(Closed) Kids vs. Graduate School; can anyone shed some light or advice?

posted 6 years ago in College
Post # 3
Member
2725 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: November 2011

Finish school. I am about done and I have no idea how people do it and have children. I mean it is doable but it would be a LOT of stress.

Post # 5
Member
1629 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: July 2012

I’m in my 4th year of a PhD program and I’ll say this….I’ve seen a few people have kids during grad school and how much it affected their ability to be succesful in the program depended on a few factors.  

1. Will your husband be working full-time? How much time will he be able to devote to primary childcare?  He will have to realize that your work doesn’t end at 5pm or stop on the weekends…can he pick up the slack there and not resent having to possibly pull more weight in childcare?

2. Which year of the program do you want to have kids?  Most people I know who did it (and in this case I’m going to leave out people who were men with stay-at-home wives) waited til year 3/4/5…after classes/comps/quals were over, meaning deadlines had a lot more flexibility.  

3. How are your finances? Does your Darling Husband have a “real job” so you can worry less about supporting kids on a stipend?

4. Are you good on functioning with little sleep and are you good about schedule-keeping and being early doing things now?  Those qualities will make it tremendously easier to handle.

If you were saying you’ll finish at 26/27 I’d say you might strongly consider waiting to TTC til the end of school….but you’re going to be a bit older and I wouldn’t want to delay having kids that long if I were your age (it’s not like your first year on the job will be that relaxed that you’re home free!).  I say just weight it carefully, talk it over with Darling Husband, look into the childcare at your school and see how your dept handles maternity leave or if they seem to be understanding about family obligations (some places make it easy, some not so much).  Really, don’t NOT have kids in grad school just because it seems hard (it is, but not impossible)…just make sure you discuss and prepare for the kinds of issues that come with the situation that other TTCers might not have to deal with.

Post # 7
Hostess
18643 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2009

I don’t think it’s horrible to wait until your 30s to have kids.  My parents were 34/35 when they had me and only started trying about a year before for a kid.  The thing that worries me about having kids after grad school is are you going to be able to use all that knowledge you gain before having kids and potentially being out of the work force for a while?

Post # 9
Member
4803 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: August 2012

I think it depends.  I am doing it right now and working full time as well; I think that if you waited until partway through it, it might be doable if you were on maternity leave and depending on the schedule.  I only have to actually go to the campus one evening per week. 

Personally I would not want to wait; I know too many people who did and are now worried about trying to conceive.

Post # 10
Member
360 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: January 2011 - Gardens of the World

I have been thinking about this too. Two books that I found quite helpful are Mama PhD and Professor Mommy. The latter especially gives some great practical advice for if you do decide to have kids while in grad school. Good luck!

Post # 12
Member
1629 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: July 2012

@cbee:  haha 32 is not too old! You can totally wait.  I meant more that I, personally, want to have my first kid by the time I’m 30 (G-d willing!), so I wouldn’t let grad school stop me if I were a little older than I currently am.  If having kids isn’t something you’re planning for before 32, and isn’t something your uterus is burning for at the moment, then I wouldn’t worry about it ๐Ÿ™‚  (I think I got thrown off by your ‘wanting it all’ comment, so I assumed you were hoping to have kids a little sooner than I am now reading in your later comments–my bad!)

Post # 14
Member
4803 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: August 2012

@cbee:  It’s whatever you feel comfortable with right?  I know it’s not too late, lots of people do it, but lots of people also have problems with it.  Here on the radio and TV the OBGYN association has put out a Public Service Announcement telling women not to wait too long.  I just think that of course women are having children at “older”ages all the time, but they are trying to put the message out there that the biology of the body doesn’t change with society, and women’s fertility decreases every year after age 24.  When I heard that it scared me a bit I’ll admit, since I will probably be 30 by the time we think about it as well.

Post # 15
Member
1572 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2013

I think that @bearlove brought up a ton of great points! I don’t know what to add other than taking into considerattion if you will work and if you know anything about your fertility. As for working, I only ask b/c most of my close friends in grad school had jobs/graduate assistantships (I consider a GA a job, but some had jobs taht weren’t GA positions). Most of my friends that ended up having kids had to leave their job, drop down to part time, leave their GA, or become part time faculty, etc. For me, I know grad school plus working, while my partner is working (and he happens to be in grad school as well) was just not a possibility. I know people who have done it, and I know people who have been through worse – so it’s all in how you deal with it. As for fertility, I have some health issues plus I know I have fertility issues. On the plus side, my adviser knew if I was going to TTC, it’d be planned (and not at all “Hey guess what? I’m 4 months preggers!” – to be fair, there was a string of grad students w/ that situation). Also, for me, I know straight up that my last trimester will be on bed rest (if not teh whole pregnancy) – this may affect your ability in school. 

Also, 32 is not too old at all! One of my best friends is 34 and hoping to TTC this year or next. If you are worried about it, definitely get a book like Taking Charge of Your Fertility (hell, I recommend that book anyway) and talking to your gynecologist. I have many friends who were healthier at 32 than at 25.

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