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Advice: PhD plus a baby?


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#1 Samantha S

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    Posted 22 July 2008 - 11:26 PM

    Hi All, I just met with my academic advisor about getting my PhD. I have always wanted to and planned on it but have just started thinking about 'when' to get back to school. I was honestly thinking I could take about two courses at a time and pop out a kid in the meantime but my advisor said I should really plan on having a child, waiting a year or two and then going to school or going to school full time and then having a child. Its not like I was planning on having a baby during finals. I thought I would take a term off when we get there.... Anyone been in grad school with kids or planning kids or been in grad school and couldn't imagine having a baby??

    I got my Masters and went full time and worked 32 hours per week. It was bananas but I knew it was temporary. Its just a different story when we're talking about a little breathing human. FI thinks I should wait and I won't make the choice with out him because it affects both of us so hugely but it is the difference of me doing the same job 4 years from now regardless but making triple the income.

    #2 Angel

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      Posted 22 July 2008 - 11:30 PM

      I think it's your own personal opinion. If you can handle it then I say go for it. But a baby and pregnancy would be something new for you so you don't want to get into it and get stressed and overwhelmed. I went through it and I had to take time off because my daugher was in school and she wasn't getting the attention she needed as far as reading and homework. I was taking 2 classes and I swear I was running on E everyday. Kids are time consuming and demanding. Mine aren't baby babies but even more demanding as a newborn.
      Best of luck with whatever you decide.

      #3 Samantha S

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        Posted 22 July 2008 - 11:36 PM

        Quote:
        Originally Posted by Angel
        I think it's your own personal opinion. If you can handle it then I say go for it. But a baby and pregnancy would be something new for you so you don't want to get into it and get stressed and overwhelmed. I went through it and I had to take time off because my daugher was in school and she wasn't getting the attention she needed as far as reading and homework. I was taking 2 classes and I swear I was running on E everyday. Kids are time consuming and demanding. Mine aren't baby babies but even more demanding as a newborn.
        Best of luck with whatever you decide.
        THanks Angel!! That is really helpful. I don't want my baby bathed in cortisol in the womb, that's for sure and I believe in striving for balance in life- we are an overworked, stressed out society. I am probably underestimating what it will take but I equated taking two classes to working part time and my FI is a fire man and is home for 48 hours at a time and then works 24 hours so he's actually home a lot and I planned on working part time after maternity leave anyways. Hearing real stories helps-- that is my biggest fear-= neglecting my kids and missing out on the good stuff. On the other hand, it will make for a more comfortable life after a few years...

        #4 rodent

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          Posted 22 July 2008 - 11:36 PM

          what field are you in? If I was ready to have a kid now, i'd do it while in grad school. I'm getting a phd in science & it's more like a job than being in school.

          #5 Samantha S

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            Posted 22 July 2008 - 11:39 PM

            Quote:
            Originally Posted by Morgan
            what field are you in? If I was ready to have a kid now, i'd do it while in grad school. I'm getting a phd in science & it's more like a job than being in school.
            Really? Interesting.... Why do you say that? I am in public health and work at a medical school/hospital in research. My PhD will probably be in administration and policy with an emphasis in Integrative Medicine/Health.

            So, are you saying in your science phd, you would have a baby (if you were ready now)? or, it depends on the field?

            #6 Angel

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              Posted 22 July 2008 - 11:41 PM

              I understand completly. I work full-time and it always seems like there is never enough time in the day. Always trying to catch up. I also found myself more grouchy and irritable all the time. Enjoy the pregnancy and the newborn experience. You can always go back and finish.

              #7 rodent

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                Posted 22 July 2008 - 11:49 PM

                Quote:
                Originally Posted by Samantha S
                Really? Interesting.... Why do you say that? I am in public health and work at a medical school/hospital in research. My PhD will probably be in administration and policy with an emphasis in Integrative Medicine/Health.

                So, are you saying in your science phd, you would have a baby (if you were ready now)? or, it depends on the field?
                I'm getting a phd in genetics. it's very different than being in school. It's much more like a full time job. We had classes the first year & after that it's lab work. So having a baby now would not be much different than having one while I had a job. I've seen many students do it & as long as their advisor is supportive it works out fine.

                but, other phd programs are different. I guess I shouldn't have said science because that includes so much. Lab research science.

                #8 KarmaB

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                  Posted 23 July 2008 - 01:16 AM

                  I totally agree with Morgan. The time you spend away from your little one is really not much different than working a full time job. I'm working towards a Masters right now as well, and I am actually glad to be having a baby now rather than later (I also have a six year old).

                  If you wait until you are finished with school, it just seems way to easy to keep putting off having kids so you can enter the career field.

                  It really depends on what your priority is, and what works best for you and your DH. If you want kids young or if you don't mind having them until later in life. I promise though, it is possible to have kids and still pursue your goals.

                  #9 Samantha S

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                    Posted 23 July 2008 - 01:40 AM

                    Okay, this helps! I am 27 and want to get started on two children after we get married (we've been together for five years), so does FI. I think the first year of the program is super hard, which would hypothetically be the pregnant year. After that it is less intense--- so it is some what like yours Morgan. Then I would have seven fabulous years to defend my dissertation if I so chose to do so! I agree with you FutureMrsB that if I put off children now for education (that is ultimately for career-- so, for career I should say), I will continue to do so. Besides the fact that I SOOOOO want a baby SOON!!! I want a PhD too though. :-) These perspectives help, thank you, thank you!

                    #10 rodent

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                      Posted 23 July 2008 - 07:51 AM

                      Quote:
                      Originally Posted by Samantha S
                      Okay, this helps! I am 27 and want to get started on two children after we get married (we've been together for five years), so does FI. I think the first year of the program is super hard, which would hypothetically be the pregnant year. After that it is less intense--- so it is some what like yours Morgan. Then I would have seven fabulous years to defend my dissertation if I so chose to do so! I agree with you FutureMrsB that if I put off children now for education (that is ultimately for career-- so, for career I should say), I will continue to do so. Besides the fact that I SOOOOO want a baby SOON!!! I want a PhD too though. :-) These perspectives help, thank you, thank you!
                      Getting through the phd process would be so hard if I felt like I was putting my life on hold. I'll be 27 too next week, but I always planned on having kids between 30 & 35. So I'm not waiting because I'm getting a phd.




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