The following is a companion piece to Part 3 of this series, Johnny Brennan's 'Having Children in Graduate School.' In today's post, a contributor who prefers to remain anonymous relates her experiences and tips regarding having children in graduate school as a woman. I hope you all find the post helpful and informative! The author also asked me to note that if there are any readers who could use support or wish to talk with her further on the topic personally, she is happy for me to put you in touch with her (so please do feel free to send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org).
There was a great post on Philosopher’s Cocoon a few weeks ago about having children while in graduate school for philosophy. It carried some great advice such as trying to work out expectations in advance and keeping communication with your partner open. Some posters raised valid concerns about the post’s author being male, including both concerns about how pregnant persons might be treated differently and have different experiences from non-pregnant expecting partners and also concerns about how being a mother (as opposed to a father) may affect perceptions, treatment, and experiences as well.
I am a fourth year Ph.D. student in philosophy, and I am a mother of two: a nine month old and a 2 ½ year old. The post was brought to my attention by a friend and colleague who noticed that there was a interest in hearing from the perspective of a mother who had also been pregnant while in graduate school. So I’m happy to contribute some thoughts of my own on what it is like to have children in graduate school, both as the pregnant partner, as a mother, and as a breastfeeding mother, each of which raises its own challenges.