This is part of a comment on yesterday's post:
.. doesn't hauling a child around your workplace just reinforce the stereotypes of you as a mommy and not a professor?
Short answer: No
In fact, I spend much more time trying to convince younger women (and some men) that they can be a parent and a science professor at a research university and have a happy family life and career.
Over the years, I have had trouble being taken seriously by certain colleagues, but in most cases I don't think it is because I am a mother.
I recently wrote about being a "mother figure" to students and how this hasn't always been a good thing for me. At the time of the anecdote that I used to explain my initial thoughts on this as a young FSP, I was a childless 2o-something recent PhD. In that case, the students were in fact stereotyping me (female = mommy but not professor), but I don't think that the reality of my reproductive history would have erased or reinforced their view.
Rather than hiding the fact that I am a mother, I want to show students that women are mothers and professors. Or are professors and not mothers. Whatever. Just like real people not in academia.
Furthermore, I think that others in academia (faculty, administrators, postdocs, and students) should be more, not less, aware of the issues faced by faculty with young children, particularly those faculty without a stay-at-home partner.
And further furthermore, I never have to "haul" my child around my workplace. She loves coming to the office with her dad and/or me, and she is particularly fascinated by our graduate students. We keep a low profile, but we also don't slink through the halls hoping to be invisible.
9 months ago