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Hi all, I'm new here! I have been researching and preparing to apply to PhD in Social Work programs this fall (to hopefully be admitted Fall 2021). I just found out my husband and I are expecting! So, my question for PhD students out there: is it possible to start and finish a PhD program with little ones? What's it like? Are there family-friendly PhD programs out there? Do you wish you waited until your kids were older to pursue a PhD or is it easier when they are babies? Just looking for experiences and opinions on this.

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Congratulations!

Hope you find fellow students here with similar situation to share their experience. I would like to add that I know a colleague with a 2 kids and she treats PhD as a full time job 9-5 and free herself afterwards. She is definitely more structured than your average student. 

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Hi! I have friends who are finishing their doctoral programs with kids, but yes, it's very hard. One of my friends gave birth in her first semester! All of them with little kiddos eventually took a semester off, so you might want to factor that in just in case

There are a couple of FB groups that you can join (one is Academic Mamas). There are also a couple of IG profiles to follow. 

Also, check out if your programs have health benefits, day care (some have emergency care, for when your normal care is unavailable), etc. 

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  • 11 months later...

I have 3 teenagers and my experience may be counterintuitive and different from many, but I actually don't find it that hard at all. PhD is one of the most flexible times of your life. Your first year is coursework and then from there you entirely create your own schedule. You can go to the university to get out of the house to help concentrate or you can work from home to attend to your child. I do it and I work multiple jobs and still have free time. Plus many people take 6-8 years to finish their PhD so if you need to take it slowly that's okay, where I'm from graduating on time in 4-years is actually out of the norm. You can also do your PhD part-time. To make your life easier, pick a dissertation topic that is straight forward and do all coursework assignments relating to that same topic, it'll save time.

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