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    Mothers attempting to balance parenthood and academics.

ABC’s and PhD’s: A PhD at-home Mom (or, as I like to call her: a PhAHM)
November 13, 2012 - 5:00pm

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.


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