1. How do you do it all?
I DON'T. My house is pretty much a wreck in need of some serious scrubbing at all times, and PBS Kids might actually be turning my kids' brains into mush. Honestly, I get a whole lot of help from not only my husband (who is so much more than an equal partner and really does carry a BIG load for me) and our family and friends here. These folks are the reason that dissertations have acknowledgement pages!
2. When are you going to be finished?
I don't know, so please stop asking. Ok, so I really do know, but this question is just a little bit rude.
3. How's your dissertation coming?
For a proper ettiquette answer to this question, please see Jorge Cham's fabulous PhD Comic.
My personal answer: "It's coming along just fine." No matter how it is coming, this is what I will always say.
4. What are you going to do when you're finished?
I'm having trouble with this one right now the most. This question makes me feel like a 6 year old whose parents are asking, "What do you want to be when you grow up?" As the holder of a PhD I have a whole bunch of different options open to me, many of which require long applications which then result in long tedious waiting periods. I'm keeping all of my options open by applying to postdoc positions, writing a couple of grants, writing chapters with articles in mind, and researching jobs outside of academia too. It is a long long process, and frankly I'm not sure exactly what I want to do. I'm seeing what my options are when I get the yeses and nos back, and THEN I'll make a decision. There's no point in counting my chickens before they are hatched. BTW: Nobody likes this answer, so sometimes I just say, "I don't know," if I see their eyes start to glaze over in boredom.
5. What about the kids, are you just going to move them wherever you get a job then?
YES. Isn't that what most parents do? Why are academic parents any different. I'm lucky in that my husband the computer geek will be able to find a job anywhere we go, and he's pretty open geographically (though the coasts would take some serious persuasion on my part).
This is the face I try to avoid making whenever someone asks me any of the above questions.