Our question today comes from Josh. Josh is finishing up his master’s degree and he has some questions about the timing of when his twins arrive and the conclusion of his final paper and examinations. He says, “My paper will be due when our kids will be around four to five weeks. And at the time of my comprehensive exams, they will be around nine to ten weeks. But I’m a little nervous about trying to deal with taking care of two babies while preparing to finish my degree. I wanted to see if you had any suggestions or thoughts on how to juggle the expectations of a new twin father with getting the preparations for finishing my master’s degree, besides just gutting it out.”
Three Options for Twins during College
Well Josh, I definitely would try to avoid just gutting it out. When the twins are here, especially in those early weeks that you’re mentioning, four to five weeks and ten weeks, you will be physically and mentally exhausted. Sleep deprivation will adversely impact your ability to think clearly and this in turn will impact the quality of the work that you can do on your paper and in your examinations. So, in considering the options that you have, to juggle the new twins that you’ll have and trying to wrap up your school, I thought of three different options that you might want to explore.
Option number one: Change the time that your paper is due or that you take your exam. Can you do these things earlier? For example, before the twins are born. Or can you postpone them until later, after the twins are born? Maybe several weeks or a couple months after the twins are here? Keep in mind that twins tend to come early, so you might not be able to pull things all the way in before the twins arrive. So, if you can’t finish your paper early or take your exam early, perhaps you can postpone those things for later. Can you talk to your professors about this possibility?
Option number two: Take a break from school. Think of it as a sabbatical as you get ready for and welcome your twins into the world. Can you put everything on pause and come back in a few months? With your twins coming, you’ve got a great excuse and something that should be able to build empathy with your professors. You’ll just need to set a deadline so that you definitely return and finish the degree.
Option number three: Get someone to help with the twins so you have dedicated time to study. This could be a family member or a friend staying with you. It could even be a babysitter that comes over for a few hours each day to help with the twins while you get time to study. Ideally, anyone who comes to help you would take turns during the night shift. Otherwise, you’ll still have sleep deprivation working against you as you get ready to finish your degree.
So Josh, consider one of these three options. Changing the time of the paper and exam, taking a complete break from school if that is an option, or getting someone to help you and your wife with the twins so that you have dedicated time to prepare, to wrap up your studies. Good luck, Josh, as you make your plans.
This question was originally addressed on the Dad’s Guide to Twins Podcast Episode 54: Twins While Finishing College, Toddler Reactions, 3rd C-Section.
Picture by Josh Artrip