Four reasons why doing a PhD is the same as being pregnant

Just about to submit
The last picture of the twins “on board” – one month before I submitted my PhD thesis

Having had three babies during my candidacy, I feel reasonably qualified to comment on the commonalities between confirmation, confinement and completion.

1. Everyone is asking you when it’s due
Have you submitted your thesis? Are you a doctor yet? Have you had those babies yet? Finishing a pregnancy is probably more obvious to spot, but don’t think I won’t be sharing either of these things with you. Repeatedly.

2. The last part is definitely the hardest
You know that last big push at the end? The panting and gasping? That desire to expel that parasite out of your body? That happens when you have a baby too.

 3. You have a bucket list
My post-PhD bucket list included a Scrubs marathon, re-reading  the whole series of Stephanie Plum trashy novels and blogging more regularly. My post-pregnancy PhD list included eating brie, going for a surf and getting things organised at home. So far I’ve had some cheese.

4. It’s only the beginning
Neither of these processes finishes. Graduation and birth signify the end of one stage, but also the beginning of much cooler things to come: you become a parent and a researcher. And the learning doesn’t end.

What other reasons have I forgotten (mostly likely due to baby brain)?

Within the space of one month in 2011, Danya submitted her PhD and had twins. But not in that order.

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Danya Hodgetts

Dr Danya Hodgetts is a Sport Management consultant, educator and researcher with more than 25 years experience in the sport industry. Danya specialises in developing and implementing innovative education, training and professional development programs for national and state sporting bodies, TAFE and University.

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