Graduate student + mom : the disadvantage

Instagram / @gradlifemcgill by @fanidee

Instagram / @gradlifemcgill by @fanidee


While I love being a mother-graduate-student (and I will later write a whole post about the advantages), sometimes, it is quite difficult. Here some of the reasons:

  • I am very lucky because I got a couple of months of paid maternity leave for each of my child. But not all graduate students can say the same.
  • I hate pumping my milk every day (and I don’t want to give baby formula milk). I am lucky to have an office, because Thompson House is kind of far.
  • You know this crazy lecture with a superstar scholar? If it’s in the evening and my partner is not at home this day… I will miss it.
  • Since most of the academic activities (GradLife meetings, parties, going out with friends) are in the evening, even if my partner is at home, I will be absent. Taking care of two young boys and putting them to bed alone is quite a challenge, so their father and I try to be together with them most of the time. I am going out sometimes with my old friends, but the problem is I don’t really have the time or the opportunity to make new ones at McGill. It is not because I don’t want to know you, guys!

  • Time flies. Really. I hate the idea of putting my children in a daycare centre for 10 hours, so they are there from 9am to 5pm. That means I have 7 hours at McGill. Even if I have the most brilliant idea at 4pm, I still have to close my computer. Even if I have a whole bunch of papers to grade during the weekend, family comes first. So, I work every night to catch up. Goodbye, Netflix!
  • For all those reasons, I don’t think I will ever have an academic career in a university. I can’t move easily to another town. I almost never network. I have few extra curriculum activities. But I made peace a long time ago with this, so I’m not very sad. It is just a fact.

What constraints are you living with while doing graduate studies?

Ps:.: I made mistakes? Please, help me improve!


2 responses to “Graduate student + mom : the disadvantage”

  1. Kimberly says:

    Hello, Thanks for your post. I so get you! Many nights while I’m reading to my 5-yo daughter I wonder what my fellow grad students are up to: writing papers, reading, socialising, or just reflecting on their day. I wonder if I was delusional to attempt these two important projects -motherhood and post-graduate work at the same time! Right now I’m eyeing the Margaret Atwood talk and I’m wondering again if I should just string my daughter along!



    • fanniedionne says:

      Thank you for your comment! I am not alone!!!
      Good luck with managing both!

      Fannie 🙂

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