By Brenda L. George • September 05, 2017•Writers in Residence, Careers, Other Career Issues, Law School, Choosing a Career and Landing a Job, Other Law School Issues, Issues, Balancing Private and Professional Life, •Other Issues
I started taking my son to an early learning center when he was three months old so that I continue going to law school. He has attended that same school since and is now two and a half. That first day was rough. So rough, that I made my husband drop him off and I still cried. I will never forget it. But the tears were short lived because I knew it was the right thing to do. I knew that I was doing something that would benefit my family in the long run. I also knew that I was taking my son to a place that would take care of him. I had no worries about taking him there.
Over the summer, we went on a vacation to Hawaii for over two weeks. I lived the life of a stay at home mom (in paradise) for those two weeks (plus some more time before and after at home). Let me first say, that I already had a huge amount of respect for stay at home moms and dads. It is exhausting work. It is often thankless. After those two weeks, my respect increased ten-fold. I did, however, love ever second of spending extra time with my family and getting that much closer. Vacation is essential.
When we got back from vacation, our family was out of our routine. I started school shortly after we got back. This is my third Fall semester with a child. I'm kind of a veteran as a 4L. But this year was the hardest. This year, my son cried the biggest alligator tears and clung to me like he was never going to see me again. I'm usually pretty good at keeping my emotions in check, but I'll blame it on the pregnancy this time. I cried my eyes out for about an hour after I (finally) left him. Before this year, my son was always the kid that could leave me, no problem. Quite honestly, his independence hurt me before, but his dependency this time around absolutely ripped my heart out. After about a month with mama, he wanted nothing to do with school. He begged me to take him with me. I honestly would if I could (hint, hint - on campus daycare! Please!!). I have been back to school for a couple of weeks now and we're still working on this. I know that he will be fine and that it will pass.
My larger concern right now is post-graduation. With bar prep looming (I just paid my bar prep fee - ugghhh) and reality setting in, I'm starting to get nervous. My plan is to take the bar next July. At that point, I will have a three-year-old and a six-month-old. Bar prep "is a full time job" it is often said.
The biggest concern I have is the unknown. I don't have a job lined up yet. I have no idea what situation I am going to be putting my family into. Will I be away from home 50+ hours per week? Will I land a dream job that allows me to have a flexible schedule? Who knows. Law school has been so predictable and so flexible for me. This next chapter scares me. I can't wait to share with you how it all unfolds.