I understand part of that - yes, she's a career scientist, so she wants to continue with that career. But hey, anyone who's had kids knows, you make sacrifices for them - and you want to. She can't find a ship better suited to her family? A posting closer to home that allows her to keep her 'identity' (again, becoming a parent creates a whole new meaning for 'identity' here - I thought I knew what was important until I had kids) and her family. I do think there is an amount of prestige going on here - because I think she could still have her career and balance it out with her family better - but it's the ENTERPRISE!
If you want to do space science in the Federation, there's probably no better place to do it than the Enterprise
. To all indications, Starfleet is the most advanced research facility in the UFP.
Besides, it's not just her. She could presumably have her family aboard the Enterprise
if she wanted. But her husband refuses to leave his
job at the university and go into space with her. You ask why she doesn't make the sacrifice for the sake of family unity -- but you should also ask why he