In response to our newest "How can we help you?" post, Karl asks: "When is a job stable enough to start thinking about children?" I think this is a fantastic question, and surprisingly one that I don't think we've ever discussed at the Cocoon before. In fact, Karl's question is one that my spouse and I have been jointly asking together on and off (without a very good answer to) for the past several years--so I am very much interested to hear what people think!
It occurred to me, after reading Karl's question, that I have known people who had children at different stages of their academic career: as grad students, temporary faculty (e.g. adjuncts, postdocs, etc), untenured tenure-track faculty, and tenured faculty. Unfortunately, it also occurred that I've never asked any of them how it was having children at that career stage (probably because, in every context, I assumed it would be rude to ask). Perhaps, though, the Cocoon is a better place to ask those who are willing to share.
Here, then, is one query for readers: If you had (or have) children while pursuing a career in academic philosophy (and you are willing to share your experience), how would you answer Karl's question? When, given your own experience, is a "job stable enough to start thinking about having children"?
And here is another--both for those who have had children, as well as those who have not: What do you think is relevant to answering Karl's question? That is, how should one go about deciding whether one's job is "stable enough" to have children?
Thanks in advance to those willing to share their thoughts and/or experience!