About 2 and a half years ago I embarked on the beginning of my PhD. As I am closing in on the final steps of this degree, I have taken some time to reflect on how I was able to keep it all together. Truth is – I haven’t – but those close to me will tell you I have. There have been many late nights and long weekends trying to write every single paper and accomplish the gigantic load of reading that accompanies a doctoral program. I may or may not have turned the tv on for some binge watching of cartoons for my daughter, so I can push through a paper on a weekend where my husband was out of town. Wine may or may not have been my reward for accomplishing the completion of a long class or a long paper.
I am also the mom who has her head in a book and her phone out writing her paper during gymnastics.
Running and yoga give me a break from my coursework but often times in the midst of both of those activities, I am outlining my next paper or brainstorming research questions for my dissertation topic. Many of the conversations in our house revolve around school. In true dedication to driving ourselves crazy, my husband also began his own degree seeking process and I have been watching him go through the same stresses I went through.
Truth is being a parent and going to school at the same time is a hard feat.
Add in working full time and it is a wonder that anything gets done. I have managed to do so with straight A’s and still have one comprehensive exam and my dissertation left. I know when I finish I will be celebrating but I think it is important to take some time to celebrate now. I am still able to be there for my family and am taking the time to do something for myself.
Earning a doctorate was not something I saw myself doing but I could not imagine myself not doing it.
When Ella-Grace was a newborn, both of us were completing our Masters’ degrees. I can remember rocking her in her bouncer with my foot while attending an asynchronous course and praying that I would not be called on to answer a question while she was crying. We had to schedule homework nights so that both of us would be able to accomplish our work. Now homework nights seem like a dream but we both manage to figure it out. There certainly have been sweat and tears. But those tears and sweat will be well worth it once I had that Dr. in front of my name. I am modeling for my daughter to go the distance and proving to myself that I can do whatever I set my mind towards!