The [Un]Apologetic Academic Mother

I’m sorry that I’m a mother and an academic.

I’m sorry that my academic life is balanced with my family.

I’m sorry that I enjoyed my pregnancy while teaching.

I’m sorry that I get sprinkled with kisses and hugs while writing my work.

I’m sorry that my children are the center of my life.

I’m sorry that I can’t make it to every meeting or for drinks after events.

I’m sorry that my life doesn’t revolve around the department or university.

I’m sorry that I get my work done. And more…

I’m sorry that society doesn’t see the value in motherhood & family is not a priority.

I’m sorry that I’m a regular mom doing normal things with her children but seen as extraordinary because of extraordinary institutional prejudice and discrimination.

I’m sorry that my motherhood makes you uncomfortable or that you only feel comfortable asking me about my motherhood.

I’m sorry that you feel better asking me questions about my pregnant body or how my children are being raised rather than the academic work I am engaging in.

I’m sorry that you feel more comfortable with my role as a mother than with my pursuit of life in academia.

I’m sorry that I did not give up my life for your prestige and reputation.

I’m sorry that this mother unashamedly carries her baggage into your “All Boys Club.”

I’m sorry that I did not choose one or the other as you wish I would.

I’m sorry that I chose both, being an academic and being a younger mother.

I’m sorry that I did not wait.

motherhoodacademe

Yet…

I am [un]apologetic about my miraculous and magical motherhood, I am [un]apologetic about my presence in your halls, classrooms and other spaces that you claim.

I am [un]apologetic about my crying, affectionate, hungry, picky, breastfeeding, laughing, potty-trained or diapered, joyous and learning, quickly growing children.

I am [un]apologetic about my life outside the ivory tower in my own chaotic castle.

I am apologizing to myself for every “sorry” I ever said in reference to my motherhood and my [struggling] success.

I am apologizing to myself for ever thinking that it could not possibly have been this way; for letting their prejudice and discomfort cloud my mind.

I’m not sorry anymore.

Sincerely,

The [Un]Apologetic Academic Mother

“Is it unfair for academic mothers to have to work so hard? Yes. Is it worth wasting the time to complain? No. Should we all do whatever it takes to change the system for future academic women? Absolutely.” -Miglena Sternadori

Read more about overcoming the STIGMA of Academic Motherhood:

https://chroniclevitae.com/news/738-the-no-matter-what-rule-of-academic-motherhood#sthash.10fEddoL.dpuf

https://www.timeshighereducation.com/features/mothers-work-life-balance-in-the-academy/2006036.article

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Author: Future Dr. Cin

Cynthia Estremera is pursuing her doctoral degree in English at Lehigh University. She earned a M.A. in English from Villanova University and a B.A. in English at Penn State University with a minor in American Studies. She presently continues her scholarship in Hip Hop studies and Gender and Cultural studies through the intersectionality of identities. She remains an advocate for women, Latinos and inner city youth in Philadelphia.

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