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Could someone hold my hand for a minute please?

(37 Posts)
FrozenNorthPole Sat 17-Nov-12 22:28:34

I'm on my own and it would mean a lot to have a virtual hand to hold for a minute.

Trying to prepare for my PhD viva which is on Monday. I have a crying 10 week old baby, a 2 year old and a 4 year old. My DH is in Afganistan. The students next door are having a loud party - bass is thudding through the wall and people are shouting outside. I'm trying to think clearly and analytically having had about 2 hours sleep in 72 hours, but I am so tired that I keep bursting into tears.

Any encouragement or empathy would be lovely. I'm sorry if this is the wrong place to post, and sorry for the pity party. People keep blithely saying "I don't know how you do it!" re: kids, degree, job, army etc. etc. and I just want to shout at them that I have no f*cking choice but it doesn't make it easy sad

BarryShitpeas Sat 17-Nov-12 22:41:36

Gosh, what a lot on your plate you have.

I hope your neighbours quieten down soon, and your baby feeds/sleeps so you have some headspace to do your phd stuff.

Lots of virtual handholding. x

StandYourGround Sat 17-Nov-12 22:42:08

Do you have any earplugs? Or headphones?

Is the music keeping the children and baby awake?

Any chance you can put on some dark glasses and sneak into the party and make off with some vodka, or perhaps Baileys?

You sound like you are doing a brilliant job. <holds hand, squidges 10week old baby>

Gumby Sat 17-Nov-12 22:43:42

Go to bed with the baby
Hope the music stops soon

FrozenNorthPole Sat 17-Nov-12 22:47:33

Thank you smile

Music keeping baby awake I think; kids restless but probably just a consequence of the cold we have. Earplugs a good idea ... I'm sure we had some a while ago ...

10 week old DS is VERY cute. Which is helping loads actually.

Making off with alcohol sounds like a reasonable plan, although if their taste in drinks is as bad as their taste in music then it'll just be alcopops or similar.

They gave me 1 hour's notice of the party <bitter>. If there'd been more, then I would have arranged for us all to stay at a friend's.

Kind handholding has made things feel a bit better. Lovely people blush

AlreadyScone Sat 17-Nov-12 22:47:52

You are ace

Snuggle the smallest one while you do your prep.

What are your plans for tomorrow?

StandYourGround Sat 17-Nov-12 22:48:24

hi Gumby and BarryShitpeas. (!) grin

I'm sure I have a family pack of Doritos somewhere, I'll get out some Tennants super and we can have our own par-tay.

You comin, FrozenNorthPole?

withjamin Sat 17-Nov-12 22:49:27

Having got this far with your PhD, chances are you are already the world expert in your precise field. Sleep will help you more than studying right now. Trust me, I have been there. If you are rested, lucid and calm you well defend your work better than if you are catastrophically knackered.
can you use earplugs? Maybe use on one side to take the edge off, and if they haven't shut the f*ck up by reasonable O'clock.maybe call the community policing bods.

well done for getting this far. You can totally finish it with a stonking viva. Fingers x'd.

FrozenNorthPole Sat 17-Nov-12 22:56:53

Replies have made my cry again but in a good way this time ... yes, if there are Doritos then there's no keeping me away!

I don't feel like an expert in my field, I feel like a saggy incoherent mess of a person who can't string two thoughts together and who constantly takes on too much to do. I compare myself to all the shiny new 24-year-old PhD holders coming off the doctoral conveyor belt and wilt inside. HOWEVER, if I can get through this then I will apparently break my university record for number of children born during a PhD. Which has to mean something, right? <searches for relevant section of cv>

BlueGuinefort Sat 17-Nov-12 22:57:53

Really, you'll be fine. I bet it won't be as bad as you imagine.

I lost my voice almost completely the weekend before my viva (and was bridesmaid at my brother's wedding with all the associated alcohol stress) and whispered my way through. It was fine. And you will be too.

Completely in awe of your circumstances BTW (take the baby in with you, that should swing it grin)

withjamin Sat 17-Nov-12 23:01:51

Unless they are truly exceptional 24 year Olds, I say screw 'em. You can make people AND write a thesis. AT THE SAME TIME. How much more interested in you will your examiners be than in another identikit student?
Let us know how it goes!

StandYourGround Sat 17-Nov-12 23:03:46

Honey you'll blow them all away.

Just remember that under eye cream / concealer to hide evidence of sleep deprivation. wink

HappyTurquoise Sat 17-Nov-12 23:22:09

Virtual hand holding. Hope things are improving so you can get some sleep.

In my imagination, I thought you could...
Get some big pieces of paper and (Love Actually style but reversed message) write on each one a pertinent fact, e.g. 'Your noise is keeping me and my children awake' 'I have my PhD Viva in less than 48 hours' I have had 2 hours sleep in the last 72 hrs' 'I have contacted my husband in the army and he's sending round the heavies to deal with you lot if you don't all start being very quiet and very nice to me.'
'should you survive this, I will remember and when exam time looms for you, vengeance will be served cold, long into the night.' 'Bear in mind I am well ahead of you lot on the experience front and when you sit your viva, I might be the one you sit opposite and will decide on your fate.' 'you are earning very bad karma'

OK, they are too long, and threats are tempting but probably not ideal, but you get the gist.

Go in next door & take photos of them (that always gets people worried). Turn music off (unplug). Show them the posters. Walk out.

Early tomorrow morning, put your music/radio up very loud and go out for a walk with DCs.

FrozenNorthPole Sat 17-Nov-12 23:30:40

I'm laughing now! grin Damn, you lot are good.

I have decided to review today's work for 20 minutes then go 'round with baby DS in tow and threaten to lactate all over their possessions if they don't all sod off to a club. I will backcomb my hair, don my oldest dressing gown, and perhaps only wear one shoe, to ensure that they take me seriously as a woman on the edge.

I'm also sorely tempted to dig out the euphonium from the attic and play cheery marching songs outside their window about 7 hours from now. I'm sure that will be appreciated.

HappyTurquoise Sun 18-Nov-12 00:02:03

Now you're talking! grin

PoppadomPreach Sun 18-Nov-12 00:10:42

I had a complete and utter meltdown 6hours before my viva. When my friend came round to pick me up she took one look at me and laughed (at first she tried not too but she couldn't help it) and said I was a right silly cow for getting myself so worked up. She was right. But I think pre-viva wobbles are common

You don't need to study for a viva like an exam. You do know everything, sleep and relaxation are the absolute best things for you now.

The party will end. You will get rest. For now, could you just reflect in how amazing you've been to get yourself this far. Because submitting a viva in itself is no mean feat.

Stop revising!

mignonette Sun 18-Nov-12 00:15:18

Women like you are truly an inspiration to me whether you feel like one or not. I mean that. Good luck. And don't forget to play that Euphonium loudly first thing the morning after your Viva, at 7 a.m. Just so they wake up in time for their first lecture of the day.............

HappyTurquoise Sun 18-Nov-12 00:18:39

a Phd is awarded to recognise a contribution to human knowledge. Your Viva is not an exam, it's just to show that it is your own work, that it was done well, and it's an original contribution (from DH who did a Phd 20 odd years ago).

ChippingInLovesAutumn Sun 18-Nov-12 00:25:18

Have you been around there yet grin

As you clearly have nothing better to do, you could update your profile.

Honestly, you are making me feel old. I remember when all of that seemed 'do-able' <until some git threw a party next door> nowdays just reading your post has me exhausted.

Aren't there any doting grandparents, aunties, uncles, cousins, local shop owners, drunks on park benches that could look after the kids for a few days hours for you??

Allalonenow Sun 18-Nov-12 00:25:19

What you need now is rest, put your books away, try to relax, cuddle the baby, if you have got any chocolate in the house eat it now.

Tomorrow, well later today, get yourself organised for Monday so you can be as calm as possible on the day.

Remember to smile at them all as you walk into the room, you will be wonderful!!

TheNameisNOTZiggy Sun 18-Nov-12 00:26:51

Good luck! You are amazing to have done all this. Take LO round & threaten lactation & baby excrement all round.... Ooh & do play those songs at 7am. Would be fab to video their response!

Good luck.

FrozenNorthPole Sun 18-Nov-12 16:15:00

Sorry for not updating last night - my excuse is that i managed to get 4 hours' sleep in a row! Going 'round there at almost midnight had the desired effect, and they'd all cleared out to a nightclub by quarter past.

I also failed to seranade them at the planned hour as baby DS was feeding, but the extra hours sleep were totally worth the missed opportunity at revenge. I'm saving the euphonium for the day before their finals <joking>

Seriously, you have all managed to do something that I didn't think possible i.e. motivate me again, and make me believe I can do it grin. Thank you!

So on that note I have parked the kids in front of Cbeebies and am annotating thesis as if my life depended on it. I also asked for help today (not something I find easy to do) so my parents have been here for a few hours.

All that to say ... my viva is at 2pm, so I will be updating here as soon as I get home, for better or for worse! Thank you for all the good luck wishes too.


EvenIfYouSeeAPoppy Sun 18-Nov-12 20:28:19

Good luck!

If your thesis has been accepted, which it clearly has, there is very little indeed that can go wrong at the viva stage.

I can sympathise, I was terrified before mine - and didn't have kids or any of the other things you have to cope with - but it was absolutely fine, the examiners were lovely and told me right away I'd passed.

It will be fine.
Oh, and there is no shame at all in asking for help. You are doing brilliantly, but you need an extra pair or two of hands sometimes, more than most of us.

BlueGuinefort Sun 18-Nov-12 22:25:02

Really, you WILL be great. Just think how fantastic you will feel by tomorrow evening!

BlueGuinefort Mon 19-Nov-12 19:08:51

I am assuming you are too drunk on champagne to type...

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