PhD Student Mamas Tackling 2008 - Page 5 - Mothering Forums
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#121 of 165 Old 09-28-2008, 01:34 AM
 
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nnaemeka, I think I'm going to have to work in the morning as well. Tell me it's okay to *not* play with the little guy in the mornings. He actually plays fairly well by himself for a good 45 minutes or so, but I feel like a 'bad mom; if I don't play with him. I can also get a few more minutes if I put a dvd in for him...but the same guilt thing pops up.

slsurface - good luck!!

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#122 of 165 Old 10-19-2008, 09:04 PM
 
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Name: SA
Age: 33
Children and birthdays: DD 2/04, DD 5/06 and #3 1/09
Academic Area: Public Health
Stage of Degree: applying for Fall 09
Goal for 2008: get in
Goal for 2009: spend as much time with my babes as possible
Geographical Location: Michigan

I have some questions for you PhD mamas. Am I crazy to be attempting this? I work part time as a college professor and have for years but am definitely hitting the glass ceiling without the PhD. We just moved to a new city and childcare costs are outrageous. If I go back for the PhD and get funded, I will qualify for a childcare grant and end up making about the same as I do now. I would rather be in school working towards a goal than working to pay for daycare.

I am curious though what 12 credit hours of doctoral work is like. Should I plan for full time daycare? How much time is usually spent on PhD work outside of classes- like beginning research projects, etc? Is this doable with three kids under 5? My DH is fully supportive of this and really encouraging me on it. I would love to be back in school but I do not want my kids in daycare 40 hours a week either. Some days I am all for it, and others I just feel confused. I could use some words of wisdom here.
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#123 of 165 Old 10-19-2008, 09:13 PM
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I'm currently taking 14 credit hours - 9 graduate level credits and 5 in a foreign language (which easily eats up 20 hours a week, even though it's a 200 level course). I easily spend 40 hours a week between classwork and out-of-class work. Easily. It's probably closer to 50. Granted, a good chunk of that is reading, but still.

YMMV, of course... I did my master's coursework in the same field and it wasn't anywhere near this much work, but then again it wasn't in such a prestigous and well-regarded program.

I'm in anthropology, if that matters - cultural, with an emphasis on medical. I've toyed with the idea of getting an MPH along the way...

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#124 of 165 Old 10-19-2008, 11:44 PM
 
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Name: SA
Age: 33
Children and birthdays: DD 2/04, DD 5/06 and #3 1/09
Academic Area: Public Health
Stage of Degree: applying for Fall 09
Goal for 2008: get in
Goal for 2009: spend as much time with my babes as possible
Geographical Location: Michigan

I have some questions for you PhD mamas. Am I crazy to be attempting this? I work part time as a college professor and have for years but am definitely hitting the glass ceiling without the PhD. We just moved to a new city and childcare costs are outrageous. If I go back for the PhD and get funded, I will qualify for a childcare grant and end up making about the same as I do now. I would rather be in school working towards a goal than working to pay for daycare.

I am curious though what 12 credit hours of doctoral work is like. Should I plan for full time daycare? How much time is usually spent on PhD work outside of classes- like beginning research projects, etc? Is this doable with three kids under 5? My DH is fully supportive of this and really encouraging me on it. I would love to be back in school but I do not want my kids in daycare 40 hours a week either. Some days I am all for it, and others I just feel confused. I could use some words of wisdom here.
yeah, you'll probably need fulltime daycare. if public health is any thing like the humanities, coursework is pretty hectic---readings, presentations, seminar papers, exams. and if you expected to teach/ta or be a research assistant, more work. not to mention beginning to work your own on project, perhaps do conferences, get published etc. its crazy actually and these programs were definitely not built with mamas in mind. but i think its doable esp with a supportive partner and trusted childcare.
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#125 of 165 Old 10-20-2008, 02:14 AM
 
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I am curious though what 12 credit hours of doctoral work is like. Should I plan for full time daycare? How much time is usually spent on PhD work outside of classes- like beginning research projects, etc? Is this doable with three kids under 5? My DH is fully supportive of this and really encouraging me on it. I would love to be back in school but I do not want my kids in daycare 40 hours a week either. Some days I am all for it, and others I just feel confused. I could use some words of wisdom here.
I'm a second year PhD student (working on the MA now but in a doctoral program) taking 4 units of actual class work but I'm a TA and an RA and I'm trying to write a conference paper and do qualitative interviews for my thesis. I'm buried. That's the truth. I wouldn't be able to handle 12 credit hours of class work while also TAing and RAing and being a (single) mama. If you don't have to TA or RA (but it sounds like you would if you are going to be funded), that seems like a lot to me. Outside of the class hours, you have read as much as you can of an intense reading load and prepare for in-class presentations and end of quarter term papers (15-20 pages). So, it is a lot of work per class. Add the other stuff I mentioned and, well, you see what I'm saying?

It might be different in different programs or maybe I'm just a light weight...I'm definitely saying its doable - because "I'm" doing it. But you'll need the time...
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#126 of 165 Old 10-21-2008, 01:34 AM
 
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Can I join?

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Age: 28
Children and birthdays: Working on # 1 - hopefully in 09
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Stage of Degree: Still doing coursework, almost done, I hope! Trying to move quickly through a program with a long time to completion
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#127 of 165 Old 10-21-2008, 01:50 AM
 
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Age: 31 years old
Children and birthdays: 1 DD, 6.24.07
Academic Area: Structural biology (biochemistry)
Stage of Degree: 7 years in: finishing...soon damn it!
Goal for 2008: finish
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#128 of 165 Old 10-21-2008, 04:47 PM
 
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I have another question- how essential is it to identify a faculty mentor 'match' for your research interests prior to starting? I have research interests, and a project in mind, but I am fairly certain these interests will evolve as I begin classwork. I have been told it is pretty important to have a good 'match' prior to beginning but it is hard to just look at a list of faculty interests and know they are the one you want for a mentor for the next 5+ yrs.
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#129 of 165 Old 10-21-2008, 09:24 PM
 
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interview them!!! i did - extensivey via e-mail and with a visit in person before I decided on my graduate program... I think it heped enourmously!

~ Professor Mama to Gabito (July '07) & Danita (April '10) ~
A PhD = + +
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#130 of 165 Old 10-22-2008, 01:07 PM
 
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IMO it's really important to make a connection with a good mentor if there is one available who you *fit*/*click* well with. From personal experience on both sides of that having someone who you do *fit*/*click* with makes a huge difference in the overall progress & feel of the process.

--lots of love from one busy momma of 4 & loving wife of 1--
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#131 of 165 Old 10-22-2008, 01:10 PM
 
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: to all the new folks, it's nice to see more people hopping onto the thread & to share with

--lots of love from one busy momma of 4 & loving wife of 1--
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#132 of 165 Old 10-23-2008, 03:32 PM
 
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Oh, my I join you as well. I am a future-to-be-PhD-Mom. I am a bit scared of what is going to come, regarding finances, taking care of the little one(s) without having any family close by, finishing school on time, how our lives will change, if I will be a good mom. But my biol. clock is ticking loud and constantly and though anxious, I cannot wait to start a family.


Name: Merilin
Age: 29
Children and birthdays: ttc
Academic Area: Earth Sciences
Stage of Degree: Past comps, past proposal, past classes.
Only research, committees.
Goal for 2008: Finish Project 1 (out of 3), send out paper 1, write paper 2.
Geographical Location: Eastcoast
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#133 of 165 Old 10-23-2008, 03:36 PM
 
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I have another question- how essential is it to identify a faculty mentor 'match' for your research interests prior to starting?.

I find the matchmaking much more important than picking the "best ranked school". A good advisor will be on your side, and guide you in your PhD, even if it means a) not doing exactly what he/she is doing or even b) changing advisors later on. Problem with a) is payment, if you are on an RA.
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#134 of 165 Old 10-24-2008, 03:38 PM
 
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I have another question- how essential is it to identify a faculty mentor 'match' for your research interests prior to starting? I have research interests, and a project in mind, but I am fairly certain these interests will evolve as I begin classwork. I have been told it is pretty important to have a good 'match' prior to beginning but it is hard to just look at a list of faculty interests and know they are the one you want for a mentor for the next 5+ yrs.
yep, i agree with the pps. having support is crucial in this process. and having intellectual and departmental support is the lifeline to the phd. your adviser doesn't necessarily have to be perfect match as far as the diss project is concerned, b/c as you noted your interests may/should shift during coursework. but some intellectual intersection plus real commitment to your progress is key. read their work, read about their work (reviews are good) and meet with them before accepting admittance, absolutely. have good questions prepared. pay careful attention to their vibes---do they seem excited about you, your interests, do they really respond the your queries, do they listen, is their research fascinating to you, are they publishing new work etc, are they nice, polite, happy to be professors at this particular institution, brilliant but not overly-intimidating, issue-free, politically right-on, mamas/papas lol...also ask other grad students what the real deal is...GL!

ah, the good ol fresh starry-eyed grad student days!!!

okay, baby is sleeping, back to work!!!
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#135 of 165 Old 11-08-2008, 10:52 PM
 
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i'm bumping this up!

everybody busy?? reaching those goals for 08?

well, i just sent in my diss proposal yesterday and will defend it on monday. i still have to do couple more annotations. though it felt impossible at times, and though i've had some real dramady with the babysitter(s), it feels pretty good to be working again. i hope to keep up the momentum, esp since next semester its back to teaching.

so c'mon and check in!
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#136 of 165 Old 11-09-2008, 01:06 AM
 
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Name: Jenne
Age: 24
Children and birthdays: Chunka, 1/07, one on the way
Academic Area: Child development and family studies
Stage of Degree: waiting to graduate with M.Ed., considering applying for a PhD
Goal for 2008: collect data-check, write thesis-check, defend thesis-check, graduate next month and possibly apply for PhD program starting fall 09.
Geographical Location: Seattle

I just found this group as I finished my M.Ed. Last week I submitted my thesis to the graduate division and I walk with my cohort (in Hawaii) in December. My husband's a grad student too (PhD) and he passed his comprehensive exams on Thursday. Its been a long, stressful few months but we did it! : Now do I really want to start all over now?

M.Ed. Mama to Chunka (1/07), Beauty (5/09) and Elizabear 3/12): Birth Doula (working toward certification) AAMI Midwifery Student, Advocating with Solace for Mothers & The Birth Survey

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#137 of 165 Old 11-09-2008, 01:11 AM
 
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suwannee, the program I'm considering is Public Health. What is your focus/interest?

M.Ed. Mama to Chunka (1/07), Beauty (5/09) and Elizabear 3/12): Birth Doula (working toward certification) AAMI Midwifery Student, Advocating with Solace for Mothers & The Birth Survey

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#138 of 165 Old 11-09-2008, 02:02 PM
 
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i'm bumping this up!

everybody busy?? reaching those goals for 08?

well, i just sent in my diss proposal yesterday and will defend it on monday. i still have to do couple more annotations.
Such an exciting time! You're so close to being ABD, which is so close to being done!

I'm checking in - having a hard time getting any work done, I'm more interested in conceiving, going to midwife appointments with a friend who is newly pregnant.

I read a book recently that will be of interest to many of you: Parenting and Professing. I found it at times discouraging, and at times very inspiring.

Also, I've been leafing through Mama, PhD, and it's kind of the same - I'm finding it inspiring and depressing and my estimation of which it is changes from chapter to chapter.

I have been talking about this with my therapist, but it strikes me that there is a whole lot of ink spilled about how hard it is to parent (Ok, well, primary parent, which in the US means mother) within the academy.

However, I specifically chose to conceive while in grad school, and I specifically chose academia as a career because it seemed like there are a tonne of advantages to being an academic parent and the child of an academic.

A lot of the complaints seem to be coming from solidly middle class women and upper class women; I grew up more working/almost middle/sort of middle class, and spent a few years on welfare in my teens. I'm sure that influences my perspective.

I mean, instead of comparing myself to middle class, stay-at-home parents, I'm comparing myself to working class and poor single parents I know and have known, and what I see is that my life is a lot easier in many ways, and my occupation has all sorts of perks that they don't have.

Anyone have any insight on that? Any been-there, done-that stories? Any reality checks for me?

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#139 of 165 Old 11-09-2008, 11:21 PM
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I mean, instead of comparing myself to middle class, stay-at-home parents, I'm comparing myself to working class and poor single parents I know and have known, and what I see is that my life is a lot easier in many ways, and my occupation has all sorts of perks that they don't have.
I agree, and IIRC, there was a story in Mama, PhD that specifically addressed that. If I am remembering the story correctly, it was written by a woman who was a single mom and had grown up low SES. She talked about how she had trouble relating to issues like, "writer's block," and put it in a context like (going from memory here), "Do janitors get cleaning block? Do bus drivers get driving block? No. When it is time for me to write, I write."

That said, I do think that grad student parenting can be easier than parenting on the tenure track.

professor & maman de DS1 (6) & DS2 (1)

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#140 of 165 Old 11-10-2008, 12:10 AM
 
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I finished Mama, PhD last month and found that yes, I was alternately inspired or depressed by the stories. It's clear there aren't a lot of good stories, and those who seem to do the best had children after tenure, which doesn't say much for the system.

As far as the socio-economic status thing, yes and no. Yes, it's a much better situation than someone who's working class, but doesn't that go without saying? Duh--DH as a tenure-track prof has it much easier than my father the diesel mechanic. It misses the point though: shouldn't colleges and universities, as presumably the "most enlightened," be doing more to help families succeed? Even DH has gotten a few snarky comments from colleagues if he brings DD with him to work for a few hours because our child-care fell through--and he works in a department that's mainly female (mostly empty-nesters). IMO, the point of the book is that the academy can do better, but in the meantime, here are the stories of how others are coping.

Quote:
and IIRC, there was a story in Mama, PhD that specifically addressed that. If I am remembering the story correctly, it was written by a woman who was a single mom and had grown up low SES. She talked about how she had trouble relating to issues like, "writer's block," and put it in a context like (going from memory here), "Do janitors get cleaning block? Do bus drivers get driving block? No. When it is time for me to write, I write."
This one actually grated on my nerves a bit. I think what she did was fabulous and amazing. I didn't come from a papered background (see diesel mechanic father) and I worked two jobs through my master's and through my doctoral degree until I was ABD. But my life isn't nearly as orderly or structured as she describes hers, for any number of reasons.

If you asked me before I was pregnant, I would have said "yep, just need to keep my nose to the grindstone," but real-life parenting has been so completely different. Her story is one story, but not realistic for everyone, regardless of SES.

******
As far as updates: I'm giving a colloquium presentation to the department tomorrow on a portion of my dissertation, and turning in my final draft to my committee on Dec 1, and defending 2.5 weeks after that. :

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#141 of 165 Old 11-10-2008, 12:32 AM
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As far as the socio-economic status thing, yes and no. Yes, it's a much better situation than someone who's working class, but doesn't that go without saying? Duh--DH as a tenure-track prof has it much easier than my father the diesel mechanic. It misses the point though: shouldn't colleges and universities, as presumably the "most enlightened," be doing more to help families succeed? Even DH has gotten a few snarky comments from colleagues if he brings DD with him to work for a few hours because our child-care fell through--and he works in a department that's mainly female (mostly empty-nesters). IMO, the point of the book is that the academy can do better, but in the meantime, here are the stories of how others are coping.
I absolutely agree.

I think it can be a very fine line to walk, knowing that you have it better than many others while still acknowledging (and fighting against) the inequities that remain.

professor & maman de DS1 (6) & DS2 (1)

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#142 of 165 Old 11-10-2008, 02:21 PM
 
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One more thought on this, from my own experience:

Quote:
and IIRC, there was a story in Mama, PhD that specifically addressed that. If I am remembering the story correctly, it was written by a woman who was a single mom and had grown up low SES. She talked about how she had trouble relating to issues like, "writer's block," and put it in a context like (going from memory here), "Do janitors get cleaning block? Do bus drivers get driving block? No. When it is time for me to write, I write."
She also wrote this:

Quote:
[My kids] knew from an early age that their job was to go to bed at 8:00 pm and only come downstairs if they felt sick or needed comforting from an especially bad dream. I was often surprised when I heard other student-parents complain that their kids resisted bedtime or whined about errands or chores.
*This* is where her life and mine are radically different. Bedtimes with DD have never been easy. She was also a baby who didn't nap for more than 20-30 minute periods, always while being held, and who didn't sleep through the night until she was probably 18 months or longer. She'll be 4 next month, and she has spent the last two+ weeks waking up around 6 or 6:30 asking to nurse. (We don't nurse until 7 am. That's been true for over a year now.) During the last two weeks, she screams at me about nursing until I carry her into her own room, or until DH takes her elsewhere, or I'm forced to field questions about "what time is it now?" every 5 minutes until 7. (I even wrote "7:00" and taped it to the clock in hopes of avoiding this.)

I suspect she'd tell me to wean her and stop co-sleeping and to enforce a strict bedtime during which she was not allowed to wake me up. But, I feel obliged to try to meet both of our needs, and I do understand that DD still has a strong need to nurse (i.e., 9 months after I nightweaned--when she was 2.5--she would still wake up once a week and scream at me to nurse her, usually around 3 am).

Perhaps if I was in her situation, I'd choose a different parenting style, or I'd set an arbitrary weaning date, or perhaps a second child would be a little less intense than my first. Kids come in wildly different temperaments and with varying needs. I can think of a lot of days when I didn't so much suffer from writer's block, as found myself so stressed after DD didn't fall asleep until 10 (or a month ago, until 11), that I wasn't able to focus properly. I don't think that's about my "privilege" as much as it speaks to having a high-needs child and my own capacity for stress. "Enforcing" a strict bedtime with DD would mean a lot of screaming and most likely holding the door shut to her room, or types of punishment that we don't endorse on MDC and that I will not do. (Still, I realize ny post is a also little bit of this. )

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#143 of 165 Old 11-11-2008, 01:02 AM
 
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Lisa - wow - that book would have REALLY frustrated me

I recently was diagnosed ADHD - I saw a couselour today - trying med free approaches because I am BFing - I had a semi breakthrough - that even though sometiome I don't have enough time to get alot done, that it is still important that I work on it, because I need to see the material often to remember what I am doing. Like brain exercises - LOL. She said I came up with that one on my own, but I think she is sneaky!

Anyway - DS is better from his ear infection, but is now getting molars. They are so slow. I feel like I give too much tylenol, but it seems for the last 2 weeks he has needed it every other if not every night at bed. And now the bottom gums are swollen too, so I think once the top are in, it wil be another week of the bottom. He woke up 5 times last night. Thank god we co-sleep and he eventually Bfed and went back to sleep easy.

The ADHD thing though - I just assumed everyone had trouble concentrating and buckling down. Isn't that the phd life? Then I find out it is not?? weird. My whole life is turned upside down! But I admit whatever pre-existing ADD I had was minor until after I got pregnant... then it took on a life of its own.

Anyway, the boss/advisor is away and I have been trying to finish the teaching off in a half-competent way for the semester. Under all the stress of students non-stop at my door asking about the project and the exam, another faculty member took pity on me and offered me an RA next semester. oh joy!!! not that i don't love teaching, but thei ADD thing is really hard to manage with teaching and classes and dissertation. And even though it is not directly reated to my dissertation, any research experience is good for me since I feel it is an area that is lacking in right now.

anwyay, that is my update...

~ Professor Mama to Gabito (July '07) & Danita (April '10) ~
A PhD = + +
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#144 of 165 Old 11-12-2008, 05:04 PM
 
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Lisa - wow - that book would have REALLY frustrated me

I recently was diagnosed ADHD - I saw a couselour today - trying med free approaches because I am BFing - I had a semi breakthrough - that even though sometiome I don't have enough time to get alot done, that it is still important that I work on it, because I need to see the material often to remember what I am doing. Like brain exercises - LOL. She said I came up with that one on my own, but I think she is sneaky!

Anyway - DS is better from his ear infection, but is now getting molars. They are so slow. I feel like I give too much tylenol, but it seems for the last 2 weeks he has needed it every other if not every night at bed. And now the bottom gums are swollen too, so I think once the top are in, it wil be another week of the bottom. He woke up 5 times last night. Thank god we co-sleep and he eventually Bfed and went back to sleep easy.

The ADHD thing though - I just assumed everyone had trouble concentrating and buckling down. Isn't that the phd life? Then I find out it is not?? weird. My whole life is turned upside down! But I admit whatever pre-existing ADD I had was minor until after I got pregnant... then it took on a life of its own.

Anyway, the boss/advisor is away and I have been trying to finish the teaching off in a half-competent way for the semester. Under all the stress of students non-stop at my door asking about the project and the exam, another faculty member took pity on me and offered me an RA next semester. oh joy!!! not that i don't love teaching, but thei ADD thing is really hard to manage with teaching and classes and dissertation. And even though it is not directly reated to my dissertation, any research experience is good for me since I feel it is an area that is lacking in right now.

anwyay, that is my update...
hey carita,

i hope getting the diagnosis proves helpful to you. i wonder sometimes i should be tested as well. congrads on scoring an RA, that's fabulous!

i checked out the Mama PhD website. its good to know that women are discussing how un-family-centered the academic world can be. i found it to be somewhat of a downer that both editors put their academic careers on hold as they realized the challenge of mothering and professing. i do agree there is a class element involved---i mean many, if not most, new profs certainly can't leave a good paying tenure track job because of the stress level. i do have to say however that i grew up and identify as working class and i still have problems getting the work done so....

anyway, my proposal defense was not the triumphant milestone i imagined it would be. my committee wants me to make some changes. sigh. i had such adrenaline going for that deadline and now my brain is feeling sluggish and i'm feeling disappointed. i know that at this stage any work to clarify my project can only help me. but i feel like my adviser misled me a bit. i mean i've been working closely w/ him and sending him my drafts and he said i was ready to defend. he's says its not unusual for the committee to request changes, edits before signing off etc. but sheesh i'm so over it. just the mental energy it takes for me to get settled to write, the timing with baby, the consistently irresponsible babysitter i have (to replace), the loving but sometimes not getting it DH, ergggghhhhh!

yikes, i guess need one of these too!

so, i'm thinking of putting DD in daycare part time. she's almost 4 months and is very "active." so maybe it'll be good. but i feel sad just thinking about it. awww, my little peanut. we might not start until next semester, so we'll see. we're meeting the director tomorrow, its a new facility and she seems very nice and their handbook is well written and seems to reveal a sincere spirit. its my first daycare visit, so wish me luck.

take care (trying to get that frikin') PhD mamas!
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#145 of 165 Old 11-13-2008, 01:22 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nnaemeka View Post

i checked out the Mama PhD website. its good to know that women are discussing how un-family-centered the academic world can be. i found it to be somewhat of a downer that both editors put their academic careers on hold as they realized the challenge of mothering and professing. i do agree there is a class element involved---i mean many, if not most, new profs certainly can't leave a good paying tenure track job because of the stress level.
hey z.--

i agree. it is disheartening that academic careers are so hard to square with mothering. and yes, there's a class element to the fact that some have an option to "put things on hold" and others do not. but frankly, as time goes on and dh's salary goes up and i'm getting the option to "put things on hold," that also creates its own set of problems. as it becomes possible for me to opt out, it becomes a real choice for me when i DON'T.

and not to be like all sob story over it because i'm so lucky to have choices, but it's HARD when you realize you are CHOOSING to pursue a career when you could stay home. at least for me it is. there are all those social messages about SAH being better, even more so in the AP community

not to mention, the more he's working and getting career-focused to get these promotions, the more is falling on me in terms of DD's care. and even though i am technically a WOHM, everything seems to fall on me in terms of choosing childcare, taking her, picking her up, and then most of the care at home as well. sometimes i think it would be easier if i just SAH and let him do the career thing :

Quote:
so, i'm thinking of putting DD in daycare part time. she's almost 4 months and is very "active." so maybe it'll be good. but i feel sad just thinking about it. awww, my little peanut. we might not start until next semester, so we'll see. we're meeting the director tomorrow, its a new facility and she seems very nice and their handbook is well written and seems to reveal a sincere spirit. its my first daycare visit, so wish me luck.
it is hard deciding to start daycare. but if you go that route, i think you'll find you can get a lot more done. i never had the best luck with sitters, either. even if they're responsible, they're expensive and they get sick, and they leave town (especially the student ones!), etc. daycares are much more consistent. you can rely on them day in and day out at a (mostly) reasonable rate.

where are you looking at?? good luck! i know how hard it is to choose a place.

dissertating wife of Boo, mama of one "mookie" lovin' 2 year old girl! intactlact:: CTA until 7/10 FF 1501dc
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#146 of 165 Old 11-14-2008, 01:19 AM
 
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I had my DS in DC 2 days a week so that I could go to class and meetings and teach. Then by 4 mo or so he was in 3-4 days a week, now I only take Wednesday mornigns off with him.

The molar issue coincided with a 15 mo well baby check up - and guess what? The Ear Infection is back!! I fee guilty because I wonder if it was the splurge on my no milk diet when I frantically grabbed 4 peices of pizza starving my head off because I forgot my lunch last week.

~ Professor Mama to Gabito (July '07) & Danita (April '10) ~
A PhD = + +
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#147 of 165 Old 11-19-2008, 11:42 AM
 
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: to all the new folks! it seems the thread is picking up some yah!:

everybody busy?? reaching those goals for 08?

oh man, I feel super busy but at the same time like I am wasting so much time. I have gotten more than 1/2 my data collected and a good chunk transcribed, so I am happy about that given it's been a slower process than I initially expected. I knew it would slower, but not this slow. I am also teaching a lot this semester, 4 classes so I am looking forward to the W term. only 1 class then, which is good since I'm due w/ #4 near the last part of W term. I have balanced it before this way, but I am thinking it was easier just a few years ago. as for other work...got a few papers in the works, hope they move forward & a couple presentations. so it's busy but then again I am checking MDC so I guess I am not keeping as busy as I should be

as for Mama PhD I haven't read it, I do check the blog on occasion most doesn't seem to apply to me. it's good to see that there is discussion about what it's like to balance work/family in the academy but I haven't read the book so I can't offer more on that. however, I do think it is a different type of balancing act in this supposedly progressive environment for those with families than one would expect. I think a lot of folks go in thinking it will be far different and are suprised at the resistance women (especially) and men face who are trying to balance. given that the academy is usually (at least in my area) offering so many suggestions to the rest of society on what is beneficial for families, women, and a healthy social world that you'd expect more of that within the academy itself. or at least more consistency--given it can vary so much from location to location.

Carita: congrats on the RA

nnaemeka: I remember having to make changes too after my proposal. really looking back on it now, it seems small in comparison to all the work that went in to it. it is a pain, but just look at all you have accomplished--you are ABD!! it's a big milestone, don't let the small stuff take away from this accomplishment you deserve to enjoy it too:

--lots of love from one busy momma of 4 & loving wife of 1--
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#148 of 165 Old 11-19-2008, 04:07 PM
 
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My bad news is that my dept will only support me into my year 6, which is next year, so I have only 1 year left to finish. I am nervous. This week I have a pile of grading and we are still battling the ear infection. In the haze, we forgot to give DS his allergy medicine and he woke up at 1 inconsolible and screaming. No amount of nursing would put him back to sleep. then I remembered the allergy meds. I am exhausted today.

BUT

yay! Last class of Class #1 teaching is today!
There are only 3 more classes and a study session and final for Class #2 I'm teaching.
1 more class Friday for seminar #1 taking, 2 more for Seminar #2 I am taking, and 2 mor for Seminar #3 I am taking/teaching/co-facilitating.

The end is in sight!!! Then I can focus on those darn 08 goals... LOL

~ Professor Mama to Gabito (July '07) & Danita (April '10) ~
A PhD = + +
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#149 of 165 Old 11-20-2008, 11:23 AM
 
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I know I'm all about the books lately, but it kind of comes with the territory!

Carita - I don't know if organization is an issue for you, but it's a big one for me, and one of the shared struggles of most people with ADD/ADHD.

This book is supposed to be excellent: Organizing Solutions for People with Attention Deficit Disorder

I haven't read it, but here's a review from someone I know and trust: http://www.mmartone.com/?p=51

I'm worried when you say your ADD picked up after you got pregnant - I have ADDish tendencies, but I'm a coper, not a doper, so I have been consciously coping and not medicating for a decade, and I've been coping since before that. Who knows what will happen when I get pregnant! (I am in the 2ww right now.)

I think my comment about the class issues behind mamas who say that academia and children don't mix well comes from my own class position, vis-a-vis that of most of my colleagues.

Though, in fact, most of the people I know well in my PhD program come from working class or lower middle class families, and almost all are the first people in their families to attend graduate school, this is not the norm across academia.

Where I did my MA, most of the people were from upper middle class families.

However, most of my professors and most of the people I know who are above the rank of grad student (postdocs, lecturers, junior faculty, on up) have never really worked outside of the academy for any length of time.

I worked a really odd night schedule in a factory for two years after high school, including working a double shift (15 hours) with only nine hours off between shifts at either end. I worked full time days in a corporate setting (overlapping with that job - on Thursdays and Fridays, I worked about forty hours. Every week.)

I worked for the university where I did my undergrad for four years - full time days, mostly.

Altogether, it means that I have spent about seven years in the working world, working full time, supporting myself, and partially supporting my partner, paying the bills, getting myself through university (though to be honest, my focus was always paying the bills.)

It was really hard for me to leave work, even though with a generous scholarship and a TA lined up, my MA program paid me just about the same as when I was working.

I was also self-supporting through most of high school, from the age of 16 until when I finished at 19.

This is not typical of my colleagues.

Nor is it typical for most the mamas who complain about the lack of work/life/family balance within academia.

I don't believe the corporate world is any more family friendly, I don't believe the academic service sector is either.

In fact, I chose an academic career because I saw, after working for seven years, how much more supportive working in the academy could be. Although, truth be told, I am not aiming for a research job at an R-1 university, I'm hoping to finish my PhD in five years, and head off to a small teaching college.

SPBC Finally a Papa! Elise Ember Soleil - 10/3/10 - 4:09 AM - 6 lbs 8 oz My daughter eats donor milk! Human milk for human babies!
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#150 of 165 Old 11-20-2008, 05:38 PM
 
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FtMPapa - All I can say is that I wish many times I had a job that I could leave at work 8-5. I love the flexibility during the day, but it is not the 8-5 during the day and summers off job I thought academia would be years ago when I started this process. BTW - every ADD mama I have spoken too agrees that their ADD was way worse during pregnancy. I have a good friend TTC that is currently beginning dissertation stage - I am worried how she will manage her ADD too.

Thanks all on the RA congats. Got some teaching evals already for a seminar and I had a handful, about 3, out of a small seminar, 14, think I was pretty bad. (This is my 3rd semester doing this particular course and have only had 1 student ever give me a negative eval). I can't imagine how I pissed people off . I consider my potential better than my output .

Hope my evals for class #2 are better...

muchpeace - #4! I can barely handle 1, I am in awe!

~ Professor Mama to Gabito (July '07) & Danita (April '10) ~
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