My version of the two-body problem

Luckily for me, this problem isn’t quite a problem just yet. Since my significant other and I are still both working on our PhDs. Unfortunately, this is very much on the horizon, as the boyfriend will be graduating this summer. And so I have been reading lots of articles about how other professionals deal with these challenges. And its pretty scary.

Growing up I was always told that I could do¬†whatever I wanted to do. While I wouldn’t characterize my parents as extremely¬†pro-equality they were almost secret feminists. My parents were clear that I shouldn’t let any boys get in the way of my attempts at world domination. And I didn’t even think of letting those pesky boys get in my way! Sure I dated guys and talked about dreams and forevers, but I never really seriously considered compromising my goals. Until this guy. Who is really perfect for me in every way.

Now I feel like I’m sitting on a balance where I need to decide me or family. And I hate that feeling. Its not fair that I should feel like I have to choose between 1) Following my career and climbing the ladder or 2)Focusing on my [someday] family. Now before you tell me to man up, I realize lots of people successfully manage this challenge. But they are often overworked and under appreciated (in some aspect of life) and struggling hard. I don’t see many stories that talk about a manageable amount of work life balance. And that makes me feel like I need to choose, because I don’t want to kill myself in the pursuit of science.

And so here we sit, with the significant other about to graduate and myself trying to decide where I want to be. He is very firm in his career goals. He wants to get back into industry and climb the ladder. Chief Scientific Officer is his goal. Shall I follow along like the good housewife (which I may or may not enjoy), search for an alternate career that will allow mobility to follow his job, or fiercely focus on my career and make the two body problem my success?

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