Pursuing a Ph.D. degree not only challenges you mentally and financially but also emotionally especially when you have children to raise along with that. No doubt, motherhood is loaded up with delights as well as difficulties. Those moms who are undergoing a Ph.D. degree as well have to face a lot more challenges than others due to their tough schedules. But, being a mom can also strengthen you, provide more opportunities and motivation to complete your degree.
The bare notion of having children during a Ph.D. can be daunting for some people. But, it isn’t totally unrealizable. Many people have children during their Ph.D. They not only manage to raise their children properly but also complete their degrees successfully.
Briana Williams, a graduate from the Harvard School of Law, who balanced single motherhood and a strenuous final year successfully is an inspiration to all the single moms out there pursuing their Ph.D. She says that
"I want other moms to know that it is possible to have the job and life of your dreams as well as be an awesome mother," she says. "The choices are not mutually exclusive."
So, how exactly is that possible?
Here are some ways you can follow to manage your Ph.D. and children as well.
1. Set Timelines:
Being a mom, you have to be extremely careful about your working schedule. Make a timetable in which your study work is separated from your motherhood chores and each task is properly defined and scheduled. A sufficient time block should be allocated for each task so that you don’t end up multitasking at the end of the day.
It is important to make a schedule for yourself as well as for your kids and follow it strictly so that nothing else coincides with your work. Keep in mind that both your children and Ph.D. require proper attention so, manage your schedule accordingly. But, most importantly take time out for yourself as well to avoid falling for burnout.
2. Keep Focused:
Keeping yourself extremely focused while doing your Ph.D. is highly important to be productive. For this, you can do your research work when your kids are scheduled to sleep or are less likely to disturb you. Make sure that when you are studying, your mind is fully into it so that you can extract maximum knowledge and complete your coursework within the allocated timeframe. Just keep on moving and remember, your speed doesn’t matter; forward is forward.
3. Optimize Time Pockets:
At times, your kids would require constant attention and won’t let you work properly. It mostly happens with newborn children. This situation can be tiresome for mothers, as they cannot focus entirely on their research as they often get busy with their babies. But, Ph.D. isn’t something you can carry on without working for days.
Being a mother, you would rarely have a stretch of time to study. You will have only an hour or two to work on your research or thesis daily. The key to success is to utilize those hours effectively. Even if you have a few minutes, use it for reading, editing, or proofreading your writings, etc. These small working fragments will eventually add up to your thesis completion.
4. Utilize Day Care Facilities:
Being a Ph.D. pursuing mom you often have to go to laboratories to conduct experiments, libraries to study, universities to attend or give lectures, and many other places. You can’t be with your child all the time to take care of them. In order to do your work freely without worrying about your kids, it is suggested to utilize daycare facilities for at least 5-6 hours each day. It will give you a lot of time to complete major study goals of the day.
5. Manage Your Finances Wisely:
Managing finances can be quite a task during a Ph.D. along with raising children. Your savings may range from zero to minimum after paying for all the bills, rents, and other utilities. Therefore, avoid taking any loans which are difficult to pay in the future.
As Nathan W. Morris says
“Every time you borrow money, you're robbing your future self.”
Many universities offer allowances and subsidized homes for their Ph.D. aspirants. Therefore, take the maximum benefit out of these facilities, so you can focus more on your research and thesis instead of worrying about financial stability.
6. Seek Maximum Help:
There will be times when you’ll feel extremely exhausted and demotivated to work and won’t be able to do all the things on your own. That’s why it’s important to seek help from your partner, parents, friends, or even neighbors. They could help you with the house chores or look after your baby while you can focus more on your thesis or research. You can also seek help related to your Ph.D. work from professional mentors such as from The Scholars Professional Editing Group to guide you along your Ph.D. journey.
We hope this article would be useful for Ph.D. scholars especially for mothers pursuing their doctorate degrees. Do let us know in the comment section below about your thoughts and experiences of your Ph.D. and what other topics you would like us to discuss.
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