Between running studies for your research, trying to get enough clinical hours, classes, comprehensive examinations, supervising undergraduates, lab meetings, teaching assistance-ships, and many other graduate school demands, it is sometimes a great accomplishment to squeeze in a few moments for lunch.
There is a general tacit agreement among graduate students and oftentimes, their supervisors, that achieving work-life balance is hard enough given the demanding schedules of graduate school, but achieving work-life-and-family balance can feel near impossible. Although it may be challenging, it is not impossible.
Planning for a baby during your internship year might seem like a daunting task. For me, however, this had been my plan throughout graduate school, as I wanted to take advantage of my health insurance coverage on internship, and then also spend some time as a stay-at-home parent while studying for the EPPP (and recovering from grad school burn out) before starting postdoc. My son was born on June 26, 2018—less than two months shy of my original internship end date and three months shy of my graduation requirements. This is how I planned for my paid maternity leave during internship, finished my dissertation (with mastitis!), and graduated on time.
I don’t remember much about grad school orientation day. I do remember being completely dismissive about the whole affair, wanting nothing more than to just hit the ground running. I remember a speaker saying, “Life happens while you’re here.” I laughed off that comment and thought, Life won’t “happen” until four years from now when I’m finally in the real world doing what I love. Like the rest of that speech, the rest of orientation day remains a blur.