Mama PhD

Mama PhD

Mothers attempting to balance parenthood and academics.

October 26, 2008 - 9:00pm
just ran across your blog today and it immediately caught my attention. I think you may be able to offer some valuable advice. I am 29 with two children (2 ½ and 14 months), a full-time job (though only 9 months), and an MS degree. However, the thought of a PhD keeps creeping back into my radar and there is a program in the local area. I have been out in the workforce for 5 years, but I am at a small, private university. There's probably more to the story, but I guess I'm wondering if it's possible to manage a PhD workload with two children.
October 24, 2008 - 3:51am
Hello! My name is Rosemarie, and I am the new writer for this Mama, Ph.D. column. Before I begin, I would like to thank Anjalee for her work in this column in the last few months. She will certainly be a tough act to follow!
October 22, 2008 - 10:07pm
Flying back from my conference last weekend, I experienced a moment of rare satisfaction: the conference had gone well, our book debuted, and I’d made some new friends. I’m in the productive period in my life right now: I’m engaged in satisfying scholarly projects, I’m happy being married, I’m enjoying my four year old daughter, and I finally have a community of friends outside of the university. How does this make me feel? Frustrated that it took me so long. If only I had been this confident in my twenties, I lament to myself, I would be really successful by now.
October 22, 2008 - 5:44am
At breakfast Monday morning my husband came downstairs to announce that he’d thought of something for his Christmas list. Hurray, I thought, quickly grabbing pen and paper to write down an idea from the world’s most difficult person to shop for. “I need a new dive watch,” he said. “Oh, great,” was my sarcastic response. “Something nice and cheap.” We agreed that it was probably too extravagant a gift and that we’d have to see if we could afford it. But our son suddenly chimed in from his waffle:
October 20, 2008 - 10:04pm
The comments on Aeron Haynie's post last week got me thinking: are benefits for working parents fair? Some commenters suggest that they aren't, that parents get "extra compensation" in the guise of health insurance, tuition remission benefits, etc. Of course, those don't end up as money in the pockets of said parents -- but they are additional expenses paid by the employer, it's true.
October 17, 2008 - 6:27pm
Drama Mama is officially leaving the building. This is my last post for Mama PhD. Just so you know it’s not because I am getting “outed” at my university as someone concerned with issues of parenthood and academia (see last week’s post) or because I got my ego crushed a few months ago (see my post on sodium laurel sulfate) or because this doesn’t count as scholarship (although I still might consider Mama PhD the musical).
October 15, 2008 - 9:35pm
Today I travel to my lone academic conference of the year (not counting conferences within driving distance). Like many professors who teach at regional state institutions, one conference a year is all my university pays for. When I was starting out, I attended more, and paid for much of the costs out of my own pocket. While some conferences feel like a waste of time and energy, at their best conferences can be exciting ways to meet other interested scholars, learn about ground-breaking new research, get feedback on developing ideas, and network.
October 15, 2008 - 8:16am
Isn’t it funny how after you learn a new word you are suddenly aware of it being used all over the place? I feel like this happened to me with the academic career-family balance thing. Although there was general talk about balancing career and family as I went through my schooling, until recently I lived in a zone where there really was no recognition of the intricacies of balancing kids and academia; you just figured it out (or not).
October 13, 2008 - 11:29pm
This fall has been busy. I'm pretty sure I say that every year, but with three full classes, several important committees, and some significant deadlines looming, this one feels particularly so. And I came back to work this fall a little out of shape for teaching; after a quiet sabbatical, I found myself literally losing my voice mid-way through my second class every day for the first several weeks.
October 12, 2008 - 9:51pm
Dear all, This is the first time I come to this site. I have a question, and wasn't sure how to start a new thread. So I hope it is OK that I post here. I am a 30 year old female PhD student, and I will graduate next year. My husband and I plan to have two children in the next 4-5 years. And I would like to take a leave for a year for each kid, which accumulates to 2 years.(For medical reasons, I don't want to wait till late 30s to have children.)

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