...in an academic setting.
1) Even highly educated normally well-adjusted women seem to go insane. Not me. I'm still highly rational (just don't ask General Disarray, he's biased). No, I'm not talking about random fits of crying. I'm talking about the women who keep stopping by my office to give me mothering advice. Things like: "You're going to take the year off from work, right? You'll need to stay home for at least that long with the baby because of all the breast feeding. It's best for the baby"; "If you don't only buy 100% organic cotton for the baby's clothes horrible things will happen"; "I went ahead and had by baby vaccinated and I'm hoping I did the right thing". Reason is completely lost in these discussions. Counterarguments like: I do have a husband, breast milk has this rare property of storing well under refrigeration, that's what baby bottles were invented for, and my job keeps be sane and what's best for the baby is that I don't go insane and murder it, make no dent and only illicit bizarre counter-counterarguments. Apparently baby bottles are bad for babies, fresh breast milk is the only milk that will keep your child's brain from shriveling into a raisin, what good mother wouldn't want to stop working, and god knows that husbands are good for but apparently they're only sperm donors anyway. The interesting thing is that, unlike Fia's recent conversation with her departmental secretary, these are fellow professors....SCIENCE professors. So, when my fellow science professor told me that parmesan was on the list of things I can't eat because it'll harm the baby, I was petrified because a) I love parmesan like some people do opiates, and b) I had assumed she had actually looked at the scientific basis for such a statement instead of just parroting something off some chatroom. (For those who are curious, it turns out that it's fine if it's pasteurized). I have become convinced that there's some weird peer-pressure that occurs in chat-rooms, daycares, playgroups, etc, that results in all women, regardless of education level, being afraid of having their baby vaccinated and believing that being a working mother is a crime. I'm with Fia, fuck that shit. For the record, I have also been avoiding drinking the kool-aid they keep offering me.
2) Having a child is a disabling illness. Apparently my university does not have a maternity policy. Instead, I can use my sick leave and when that runs out I can switch to short-term disability. Now, I'm not looking to take a year off to stay home and be an udder (I am the personality type that would go on a murderous rampage if trapped at home for long periods of time with day time TV and no adult company), but I would really love to have some time where my time split was "research, advising my students, and not accidentally killing my newborn because I have no idea what I'm doing", and not "research, advising my students, teaching a full course load, serving on my overloaded committee schedule, and not accidentally killing my newborn because I have no idea what I'm doing". The former scenario gives me some shot at staying afloat and not flushing my career or ending up in jail. I suspect the latter scenario ends with me insane or in prison.
3) Submitting two proposals for the same deadline will seem easy from here on out. Once you have submitted two proposals while teaching a large lecture class and dealing with intense morning sickness (see lesson 4 below), "difficult" takes on a whole new meaning.
4) Morning sickness is a big fat lie. Morning sickness will not necessarily occur in the morning. It may not even be confined to half of your day. Furthermore, it can be triggered by things that used to smell really good to you but suddenly smell like someone took a crap in a bag and left it sitting on your desk for several days. (ah, coffee, one day I'll be able to face you again).
Well, that's about it for now. I gotta get back to work or my next academic pregnancy lesson will be that universities have no problem firing unproductive pregnant assistant professors during a budget crunch! Ciao bellas!