This is a guest post from Leigh, a second-year law school mom.
Juggling law school with kids is tough. My husband and I have our schedules so precisely worked out that even a wedding planner would cringe. Law school is demanding of your time. Children are demanding of your time. There is a competition for attention that takes place between the two, and you need to figure out a realistic balance.
My husband works fulltime and I am in school fulltime, so our daughter is in daycare during the week. My husband has also been kind enough to take on full parenting responsibilities over most of the weekend. I do almost, if not all, of the following week’s reading then. You need a good chunk of uninterrupted time to read for your classes, as the amount of concentration required is insane.
I also outline throughout the semester instead of at the end of it, and I start working on research papers much, much earlier than their due dates. We do have a wonderful sitter who watches our daughter if I need extra study time during the week, which is incredibly helpful.
So, what’s a day like? Here’s a fun-filled sample schedule.
6:30: Wake-up, sort of. Get crying child from crib and change her. Attempt to force my eyelids open and stumble downstairs to make breakfast. Child gets real food for breakfast. We get coffee. Eyelids actually open post-coffee consumption.
7:00: Husband takes messy post-breakfast toddler upstairs for bath. I prep food for daycare and husband’s lunch. Whirlwind of getting ready follows.
8:00: Hopefully have left the house by now and am dropping daughter off at day care. Drive back home and get bag ready for school if I didn’t clean up my study mess from the night before (high probability).
8:30: Leave house and walk to law school. Listen to iPod on the way – is this a form of “me” time? Oh wait… day care is calling to inform me of a disturbing bowel movement my child just had. Thanks, daycare.
9:00: Usually have classes starting around now. If not, go to library and work on outlines. Realize I have grabbed container of toddler puff snacks instead of adult food snacks. Eat them anyway.
12:30: Lunch break. Walk back home, let dogs outside, and eat lunch. Then head back to school for any afternoon classes. If I don’t have afternoon classes that day, research for any papers I have due that semester. Fantasize about taking daytime naps.
4:00: Have to leave school by this point. Walk back home and get car, drive to pick daughter up. Hope dogs don’t hear me leaving in the car and start howling.
4:30: Afternoon playtime with daughter. This includes, but is not limited to, puzzles, cuddles, chasing daughter who is chasing dogs, coloring, cleaning up coloring on walls/floors, occasional stroller jogging.
6:30: Husband home. Make dinner for everyone. Attempt to clean up house and throw in a load of laundry. Bicker over who is less tired and has to take dogs on walk/run. Threaten an extra household cleanup duty for whoever does not take dogs out. Cave in and take dogs, cross fingers that laundry is switched when I get back.
8:00: Get daughter ready for bed. Ultimate bedtime resistance kicks in with daughter. Bedtime success after 30-minute refusal to lie down. Notice new chip in wall from child banging crib rail against wall during ultimate bedtime resistance.
8:45: Bring out casebooks for next day classes. Although I have usually read all of that week’s reading over the weekend, still need to refresh on reading. Contemplate falling asleep on couch instead.
10:00: Have actually fallen asleep on couch. Curse self. Continue reading where I left off, and then promptly fall asleep again. Couch is so comfortable.
Unknown hour: Leave couch, drag self up to bed. Later on awake with highlighter mark on face and post-it tab stuck to hand. Also notice piece of daughter’s macaroni and cheese dinner matted in hair. Lovely.