Mary Cary Peterson is an education professional, talkSTEM Education Coordinator, and recently gave birth to her first child. In this post she describes how she came to balance her desire to stay active and the joys of becoming a mother.

I had always hoped to stay home with my children during their earliest years. So when I became pregnant with our first child last summer, my mom strongly advised me to find ways to stay active in my community to avoid becoming “disconnected.” After our son Sam was born, I quickly realized her point. I was lucky not to feel socially isolated, as many of my friends are also new parents and I made a point of getting out of the house at least once a week for lunch dates or walks. But I did realize how easy it was to only talk and think about parenthood. While that may be normal to some extent, I knew I would drive myself (and my husband) crazy if my only discussion topics were baby and baby and… more baby. I needed to find something beyond reading while nursing to stay intellectually active.
So after our flurry of early postpartum visitors and family members left town, I reconnected with some of the organizations that I have volunteered since moving to Dallas two years ago, including talkSTEM, a local non-profit focused on connecting educators and other professionals involved in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) learning initiatives. Volunteering has been so meaningful in my post-baby life. If you are looking for ways to get more involved in your community or to reconnect with your pre-parent volunteer self, here are some tips for staying engaged:
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About the Founder & CEO

Dr. Koshi Dhingra has dedicated her career to STEM education and is passionate about having every child live up to their potential. Seeing a lack of girls and other underrepresented youth in STEM programs, she founded talkSTEM in 2015 to address the imbalance. She has a doctorate in science education from Teachers College, Columbia University, has years of experience teaching in graduate and undergraduate programs, and has held leadership roles in universities. She advises and collaborates with a broad range of educational institutions globally. Dr. Dhingra began her career teaching science in middle and high school in New York. She lives in Dallas, Texas with her husband, three children, and two dogs.


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