Around 12 pm, I have my lunch at the tearoom. Many PhD students don’t have regular lunch hours so it’s hard to meet them informally. I try to arrange to meet with them once or twice a week over lunch or coffee. For me, it’s important to have a lunch break to disconnect momentarily from PhD work, and be able to socialise with others over a meal.
In the afternoons, I may continue where I left off in the morning, or attend workshops, presentations or meetings. There is more to learning than locking yourself in the office and facing a computer screen. Doing a PhD is largely self-directed, so I make it a point to attend workshops and presentations that are related to my academic interests.
I head home in the late afternoon, ready to switch back to my mummy role. This usually means going through school notices, reading or playing with my kids, and helping with dinner preparations. After dinner, my husband and I chat over wine while the kids relax with their books and games. Before you know it, it’s time to wash up and get ready for bed. While the kids are sound asleep, I catch up with Facebook or do some light reading.
As you can see, my student life is mostly separate from my family life.
I treat my PhD like I would a job – one with regular hours and coffee breaks.
And this allows me to enjoy being both a student and a mother without sacrificing one for the other!
Partners and children are welcome – if you’ve advanced to doctoral research, and partnered or even had children along the way, New Zealand is a great place to broaden your horizons and continue your postgraduate studies. Visit Immigration New Zealand for more information.