Tuesday, February 5, 2013

My Secret to Surviving Grad School With a Baby

When I reflected on all that's happened in the last year or so, I didn't mention how I managed to do it.  My secret? An excellent support system!

I'm really lucky that both my and my husband's parents live near us.  I'm even luckier that three of them are at least semi-retired and willing to watch Molly a few hours a week.  So when I need to be on campus (just once a week last semester, but three times this semester), one of them is usually able to come over to be with Molly.  In addition to that, my dad is able to be there to distract Molly once in a while so I can work without interruption.

Sometimes people ask why we never moved away to California or Seattle to work somewhere like Microsoft or Google.  This is the biggest reason why - family is really important to us in many ways.  I love that they are willing to be babysitters, but I love even more that Molly gets to spend so much quality time with relatives, and not just strangers.  I figure we can move somewhere cool once our kids are older and perhaps even moved out on their own.

If you have or are considering having a baby in grad school, think about who your support system is.  It might be family, but it could also be a strong network of parent friends you can share childminding duties with.  It could even just be an excellent daycare you know you can trust (perhaps you'll even become part of a lovely community surrounding it).  Who else might you be able to count on?

Whoever it is, this to me is a big part of surviving grad school with kids.  Don't go at it alone.


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