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Any married grad students here?

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On 4/10/2018 at 2:27 PM, JustPoesieAlong said:

Just wanted to say hi! It's nice to hear from someone with a similar life situation. Like I mention above, I've also been married for several years and have two kids. I'm incredibly thankful to have my husband and kids with me during this time. Sure, it means I have additional responsibilities on top of an already stressful time, but it also helps me to keep things in perspective. I'm pretty stressed about relocating somewhere that works for them, but I'm trying to remain positive--I think things will be easier once we've been in the area for a bit and can use that knowledge of the place to improve things where necessary. 

I'm hoping for the same situation with improving things once we're their for awhile. My mom actually went back to school to get her BA, MA, and then PhD when I was a kid. When I was in high school we would move in the summers out of state so she could attend her PhD program and it made for some of the best adventures of my childhood.

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19 minutes ago, Leviathan said:

I'm hoping for the same situation with improving things once we're their for awhile. My mom actually went back to school to get her BA, MA, and then PhD when I was a kid. When I was in high school we would move in the summers out of state so she could attend her PhD program and it made for some of the best adventures of my childhood.

That's so wonderful to hear! I've been afraid of my kids resenting me as they get older for disrupting their childhood. Hopefully they see it as an adventure! My son is 9 and seems pretty excited for the change. My daughter is two and doesn't really know what's going on, but we'll almost certainly have one more big move in our future--when I go job hunting--so she'll get a taste of it too. I'm hoping I can stay put until our son finishes high school, though. Best to you!! 

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46 minutes ago, JustPoesieAlong said:

That's so wonderful to hear! I've been afraid of my kids resenting me as they get older for disrupting their childhood. Hopefully they see it as an adventure! My son is 9 and seems pretty excited for the change. My daughter is two and doesn't really know what's going on, but we'll almost certainly have one more big move in our future--when I go job hunting--so she'll get a taste of it too. I'm hoping I can stay put until our son finishes high school, though. Best to you!! 

I'm not sure where you are moving to, but apparently at the location of my PhD school, there was actually some issues getting your kids enrolled in the schools there if you are moving from out of town (I don't have first hand experience). But whatever the issues are, the University made a deal with the school board that all children of postdocs, staff and faculty members at the University will be able to enroll in a specific public school, no matter where in the city they lived. This ensured a spot in a school (especially if you first move into one place and then move around the city later on) as well as some convenience of everyone's kids at the same place. Anyways, I bring this up because very few grad students at my school had school-aged children (most student parents had kids aged 0-4), so this is not automatically offered to students, but sometimes the school can make things work for students on a case-by-case basis. 

So what I'd suggest is to check out what the school does for faculty who are parents and then if any of those are useful to you, ask if you can have the benefit too. You might get a "no" but it doesn't really hurt to ask.

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On 3/27/2018 at 9:44 AM, XVIIA said:

I will have been married for 2 years when I start my PhD program in the fall. I've been a bit worried about fitting in, because on recruiting visits some of the others in my cohort seemed to treat me a bit differently after learning that I was married. I also got very tired of people acting surprised that my husband will be moving with me ("Oh, that's so awesome of him!"). A PhD in my field is a 5 to 6 year commitment, and I don't know many people who voluntarily choose long distance marriages if they can avoid it. I will be in my mid-30s by the time I complete my PhD, so my husband and I are likely going to have a kid by the time I'm done. I'm hoping I can connect with some older grad students/postdocs in addition to the primarily younger people in my cohort so I can have a variety of people to relate to.

Agreed. Why are people so shocked? My SO and I have been together for 9 years and are getting married this July. We will also be in our mid-30s by the time I've finished my program, and so I've been wondering about children. Luckily, a professor at my program opened up to me about her own experience of becoming a mother during grad school. I was nervous to ask about it, but it is a concern, especially as an older (28) student and woman. I really hope I can connect with other older grad students as well.

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Based on how my boyfriend is talking, I will likely be engaged within the year, possibly before I start my master's this fall, and then married by the time I graduate.  We already have lived together for a while but don't have kids, except for our furbabies (which, right now, are stress enough).  The only thing that's come up as a hurdle is having to find a place to live that works well for both of our commutes, so no living right off campus for me.  

(Oh...age-wise, I'm 33, since others have mentioned it.)

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On 3/23/2018 at 2:41 AM, lambda said:

I'm also married, and a bit nervous about this as I have regularly gotten snides comments about the fact I am married. I am also 3 years older than my cohort, and I am hoping people do not treat me as if I am less "serious" than the non-married PhD students.

Not arguing that this a general trend or typical, but in my experience at my graduate program, the married or long-term-coupled were more serious than the single grad students. They prioritized separation between work and home life because they wanted to guard their home time with their partner. As a consequence, they tended to have better time management, i.e., worked at work instead of goofing off. It also helps a lot with the bills. The real challenge is when you graduate and have to balance dual career/social/family commitments, because academia often means being willing to move anywhere a job is.

 

 

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On 3/27/2018 at 8:44 AM, XVIIA said:

I also got very tired of people acting surprised that my husband will be moving with me ("Oh, that's so awesome of him!"). A PhD in my field is a 5 to 6 year commitment, and I don't know many people who voluntarily choose long distance marriages if they can avoid it.

I wasn't there to hear their tone, but a more charitable interpretation is not surprise that he's moving, but appreciation for his commitment to your career. I absolutely know people who chose graduate programs or jobs that were less than they could have achieved because they were limited by location because their spouse wouldn't move (for job or family reasons). So, it is awesome of him.  And he'll probably have to do it again after you graduate. For my spouse, who moved across the country for my grad program, that second move was harder -- she had made a ton of friends over that time and had to leave them, and move again, for my job. In contrast, my grad school friends all moved for jobs so my social circle was dissipating anyway.

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On 2/24/2018 at 3:47 PM, AnnaGG said:

I am 29, married, going to grad school this fall. I am an international student and I do not know much about grad moods and culture, but I can't care less about what others will think about me being married. If anything, I think it's a great asset to bring your best friend with you. You'll know that you have your support with you at all times and that your life is more or less on track. Finding your soulmate is a huge blessing and it's going to be great comfort to you through grad-related hardships. Congratulations!

Same all around, with the exception of being an international student. The best part about dragging my partner across the country for my MFA was I had a built-in person to do stuff with when I wanted to explore the area. "Who wants to volunteer to clean up an abandoned graveyard and then hunt for Maillard's Automaton at the Franklin Institute? You do, because you're stuck with me." I will say, and this may not be the case for my upcoming graduate program, the MFA skewed older. I was 25ish when I started, and that put me maybe lower middle of the pack, with a good number of my cohort in the early to mid 30s when we started. That might just be the nature of writing programs, though. It sounds like maybe Lit PhDs skew younger.

On 3/27/2018 at 9:44 AM, XVIIA said:

I will have been married for 2 years when I start my PhD program in the fall. I've been a bit worried about fitting in, because on recruiting visits some of the others in my cohort seemed to treat me a bit differently after learning that I was married. I also got very tired of people acting surprised that my husband will be moving with me ("Oh, that's so awesome of him!"). A PhD in my field is a 5 to 6 year commitment, and I don't know many people who voluntarily choose long distance marriages if they can avoid it. I will be in my mid-30s by the time I complete my PhD, so my husband and I are likely going to have a kid by the time I'm done. I'm hoping I can connect with some older grad students/postdocs in addition to the primarily younger people in my cohort so I can have a variety of people to relate to.

Okay, but isn't this the strangest reaction? I had one woman in my MFA cohort, who was also married and had opted for a long distance option, actually kind of sneer at me? She said something along the lines of "Oh, they don't have their own career?" I'm happy to say she was an outlier. Most of the coupled cohort brought their partners with them, and those who didn't (usually because they were attending somewhere else) often had them visit and would even get permission for them to sit in on classes.

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On 4/27/2018 at 9:58 PM, haspeer said:

Based on how my boyfriend is talking, I will likely be engaged within the year, possibly before I start my master's this fall, and then married by the time I graduate.  We already have lived together for a while but don't have kids, except for our furbabies (which, right now, are stress enough).  The only thing that's come up as a hurdle is having to find a place to live that works well for both of our commutes, so no living right off campus for me.  

(Oh...age-wise, I'm 33, since others have mentioned it.)

Preemptive congratulations!

Also, I second furbabies being hassle enough (How, oh how, did I end up with a dog that has more anxieties than me?). You are really wise to think about both commutes in your housing search. We got distracted by a good deal and shiny amenities and for my whole MFA I had a fifteen minute commute, while my partner had nearly an hour. ?

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On 5/1/2018 at 9:14 AM, moar_skool said:

So I recently got engaged and will be starting a PhD program this fall. How terrible is it going to be to plan a wedding and start my PhD in the same year?

Also wondering this! I proposed to my boyfriend two weeks ago and was so nervous about the proposal that I completely forgot that after he said yes, we'd be planning a wedding. I'm starting my PhD in the fall and he'll have 1 year left finishing his BS, and then will come join me. We're not planning to get married for two years so we can save up some more money, but I'm starting to think that maybe we should just elope because being in grad school, on a grad student budget, while planning a wedding that will take place ~2000 miles away (our family is in the same city we grew up in, but I'm moving to the West Coast for my PhD), well, that all sounds like a recipe for stress and disaster.

I am really looking forward to having him out there with me though, and him having a more stable income. I do wish there were resources for spouses of grad students though, as I can definitely foresee us running into issues with him underestimating the commitment a PhD program *actually* is.

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I'm also married and will be moving abroad for my masters. My husband's got a great job at the moment so we're going to try long distance (my program is 1 year), with plenty of visits in between. 

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I've been married 7 years, have two kids, am 30 years old, live outside the US (we are American citizens though) and am applying to PhD programs for fall 2019. Everyone other than my partner already thinks I'm insane for trying to move across the world with a family, so I guess I'm not too worried what other grad students might think! I am very apprehensive about relocating to the US and starting our life over, though. My husband and I will have been out of college for 9 years, we've built a life here, but we're ready for a new adventure. Will anyone else's spouse be arriving unemployed and hoping to find a job? That's kind of our biggest worry apart from finding housing, daycare and schools (our kids will be 2.5 and 5 next year). 

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