Will my children be damaged by my PhD?

The Thesis Whisperer

"Mummy Studying" by Brendan Mewburn, aged 4 “Mummy Studying” by Brendan Mewburn, aged 4

Thesis Whisperer Jnr was eight months old when I started my Masters degree by research at RMIT and was seven years old when I graduated with my PhD from the University of Melbourne. In retrospect, the decision to go back to post graduate study with a very young child seems slightly insane, but I remember it making perfect sense at the time.

Some thesis tasks fit around parenting quite well. I remember reading Foucault in the playground and doing edits of my PhD printouts while waiting to pick Thesis Whisperer Jnr up from primary school. I treated both degrees like an extra job (which they were as I continued to work part time), so I didn’t spend time doing parent helper stuff or making stuff for the mothers day stall. I don’t remember feeling like I was ‘fully present’ for about 3 of…

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