarterly, Salt Hill, and the Journal of Imagism. Currently she lives in Den­ver with her husband and two daughters and dreams of her next trip to Thailand.

Judith Sanders works as a freelance writer, editor, writing coach—and as a mother. She received a BA in literature from Yale, where she was a mem­ber of the pioneering first full class of women; an MA from the Boston University Creative Writing Program; a Fulbright Fellowship for a year of study and teaching in France; and a PhD in English from Tufts Univer­sity. She has taught writing and literature at Boston University, the Mass­achusetts Institute of Technology, Tufts, and Bowdoin College. She has published articles and poems in such journals as the American Scholar and Poetica. She is currently writing a book of short stories and editing an anthology of mothering poems with Mama, PhD contributor Julia Lisella.

After much drama and hand-wringing, Irena Auerbuch Smith completed her dissertation and obtained a PhD in comparative literature after her first child was born, then went and had two more children in quick succession, which pretty much destroyed her chances of ever getting a “real” job. She currently lives in Palo Alto with her incredibly patient husband, teaches part time in the mornings, and spends the bulk of her afternoons and weekends driving various children to various after-school activities. Her long-term goals include finishing a memoir about growing up as a Russian emigre in the Bay Area, running the Nike Women’s Marathon (she’s up to twelve miles), and getting her children to school without sprinting the last fifty yards in an attempt to beat the bell.

Sheila Squillante is a writer of poetry and nonfiction whose work has ap­peared or will be appearing in such journals as Prairie Schooner, Clackamas Literary Review, the Southeast Review, Phoebe, Quarterly West, and Glamour, and at such online spaces as Literary Mama, Brevity, Unpleasant Event Schedule, and TYPO. She is the associate director of the MFA Program at The Pennsylvania State University, where she also teaches in the English Department. She lives with her husband and their two-year-old son (whom they did not, much to the chagrin of her good-natured class, name Beo­wulf); they are expecting a daughter in November of 2007.

Rebecca Steinitz has a PhD in English from the University of California, Berkeley. Formerly an associate professor in the English Department at

Ohio Wesleyan University, she is now a writer, editor, and consultant. She has published scholarly articles on Victorian fiction and life writing in LIT: Literature Interpretation Theory, Studies in the Novel, a/b: Auto/Biography Studies, Victorians Institute Journal, and the Communication Review. Her essays and reviews have appeared in the New Republic, Utne Reader, Salon, Inside Higher Ed, the New York Observer, the Boston Globe, and the Women’s Review of Books, among other places. She lives in Arlington, Massachu­setts, with her husband and two daughters.

Liz Stockwell grew up in Panama where she spent endless hours exploring the jungle and developing a love for tropical biology. After earning a PhD from the University of Washington with a dissertation titled “Wing Mor­phology and Flight Maneuverability in New World Leaf-nosed Bats,” she spent six years in Halifax, Nova Scotia, rediscovering her Canadian roots and teaching at Dalhousie University. She now lives on Burnaby Mountain near Vancouver, British Colombia, where she spends her days with her two young children, teaching them about the joys of playing in the woods, eating wild salmonberries, and searching for banana slugs.

Jean-Anne Sutherland holds a PhD in sociology from the University of Akron, where she completed a dissertation entitled “‘What Can I Do Dif­ferent, What Could Be Better, What Could You Do More?’: Guilt, Shame, and Mothering.” As an assistant professor of sociology at the University of North Carolina Wilmington, she continues her research on mothering, guilt, and shame. She is thrilled to be living close to the shore with her daughter, Savannah, and their dachshund, Reggie.

Jamie Warner earned her PhD in political science in 2001 from The Penn­sylvania State University, and teaches political theory at Marshall Univer­sity in Huntington, West Virginia. Her research centers on nontraditional forms of political participation and communication, especially those in­volving political humor and parody, which makes her research a lot of fun. Her work has appeared in Popular Communication and Women & Politics, and she’s currently working on a book titled Political Culture Jamming: Politics, Parody, and Truth in the American Public Sphere. She lives in the woods with her lovely husband, George, where they are growing their first real garden, trying to make cheese, and still debating whether or not to have children.

Erin Webster Garrett holds a PhD in literary studies from the University of Denver and is currently an associate professor of English and women’s studies at Radford University. She has written extensively on working mother extraordinaire Mary Shelley, and credits her successful application for tenure to the recent publication of her first book on the subject, The Literary Career of Novelist Mary Shelley after 1822. She credits her continued sanity to the births of her children, Walker Bowman, who agreeably arrived on the last day of classes following her first year as an assistant professor, and Katherine Abigail, who arrived three weeks before Erin learned of hav­ing been awarded tenure. She currently lives in Virginia with her husband and two children.

Jennifer Eyre White has an MS in electrical engineering from the Uni­versity of California, Los Angeles. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her (second) husband and three kids. Her daughter Riley (now twelve) swears that she will attend UCLA some day and revisit those hallways and bathrooms that were once her second home. Jennifer still works part-time as an engineering analyst, but somewhere along the line she became a writer, too. She’s published in EE Times, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Spectrum, the International Journal of Vehicle Systems Dynamics, Wondertime, the Cup of Comfort series (Adams Media), and Lit­erary Mama: Reading for the Maternally Inclined (Seal Press), among other places. She writes about the chaos and alarmingly high decibel level of life with three kids on her Web site, Having Three Kids (http://www. Having ThreeKids. com).

[1] am grateful to Miriam Peskowitz for thinking of me in the context of this volume. I also want to thank my mother, who, after reading this essay, reminded me that, like her, I continue to play dress-ups with all of the people I love.

[2] finished my master’s degree and my thesis was published in an engi­neering journal. My advisor suggested that I continue on for a PhD, but

[3] dedicate this essay to fellow alum Stephen Peters, for his trust and aid, which went so far in helping me become a Mama, PhD.

[4] am highly practiced at this magic show. I took my first teaching job at a state university in 1987 while pregnant with my first child: family and career gestating together, like twins wrestling within me. I concealed my insecurity and inexperience with billowing clothes and an inflated vocabu­lary. No one knew I was pregnant until my sixth month. While working toward a third master’s degree, I had two more babies. After giving birth late one afternoon to my third child, I sat up in my hospital bed for most of the evening, pulled out a book and my laptop, and wrote an annotation to turn in the next day. I slept well that night in the hospital bed, happy with my creative output: a son and a paper produced in the same day. And

[5] schedule thirty-minute conferences with students, knowing that they run out of steam after twenty minutes’ close attention to their essays. I spend the time remaining between students making calls to different people in the university’s human resources department, trying to get a clear answer about maternity leave benefits. I finally learn that I can take six weeks’ paid leave after six months’ employment.

Six months. I began work September i. I just need to make it until March i. My baby is due March 14. I cross my fingers for an easy third trimester and make my contingency plans.

And then? Then I have six weeks to decide if I’m coming back.

A six-week leave would bring me back in the middle of the following semester, so my chair offers me a position in the tutoring center. I can

[6] Definitions of utopia are from the American Heritage Dictionary of the English Lan­guage, 3rd ed. (New York: Houghton Mifflin, 1992).

[7] Joan Williams, Unbending Gender: Why Work and Family Conflict and What to Do about It (New York: Oxford University Press, 2000).

[8] Susan J Douglas and Meredith W. Michaels, The Mommy Myth: The Idealization of Motherhood and How It Has Undermined Women (New York: Free Press, 2004).

[9] Reuters, “Yawn! Most Mothers Don’t Get Enough Sleep,” MSNBC, October 20, 2006, http://www. msnbc. msn. com/id/15347691.

[10] See Cass Cliatt, “University Expands Family-Friendly Policies for Graduate Stu­dents,” News@Princeton (April 3, 2007), http://www. princeton. edu/main/news/archive /Si7/52/i2Aoi/index. xml (accessed April 24, 2007); Michael Pena, “New Childbirth Policy for Female Graduate Students,” Stanford Report (January 27, 2006), http://news- service. stanford. edu/news/2006/february1/mom-020106.html (accessed April 24, 2007); “Childbirth Accommodation Policy for Women Graduate Students at Stanford University,” Stanford Graduate Student Handbook, http://www. stanford. edu/dept/DoR /GSH/childbirth. html#pre_post (accessed April 24, 2007); Angela A. Sun, “Harvard Lags in Grad Parent Aid,” Harvard Crimson (April 12, 2007), http://www. thecrimson. com /article. aspx? ref=5i8i93 (accessed April 24, 2007); “Doctoral Student Family-Friendly Policies,” University of Pennsylvania Office of Graduate Studies, http://www. upenn .edu/grad/familyfriendly. htm (accessed April 24, 2007).

[11] Joan C. Williams, “Singing the Grad-School Baby Blues,” Chronicle of Higher Educa­tion (April 20, 2004), http://chronicle. com/jobs/news/2004/04/2004042001c/careers .html (accessed April 24, 2007).

[12] We are not claiming that it is more difficult in our field than in anyone else’s. Also, we focus on our experiences as married, heterosexual, biological mothers here, but fathers—as well as adoptive, single, same-sex, step-, and foster parents—also face the stress of sleep deprivation, the work of balancing a new family dynamic with existing job duties, the inevitable financial tangles, the need for institutional compassion, et cetera.

[13] Anything beyond a so-called normal pregnancy elevates the intensity of what is already an emotionally and physically complex time. Among the four of us, there were several pregnancy losses, symphysis, and preeclampsia necessitating bed rest (and postdelivery: postpartum depression, a broken tailbone, reconstruction of the pelvic floor, and hyperlactation). Online forums specific to the problem, and therapy, proved to be extremely useful resources in these cases.

[14] We all finished the PhD before having children and went through our pregnancies at what was labeled “advanced maternal age.” The resulting treatment and testing, while important, can be stressful—especially given the reams of pregnancy literature that figures the older mother as a creaky, failing machine who, if struck by complications, should just consider herself lucky that she was able to get pregnant in the first place.

[15] You do not have to hide the physical tolls connected to motherhood.

Both before and immediately after the baby’s arrival, concentrating on anything more taxing than watching popsicles melt can be a major endeavor.

[16] For morning sickness, we recommend cinnamon gum, ginger ale, hard candy, and motion sickness wristbands. If all else fails, your doctor can actually prescribe anti­nausea medication (do not underestimate the benefits of the latter even if you don’t like to medicate—it can really take the edge off). And since it is worse when you are tired— naps, naps, naps.

[17] If you experience complications during birth and your doctor requires that you have more healing time, your college may approve an extended leave.