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Theirs, Mine, and Ours: On Being a Doctoral Student and a Mother

Box, Catherine DiFelice

This is a perfect moment to reflect on my life as a doctoral student and a mother, for never have these two roles dominated the many others I assume as they do now. In the two weeks since I was approached about writing on my experience as a parent and student, I have accomplished many tasks, for lack of a better term: laid out my plan for future doctoral classes and research, finished a book review, began the daunting search for kindergarten programs for my 4-year-old daughter, Océane, and gave birth to my second child, Samuel.At first glance, it seems that one could demarcate my professional work from my personal life— doctoral coursework, professors, research papers, and exams on one side, husband, children and preschool conferences on the other. If that were true, it would have been impossible for me to have survived the past two weeks. Instead, my doctoral work and my personal life intertwine so closely that one informs the other; indeed, one inspires the other. Balancing the two roles, in fact, makes me a better student and mother.

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Working Papers in Applied Linguistics & TESOL

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