Today was a bit of a downer. I found a book by the National Academies Press about the fate of postdocs, in 1998. It was grim, to say the least. The figures contained the most damning information, effectively helping me further come to the conclusion that I need to figure out my career trajectory before I make any post-graduate plans. (By the way, the book is available online here: http://books.nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=9831)
Highlights of the book include page 37, which states "Many postdocs report a prejudice among both men and women faculty against women who choose to start a family during postdoctoral training and against men who wish to take parental leave after the birth of a child. " I have heard this a number of times informally, and at least for my field it seems to be true. Plus, having a baby during a postdoc sounds miserable. I know that I'm not particularly good at multitasking under conditions involving sleep deprivation, so I don't think that this plan is for me. My biological clock has informed me that waiting until after a postdoc is too long, so... This book makes me even more seriously consider my plan to quit science temporarily to raise our two kids.