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Countdown to Mother's Day: Day Eight Kaneesh Roarke

In honor of Mother's Day, Doctoral Mom would like to introduce you to the amazing women that make up the Doctoral Mom group. Join us as we listen to their advice and stories. For day eight of Countdown to Mother’s Day we would like to welcome Kaneesha Roarke. Kaneesha is a mother to one and she studied at the California Southern University. Kaneesha’s area of study is Psychology.

Motherhood What advice would you give to new mothers? "This journey can come with some mom guilt but to better ourselves means representation for our children."

What is your favorite part of being a mother? Can you give us a specific example? "My daughter is the only one I’ve been blessed to have on the journey to motherhood. After so much lost during IVF, watching her grow into a kind, strong young lady with the smile that radiates happiness is my joy. I am thankful I am her mommy daily."

How did you manage juggling the various aspects of motherhood while working and pursuing your doctorate? "At first, I thought it was giving 110% in every aspect of this journey, but I quickly learned that led to burn out in all aspects. So, I found balance in boundaries and long-term goals. I thought spending every weekend going spending every second with my kiddo and grinding school in the night was the answer. Instead, we found some weekends meant her drawing, playing, and watching shows near my desk while I worked on school. Now that she is school ages she says “if mommy can work hard so can I.” We do schoolwork together some nights."

Walk us through your daily schedule. "From 4:30-6:30am my kiddo wakes and she has had a recent trauma and the nightmare require mama snuggles. From 6:30-7:00am my morning routine of getting dressed, getting my daughter dressed, fed and morning vitamins. At 7:30am is the before-school drop off. From 8:00am-5:00pm I work as a child and family supervisor for a community mental health agency or 5:30pm, it depends on if my husband is deployed or on duty. If he’s not deployed or on duty, I head home to start dinner or do the afternoon homework with my daughter. If he is I am just picking my daughter up from after-school care. From 6:00-7:30pm consist of similar routines regardless of deployment the level of help varies. We do homework, shower, have dinner, brush teeth, and spend at least fifteen minutes together unpacking our day at school then off to bed. From 7:30-10:30pm I do my coursework. From 10:30-11:30pm I clean up the kitchen, pack lunch, and get clothes ready for the next day for both me and my daughter 11:30pm is bedtime for me."

Doctoral Program What was the most challenging part about starting your doctorate? "The hardest part was feeling like I was worthy enough to be in the doctoral space." What is/was your dissertation topic? "My topic is about the transmission of intergenerational trauma on African Americans."

Career What were your biggest struggles and how was Doctoral Mom Incorporated helpful to you? "The biggest struggle was this expectation to do it all. Be this caregiver, top notch employee, wife, and student. Then have other women look at you and say, “wouldn’t be me, but good for you.” That’s a lonely space especially as a woman of color." Is there anything else you want us to know? "I am a veteran, a spouse to an active-duty member, have has a mastectomy and many other medical roadblocks but nothing stops my doctoral mama journey."

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