I’ve started telling my children that I’m working.  It’s easier.  “Mummy is doing a PhD” is completely incomprehensible to an 8 year old, let alone a 6 year old or a 4 year old, so I’ve always told them I was writing a book.  But recently I’ve realised that to them, that doesn’t matter, it’s not important.  Daddy goes out to work; mummy stays at home writing a book so obviously that’s less important because she’s here most of the time.  So I’ve started to tell them that I work, at home mostly.  When my little boy lost his voice recently and didn’t go to school the day I needed to get some books from the university library, I took him to ‘my office’.  He sat in our shared postgraduate workroom in complete silence (well, almost – he squeaked occasionally) for more than 4 hours, and he didn’t want to come home.  This morning when I told him that daddy was going back to school today (he’s a teacher) and that they were too, he asked me if I was going back to work too, so I think it’s paying off.