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Babies of graduate students in biology

Debra William Andreadis dka at UTKUX1.UTK.EDU
Tue Oct 15 10:29:48 EST 1996

My husband and I had a daughter while we were both graduate students. I
was in my second year of a masters in Ecology and he was in his 4th year
of a Ph.D. in Ethology. It took me 3.5 years to finish my M.S. and he is
about to finish his Ph.D. which will have taken 8 years. It increased our
time as graduate students, but we had flexible enough schedules that we
did not have to have our daughter in day care. When she was 2.5 years old
(February 1996) we put her in preschool 2 days/week. This is mainly for
socialization, since we don't have any friends with children. I should
add, that my husband and I were both teaching during our entire time as
graduate students, which also helps explain the duration of our studies. I
found that people were very supportive and helpful. My advisor, in
particular, was happy for us and willing to provide extra help if I needed
it in my field work. The other graduate students in the department, the
faculty, and the administrators were all very accepting of us bringing our
daughter to functions and even occaisional seminars. She has a very
advanced vocabulary, takes changes in routine in stride, and is very
outgoing. I think all of these traits have been furthered by her
environment. I also know another couple who had children (twins) while
both were graduate students at a different university, and they were not
as lucky as we have been. While they both completed there degrees, the
woman's advisor was so unsupportive that her response to being told was to
tell the woman to have an abortion if she wanted to stay in science. She
finished her masters, however, and went to another university to finish
her Ph.D. Anyway, I guess I wanted to let you know that it can be done. I
also agree that there is no good time, but the flexible schedule of school
may be a bit more conducive to spending lots of time with your child than
a new job.
	Debby Williams Andreadis
	dka at utk.edu

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