1. Limited time only! Sign up for a free 30min personal tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Is it possible to balance research and family?

  1. Mar 30, 2010 #1
    I find it tough to balance my research and my family and wonder how others succeed in this regard. Every serious researcher will agree, I hope, that research demands undivided attention for high quality work. How can then a researcher take care of her/his family adequately? Should she/he deliberately neglect family (if success in research gets priority)?
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 30, 2010 #2


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Education Advisor

    Willfully neglecting family is not a good idea.

    Lots of people in academia have the problem of balancing work and family, and there are a lot of them who aren't successful at it and suffer the consequences. What works for me is to remember my priorities. I'm a father and a husband first, and a physicist second. There are times where I would have the opportunity to advance my research further, but I have to draw a line and say that I need to spend time with my family.

    It also helps tremendously to have a supportive family, who understand what it takes to be a researcher and the value of the work that you do.
  4. Mar 31, 2010 #3
    I agree with Choppy here. It is all about priorities. You need to decide where yours lie and make your decisions on how to spend you time appropriately.

    One thing I have found with having a family and doing research is that I have learned to become much more productive during the time I have for research. I work hard to not get sidetracked and start investigating things that may be interesting, but are not relevant to the problem I am working on.
  5. Mar 31, 2010 #4

    Andy Resnick

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Education Advisor

    For better or worse, women have been dealing with this issue longer than men. Unfortunately, rather than finding solutions, more and more men are facing the same problem.

    Personally, I find that finding balance is an essential ingredient in being successful and happy. Balance between home and office, between analytic and creative work, etc. Work and family are not mutually exclusive.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook