How to Ask for Help as a Parent and Dissertation Writer

Writing a dissertation with kids around is hard. You’re likely to do a lot of your work from home, and you won’t get the same opportunities for distraction-free writing time as your childless cohort-mates. 

It is okay to ask for help while you’re writing. If you struggle with asking for help, here are some things to keep in mind:

  1. Remember that asking for help doesn’t mean you’re weak. Finishing school while you have kids is difficult for everyone. People, for the most part, will recognize that and be willing to help you. 
  2. Identify your people. Don’t take them for granted, but do remember that they love you, and they want you to succeed. 
  3. Open up about your struggles. It’s healthy to talk about what’s hard. Note that I am not suggesting that you manipulate for help. I am suggesting that you involve them in your life. 
  4. Be clear about what you need. If you have a pressing deadline, explain that. Don’t expect people to guess when you need help, but appreciate it when they do. 
  5. Remember that “a rising tide lifts all boats.” You getting your dissertation will allow you to improve society as a whole. It’s okay to need help during that process.
a preschooler and his grandmother sit on the couch

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