I have been offered a funded PhD studentship due to start in October. It's an amazing opportunity and although I'm feeling nervous I can see how this could be a tremendous experience.
Before applying for this studentship my boyfriend (of 10 years) and I decided to start trying for our first baby soon. I'm 33. I was not expecting my PhD application to be successful and felt I couldn't turn the chance down. However I don't want to wait 3 years to complete study and then start trying. I'm getting worried about how the next few years will work out.
The PhD is history/archive based research. I've read a lot of forum posts about the challenges of maternity leave and lab-based PhDs, but what about PhDs where time might be more flexible? Can it work? Am I letting myself in for a world of stress? Or could the flexibility of the PhD work in my favour?
The research organisation offers funded maternity leave for 6 months at the full rate and a further 13 weeks at approx half the rate, which I think is generous.
I feel uncomfortable having accepted the PhD offer knowing there's a strong chance I'll need to take maternity leave sometime during it. But waiting until I'm finished isn't a good option.
Looking for any advice or similar experiences!
A PhD student I know delivered her baby 10 months into her PhD, then took a 6 month maternity leave. She only told the supervisor after she was 5 months pregnant. She came back and continued her PhD later. Hers was also a lab-based PhD. She seems ok now. So.... I guess, it all depends on you and your supervisor?
I got pregnant about 10 months into my funded PhD. It worked out great - because my husband took on a massive amount of childcare after my maternity leave finished to give me the space to complete. I submitted on time, and now don't have to worry about being an 'old' mother and can look for jobs without thinking about when to get pregnant. However I do think if you want a career in academia, more than one is madness. I literally do not know a single woman with more than one child who has been able to make that work (unless her husband is a stay-at-home full-time dad).
Make sure before you embark on this route that your husband is totally committed too...you will need his support.
I know several lab-based PhD students who have had kids during their PhD. Honestly? I don't think they knew what they were letting themselves in for. Their kids suffered from their absence and their PhD suffered (according to them).
But, at the end of the day, you're 33 so can't afford to wait too long, so I guess your options are more restricted. It's possible, so if I were you I would give both a go, maybe wait a year or two to start trying so you will have done most of the work by the time baby arrives.
Masters DegreesSearch For Masters Degrees
An active and supportive community.
Support and advice from your peers.
Your postgraduate questions answered.
Use your experience to help others.
Enter your email address below to get started with your forum account
Enter your username below to login to your account
An email has been sent to your email account along with instructions on how to reset your password. If you do not recieve your email, or have any futher problems accessing your account, then please contact our customer support.
or continue as guest