Any other PhD mums?


Oh, yes! School started last Wednesday for my daughter (she is 8) and son (almost 3) is back at childminder's, but I feel I really need a holiday now...felt guilty all summer about not doing enough... We went on holiday for a week at the end and I finally gave up trying to work for the last three days of it, which was good, but obviously - hindsight- I should have taken the whole week off might not feel so tired now...? Will try and make a new plan, spent an hour updating my to do list this morning, gulp! :p
Would be great to keep in touch and maybe exchange some tips!


Sali - I wrote up my thesis in the evenings whilst the three bambinos were asleep. So from 7pm was 'me' time where I had dinner with hubby followed by my study time at 8pm til bedtime. It was hard to get into the habit of evening work but it soon became the 'norm'. I would work 5 nights a week with two evenings spent relaxing with hubby. This gave me 10-15 hours of study time and the key is to be focused on what you are to do with that limited time. My desk was always set up ready, ie not packed/filed away so I could just pick up where I had left it the previous evening. I also made rough notes during the day whilst looking after the three bambinos as I often had different ideas pop up then. This was a great time to draft out chapter headings and sub-headings or ideas for the text structure. So in essence I snatched time during the day for the evenings 'childfree' work. Due to the cost of childcare for three babies, I had only one afternoon a week where they all went to a childminder. This time was only guaranteed if all were well, ie if one had a temp my time was lost, grrr!


======= Date Modified 04 Sep 2011 08:12:53 =======
Dunni's children are younger than mine so her advice is probably more pertinent. However, I did the whole kit and caboodle with four children (Degree, Masters, PhD) and what I would say is snatch whatever time you can and don't get too precious about noise - you have to learn to work with background distractions. Some people say they can only work in total silence but come on, if you've got children that's just not going to happen! I know I've said it before but it's only when my lads start the scrapping and fighting that I can't concentrate. Other than that - TV, playstation, friends calling to the door whatever - don't really bother me. The 'what's for dinner' mantra can get to you when you're on a roll but that's family life I guess. Anyone on their own raising children and studying, I really admire you 'coz it's will be tough but ultimately rewarding. Give yourself some timeouts but know that they may be short ones. So learn to savour the little things and relish those 15 minutes of flicking through a magazine or record a programme from the TV and look forward to it as your treat. That's what I did, eh do!

Edit: @Dunni, hope the house move went well and that you're settled in. Which was more stressful, the move or the PhD??


It's great reading everyone else's experiences. I would add that if at all possible it is great to have a space of your own to study and keep the children away. Unfortunately I don't have a desk or study and have to get everything out and set up on the kitchen table when I want to work and this is actually even more disruptive than the children themselves!


Hi all,
This thread might be very useful for me as I'm currently pregnant and due my first baby in April next year.
I was in my third full-time year of my PhD due to end in February but when I found out I switched to part-time so I can come back part-time after ML. I'm still working full time though to make sure I get as much done as possible before the baby arrives. Thankfully I'm arts/humanities based so don't have any lab work etc to do and I'm at the drafting of chapters stage now.
No doubt I'll be on here desperate for advice and support over the coming months!


Just thought I would dust off this old thread to ask how everyone is getting on. I am currently in a state of panic as we have had two weeks of illness (the kids, not me) so very little work has been done. Now the holidays are looming and, with the schools closed, even less will be possible! How are you all going to get through the Christmas holidays?


======= Date Modified 13 Dec 2011 09:55:07 =======
Hi Timefortea - sorry to hear your children haven't been well although now it looks like they're better, just in time for the holidays!!! I would be realistic with what you can achieve over the next few weeks and maybe just tip away at a bit of reading and admin-type stuff 'til January. Shelve any attempts at writing but try to get your thoughts in order for when you will have some spare moments for it.

Me - my brood are older than yours but I am facing into Christmas while simultaneously trying to prep for my viva - which I am failing at miserably. I have hardly looked at my thesis and time is slipping away. One of my twins acts up a fair bit and has gone from last year sneaking out of the house and me never knowing where he was to this year, feigning illness and not wanting to go out past the front door. Neither is how I want it to be with him. Fourteen years old is a tough age with all those hormones raging inside of you. His twin (also 14!!!) has little sympathy as long as his x-box is working. And I thought it would get easier...

Happy Christmas all PhD Mums, and Dads, and sisters, and brothers, and aunties, and uncles, and friends(gift)


======= Date Modified 13 Dec 2011 18:38:41 =======

I'm fortunate in that I've got passed the Viva stage and mine are now 18 (and just started uni!) and 17 (studying for A levels) I myself have just turned 40! I did my degree when they were little (2 years old and 9 months old) so I have some idea how difficult it must be and merely wanted to wish you well Timefortea, and agree with the others who have the reading bits you need to do, so you can pick it up and put it down with ease, if you can, AND any admin bits.....references etc. It all cuts down on the mad rush at the end if you do it now.

I myself have a BIG deadline. My corrections are due in on the 16th February, I'm due to give birth on 19th February (and am high risk early labour), and I am working full time in a post doc position. EEEEEEK. WILL do it. Fingers firmly crossed.


Good that this thread hasn't been forgotten! Would love to know what your views on part time study are. I am considering switching to part time, after a year's full time slog with two children (8 and 3). My supervisor is all for it. I'm craving guilt free school holidays (as I mentioned previously), but my studentship would be halved, too... Would love to hear your experiences. Thanks!


Hi there

I thought I should introduce myself too. I am a Phd student not-mum-yet-but-hoping-to-be-a-mum with infertility problems, PCOS and pre-diabetes. I have abandoned TTCing after receiving revise and resubmit... 32 years old and time's ticking...

Take some time out with your family and enjoy it as much as possible. You are worth it. (gift)


======= Date Modified 07 Mar 2012 09:13:47 =======
Hi everyone and welcome to everyone new. :-)
I have just switched to part-time as I couldn't keep up after yet another two weeks off for illnesses (theirs not mine!) My supervisor was very supportive (I think he was fed up of the excuses!) Only you can decide whether it is doable financially though!

Cplusplusgirl - a bit late but I hope everything went well and you are enjoying time with your new baby.


I am Mum of a two year old and also work full time as a teacher. Been studying for 4 years part time and at least 2 years to go. At times I am not sure why I am putting myself through this stress. Please all of you tell me it is worth it.


I am a mum of a 4yr old, working FT, doing PT-Phd. I did my first year as a full-time student collecting data, and then switched to part time from my 2nd year onwards, becasue im funded, the contract requires me to complete it within 3 years (same as someone doing a FT phd). Ridiculous, but i couldnt do anything but accept the terms. In a way, my research is fairly straightforward in a sense that i dont have to go to labs, i just work on data (transcripts)and trying to 'prove' a model (sociology).

Lately, there is another thing on my mind, other than trying to write the thesis. Im 37 and starting to panic. i want to try for another baby this year (yes, while doing the PhD), only because i dont think i can wait till i complete the phd (38++) to try. But im not sure if i can pull it off - PhD, baby, work. I do have help at home when it comes to my toddler and if i should have a baby, but someone told me that the morning sickness might get the best of me, and it would be impossible to work on the thesis. for this reason, i have been stressing myself out of late, trying to figure out how to get at least 80% of the thesis done before i try for a baby, so that, i could at least cope not too bad if i do indeed fall preg during my Phd duration. Is all this too ambitious?

Can some mummies out there, who's had a baby whilst doing their PhD, please share with me your experiences.


This is a great thread to read.

Myself and my wife have been married 2.5 years and are now at that stage where we're planning to have children, infact to 'start' at the end of this year. As a first year PhD student, I have somewhat subtly been playing a rearguard action, hoping that the longer I delay it, the better.

Even at this point, if we wait until the end of this year, I'll have a newborn baby during the last year of my PhD!

So, has anyone had any experience with PhD + Newborn? Is it simply unwise to do so? I'm full-time and do, and I expect will, work from home a lot writing up and reading etc (history PhD).

Any advice would be mucho appreciated!


Welcome Farah and Halochanter!
I had twins while doing my Phd - I don't recommend it! That said, everything really depends on how organized you are, what help you have etc. There is another poster on the forum who also had twins while doing the Phd and she has now graduated - living proof that it can be done! I hope to join her one day...