8 March 2011 – Is It Spring Yet?

March 8th, 2011 § 24 comments

8 March 2011 – Is It Spring Yet?, originally uploaded by academichic.


  • Blazer: Banana Republic Factory
  • Cardigan (underneath): Target
  • Tank: Forever 21
  • Maternity trousers: Loft, via eBay
  • Pumps: Steve Madden

End Notes:

Is it spring yet? I woke up this morning wanting to wear stripes, breezy trousers, colored shoes, and lots of navy and white…all components that rank pretty highly in my conception of “spring clothing.” It’s still pretty brisk outdoors, and I had to throw on an overcoat when I went to campus, but something about this combination seemed delightfully fresh to me after lots of black and jewel tones. Do you have wardrobe harbingers of spring? I think I’m also about to pull out my lightweight scarf collection…

Striped Bump

(An aside: The last time I was pregnant I was still afraid of stripes in my wardrobe. This time around, I’m kind of smitten with how they go all wonky across my burgeoning belly. I don’t know that I’ll feel like that in twenty more weeks, but for now it makes me smile.)

Finally, I’ve enjoyed reading all of your comments on S.’s post about pregnancy in academia. Like a few others in the comments, I recommend the book Mama, Ph.D., edited by Elrena Evans and Caroline Grant, for anyone interested in hearing even more voices on the subject of mothering in academia. The book includes incredibly poignant narratives from women who had children in grad school, pre-tenure, or post-tenure, women who chose not to have children, and women who left academia altogether after becoming mothers. I’ve raised a few eyebrows by announcing that I’m pregnant again in graduate school, but overall the response has been very supportive from my professors and colleagues (and institutionally I will get New Child Leave and have my clock “stop” for half a semester). I don’t like to think of myself as “having it all,” though, because I am very cognizant that what I consider to be “success” in my academic career is not how other women will want to define it. But that’s kind of the point. Thanks to the women who worked against tremendous odds in decades prior, these choices are now available to me. The cards may still be stacked against someone like me getting tenured at an R-1 or writing THE book that redefines my field, but if I can model a faithful scholarship-life balance to my students and my children while nurturing inquisitiveness, integrity, and creativity…I’ll count that as my success.

8 March 2011 - Is It Spring Yet?

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§ 24 Responses to 8 March 2011 – Is It Spring Yet?"

  1. Penny says:

    hell yeah, in my mind you ve been successful already managing to keep interest for a lto of things around you and not getting absorbed by one task! thumbs up!
    ps) love the t-shirt! :)

  2. WAIT!!! Did I miss an important announcement?

  3. Laura says:

    I’m totally copying your outfit for tomorrow! I love the stripes under the blazer with the coral beads.

  4. Jackie says:

    Ooh love it. I like the maritime feel.

    Once as a kid, I remember not wanting to wear some black and red outfit my mom picked out because I wanted to wear something “springy”. She told me black and red were classic spring colors. She was just trying to get me to wear the outfit, right? After a long winter of black and gray, I can’t imagine black being a spring color.

    One of those existential questions.

    I’ve been trying to figure out how to dress warm and springy. We are still having highs in the 30s here.

  5. Elisabeth says:

    First of all, I love your outfit! I read your post trying to think of ways to recreate it with my own wardrobe. Second, I also read Mama, Ph.D. and enjoyed it immensely. Although not yet pregnant, I am married in graduate school and hope to start a family before I finish. I’ve been tremendously encouraged by that book, as well as your blog. So, thanks!

  6. Emily says:

    Your definition of “success” resonated with me and I must thank you for helping me start my day with a new perspective. I’m still in grad school, managing a part-time job and planning a wedding from overseas so thank you for such an affirming entry!

  7. N says:

    I love the lines of this outfit, and the two pops of color. It’s springy, but not inappropriate for a cold day.

    Most years, my harbingers of spring are flip-flops. I just hate wearing socks. This year, it’s flats. We had so much snow on the ground here, for so long, that I hadn’t even seen my flats since November. I wore my lime green pair yesterday (albeit with socks) so it must be spring.

    I’ve been wearing lightweight scarves for a few weeks now, but that’s just magical thinking.

  8. Erika says:

    I recently discovered this blog and really loved this post today. It really resonated with some of my own choices. I’m also a PhD student and have an 8 month old son. My institution (UC Berkeley) is very family friendly, but it’s still fairly unusual for students to have children in my program. I actively strive to feel good about how I’ve defined success in my career and the balancing act of grad school, parenting and marriage.

    On another note, I must say, you are looking FIERCE this second time around! I’m always struggling to schedule in some exercise options that will renew my spirit and help me fit back in my pre-pregnancy pencil skirts! Care to share any fun post-natal exercise activities you did after baby E.?

    Here’s to another happy, healthy, and stylish 9 months!

    • admin says:

      Thanks, Erika!

      I am so far from the poster child of regular exercise routines. I dislike gyms, and I’m kind of a wimp when it’s 20 degrees outside. That said, I tried to be very self-conscious, after having baby e., to make my “regular” lifestyle as active as possible. That meant lots of walking instead of driving, wearing baby e. rather than putting him in the shopping cart or stroller, and doing crunches while I watched 30 Rock. I can’t tell you how many three mile round trip morning walks we took to the campus library and back, or how many times I’ve had to “talk through” a seminar paper and just talked to baby e. instead while power walking around the park. Biking — both as a commuter and as a family activity — was another great way to be active while still accomplishing other “tasks,” like transportation or family time or errands. I’m not sure how this will all have to change when baby number two comes along, and I would love to get back into “real” running at some point, but for now I’ve been happy with how being active and healthy (if not particularly on the top of my fitness game) has been integrated into multiple other aspects of my life. That’s how it worked for me, but I know that’s certainly not how everyone else can stay motivated or work off steam!

      - E

      • Erika says:

        Thanks E!

        I appreciate the tips! I also loathe the gym so these were terrific ideas for me!

        I’m really loving this blog and on-line community of women. Thanks for keeping me inspired and setting an example that one CAN balance the dialectic dilemma of motherhood and career!

  9. Stephanie says:

    Great outfit and GREAT post! That last sentence brought tears to my eyes…setting an example for your students is such a meaningful endeavour. I think about certain wonderful female role models for me in academia, and how I perhaps never expressed my gratitude(!) I hope you realize what an impact you have on your students.

  10. Jessica says:

    In my opinion, I think you’re a positive role model for many young women, as you’re tying together both the ideas of female empowerment (by obtaining the advanced degree) AND one of the most important roles in the world (namely, “mother”). The fact that you’re having another child in addition to the perceived odds against you just makes you that much more remarkable. Congratulations, and thank you. :)

    - Jess

  11. Somehow I missed your pregnancy announcement post – congratulations! I can’t say enough how inspired I am by your dedication to motherhood while getting your degree. As I finish my masters, I’m still not sure how family and PhD will fit into my future, but women like you make me think I can make it all work. Way to go!

  12. (S) says:

    Firstly, I adore your outfit and you’ve dressed yourself practically perfectly (I love the toddler accessory in the final photo). Secondly, I have to say that you’ve hit the nail right on the head in saying that modeling balance for your children while teaching them the skills that will make them successful adults is in turn your own success. (I feel like I need a citation here because I am flipping through blogs as I write a final paper for my motivational psychology course–could I get a volume number for this publication, please?) I say power to you and as long as you know you own limits there’s no reason you should keep striving for more and doing what you’re doing. As far as I’m concerned, you’re pretty amazing.

  13. Rachel says:

    I love, love, love your outfit and your truly inspiring post! One quick question…where did you get that necklace? It’s just beautiful.

  14. Kathleen says:

    How cute is baby e.? He is getting so big now. And I remember those Loft pants from your first pregnancy–they are awesome! My fiance and I will be having a long engagement but I will definitely be revisiting the pregnancy posts in this blog after I get married and whenever we do start a family.

    While I am not a grad student or faculty, I am a staff person at a big university and in my particular office, let’s just say family leave is not be smiled upon. A former colleague who has been married over 4 years now was once directly asked, “Are you pregnant?” after going to a series of doctor appointments. I was horrified and appalled for her. Whenever I move on, hopefully my next place of employment (preferably another college or university) will look more kindly upon pregnancy.

  15. Winnie says:

    Just wanted to say great post – it gave me a bit of a boost, actually. I started my PhD when my daughter was born, got it (yay for me!) and am now at home full-time with a three month old! It is hard, juggling an academic career with motherhood and it’s always inspiring to see other women who are managing to do both.

    Cute outfit too!

  16. hey lady:

    i love this look, and i too am longing for spring despite the persistent cold temps we’ve been having around here. the stripes look so playful on your nascent bumpage, and i love the mix of shades of red from the necklace and the shoes! gorgeous.

    just a quick request: i wondered if, by any chance, you have a photo of the waistband of these pants? i’ve been looking for a pair of “real” maternity trousers and have been despairing of my options, and i remembered how much you loved and wore these the first time around.

    hope all is well with you this week! we’re having a little bit of a bumpy (no pun intended) week around here, but hoping this too shall pass…

    • admin says:

      S., I’ll e-mail a picture to you. I do love these, and I hope you can find a pair that similarly makes you feel great!

      - E

  17. Kara says:

    I really appreciate that you identify what success means to you and are making choices that reflect what you value. Stiving to “have it all” puts so many of us at risk of wasting effort on things we don’t really value.

  18. [...] is not the only one embracing stripes during her pregnancy. It seems like stripes are everywhere this season and after seeing the lovely [...]

  19. Lucy says:

    Better to have your kids now – even if it may impact your career – then to wait and try to do it at 35+ years old, which is what high-achieving women of my generation did. Of course, many of them are now seeking out fertility solutions and may not be able to have kids at all. American society seriously needs to figure out how to support women (and men) in the workplace who also want to be parents. Luckily, as the American workplace begins to include more educated women than men, that will become a necessity.

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