I just outed my first PhD at-home mom in our new community. (This fall, our family moved across the country as my husband took a new professorship at a university nearer to our families – I’ve blogged about this several times now: here, and here for example).
She’s a PhD in statistics, and I found her, volunteering as the lead coach for the after-school math enrichment program for the fourth grade in my daughter’s new school. She decided to stay at home full-time with her children when her oldest (now eighth grade) was born, when two academic careers (husband is an ecologist) seemed monstrously difficult.
I always like to discover at-home PhD moms – they often live a sort-of secret, hidden existence, weaving streaks of academia and intellectualism into their parenting as they balance frequent misunderstanding by full-time moms without PhDs and feelings of guilt around PhD moms with full, traditional careers.
I like to hear their stories at the different stages in their lives, the interesting paths they discover as they blend their passions – their children and their academic interests, and how they start to add back alternative, unexpected career directions as their kids get older.
This mom starting volunteering 2-3 years ago to build up the afterschool math program that has taken off at the elementary school. They won competitions and the kids love doing math after school – a third of the fourth grade signed up to do it this year. Just a month ago she had the epiphany that she loves teaching math to kids. Next semester she has decided to complete one class at the nearby university, the only pre-requisites she needs in order to begin the program to get her teaching certificate. I haven’t known her very long, but I think she has just put together a path that has clicked for her, her excitement shows. She’s on her way to become a math teacher in middle or high school.
PhD at-home moms, I know you’re out there – I’m looking out for you! You and your interesting PhAHM-ilies.