School/Life/Children Balance?

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janefbk
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School/Life/Children Balance?

Postby janefbk » Thu Aug 02, 2012 6:09 pm

Moving this post here.. maybe more appropriate in this forum:

Hello.. Do any parents/spouses out there have any successful tips for school/life balance with small children? I will be entering my 2L year and I have a 9 year old (almost 10) son. 1L was an absolute nightmare. I didn't really 'prepare' for law school as well as I should have and I almost had a nervous breakdown (especially during the moot court competitions). I also manage 20+ apartment units with my husband (I do the bookkeeping and go with him on the weekends to clean, garden, be his gopher girl with tools).. It started getting to the point where everything just became way too much to handle. Tutoring my son, cooking dinner every night, grocery/household shopping, loads and loads of laundry, cleaning, and managing the apartments... Just thinking about starting the routine again this year is giving me a headache. I know I am in way over my head but I am determined to finish law school. Has anyone been successful in managing a family while in law school? Any tips??

I ended doing pretty well my 1L year but my marriage suffered and my house was an absolute disaster 99% of the time. My husband is very supportive but he is also tired when he gets home from work. This summer has been WONDERFUL. Maybe a cleaning lady would help? Any advice would be much appreciated!! I don't want to drown again

lvb01
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Re: School/Life/Children Balance?

Postby lvb01 » Fri Aug 03, 2012 12:12 pm

Yes, you should absolutely get a cleaning service! You have enough on your plate and the last thing you need to do is worry about who is going to clean the bathroom. For more or less the price of going out to dinner once, you can have someone come every two weeks to at least do the more onerous stuff. It is so worth it. Plus, it is good for your marriage. Also, I understand that your husband is tired after work, but there is no reason you should be shouldering the full burden of the domestic duties. Let him pick a chore or two to take responsibility for (e.g. dishes, laundry, cooking, etc.). I went through a similar transition with my spouse, and it was difficult at first but in my opinion it was necessary to the continued viability of our marriage. These things get ignored but it is so important to share in the burdens and to clear your plate in any way you can.

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941law
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Re: School/Life/Children Balance?

Postby 941law » Fri Aug 03, 2012 6:10 pm

sell them.

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Lacepiece23
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Re: School/Life/Children Balance?

Postby Lacepiece23 » Fri Aug 03, 2012 8:15 pm

I have absolutely no advice to offer and haven't even started law school yet but I just wanted to say that OP you are a beast for balancing all that and getting good grades I don't think I could handle having a family much less having one and getting good grades in law school. Congrats!

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janefbk
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Re: School/Life/Children Balance?

Postby janefbk » Fri Aug 03, 2012 11:16 pm

Thanks Lacepiece :D

941 - you mean sell my husband and kid? Do you know any buyers?

Thank you lvb that's pretty solid advice!! I will call around for a cleaning service this weekend. You are right about delegating duties to my husband. I am going to work on a chore list for the both of them. I am also considering paying for an after-school tutor but GAWD they are so expensive :[

Has anyone ever tried ordering groceries online??

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spleenworship
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Re: School/Life/Children Balance?

Postby spleenworship » Fri Aug 03, 2012 11:49 pm

I got my daughter in all kinds of afternoon programs and she probably did one sleepover a month. That helped. She frequently wasn't home until 6 and was gone for up to 24 hours on the weekend. That helped give me study time and time with the wife.

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Oklahoma2014
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Re: School/Life/Children Balance?

Postby Oklahoma2014 » Sat Aug 04, 2012 1:15 am

janefbk wrote:Thanks Lacepiece :D

941 - you mean sell my husband and kid? Do you know any buyers?

Thank you lvb that's pretty solid advice!! I will call around for a cleaning service this weekend. You are right about delegating duties to my husband. I am going to work on a chore list for the both of them. I am also considering paying for an after-school tutor but GAWD they are so expensive :[

Has anyone ever tried ordering groceries online??


We have a local grocery chain that offers online shopping for an extra $5. It has worked well for us, plus it eliminates the impulse buying that often happens when either of us goes to the grocery store.

Good luck. Amazed at all you juggled during 1L!

HellOnHeels
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Re: School/Life/Children Balance?

Postby HellOnHeels » Sat Aug 04, 2012 9:52 am

janefbk wrote:Has anyone ever tried ordering groceries online??

husband and i have been using peapod for several months. while sometimes it's a pain (they usually at least break one egg, once had an order get completely cancelled due to warehouse issues), it's a time saver. we plan to keep using it.

someone else mentioned having your husband pick up on some of the housekeeping duties. i agree with this. also, your kid is old enough to have chores, make him responsible for basic stuff (i was doing dishes and my own laundry at that age).

hope your 2L is a little less stressful!

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spleenworship
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Re: School/Life/Children Balance?

Postby spleenworship » Sat Aug 04, 2012 11:01 am

Also, if u have money, theres a place in my town that'll pick up your laundry, wash dry and fold for like $3 a pound. Maybe something like that?

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istara
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Re: School/Life/Children Balance?

Postby istara » Sun Aug 05, 2012 11:55 am

Another 2L with a family..

I don't know how you handle that weekend job. I have an 8yo and my husband works full time (planning second child for 3L). He did dishes and laundry, and occasional vacuuming when the floor became unbearable. He was (is) a total lifesaver. The rest of the house was a disaster, but we survived. Christmas break was a massive cleaning session and then we repeated the process spring semester.

He also did most of the grocery shopping unless I got really sick of what he gets (meat and potatoes 90% of the time, and I'm a vegetarian.. 50/50 chance anything I put on the list would make it to the grocery bag). But I learned quickly that I'm not allowed to complain when he had so much on his plate and was doing so much for me. We also went out a lot more often. We would grab food on the way home, or I'd eat near campus before going home, or he'd bring me something. We are lucky we could afford to do this. I've never tried the online groceries. Honestly, I'd be terrified not to pick out my own fruits and veggies, but I'm weird.

I'll admit that my relationship with him and the 8yo suffered at times. I get stressed and he feels like a single dad a lot of the time. One thing that saved us there was that we almost always had the weekends together (unless there was an LRW project or finals were upcoming). Is there any way to make your weekends less of a burden? Hire some of that work out?

r6_philly
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Re: School/Life/Children Balance?

Postby r6_philly » Sun Aug 05, 2012 12:58 pm

I also just finished 1L. Have two kids and I also worked part-time. Never have enough time, but I think I managed it well enough that our quality of life only suffered slightly. I actually found that doing some of the house chores offered me a moment of relief from school/work and offered us a moment to reconnect. I made every effort to be around her during housework, going to grocery stores etc. then we had time to spend with each other and talk. It isn't the same as relaxing and having fun, but neither of us felt as isolated as it could have been. I reserved one of my weekend days to spend exclusively with the family and nothing else, it was really nice to put school away completely. I think that was the key for me, to try to be normal and school-free whenever possible (even though there are not a lot of those times).

blong4133
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Re: School/Life/Children Balance?

Postby blong4133 » Sun Aug 05, 2012 2:40 pm

Granted I don't have kids, but I did have some struggles with adjusting to law school.

I just made a schedule that I followed. I planned out every day (or at least, at certain time slots allocated to certain things) It may seem a little crazy, but when it comes to keeping your sanity, and personal life intact, it really helps. I work better int he mornings so I wake up every morning around 5 or so and do my readings...I always stay a day ahead in my readings, and then review they highlights and notes I took before each class. After class is my time to relax and do whatever. I walk my dog, spend time with friends/family, go to the gym, watch tv or whatever. On friday after class, I go home and I catch up on my outlining.

Saturday, I usually sit on my couch with a few buddies and drink a few brews and watch football all day and grill. Sunday I review my outlines in the evening and then get back to work monday. I never had problems with managing my personal life or anything like that and still did well.

I'm a bit of a clean freak myself, and if my apartment starts getting dirty I start getting stressed, so I always had time to clean stuff up as well.

Like I said, my situation differs from yours, but I really think that coming up with a schedule that fits what you're trying to accomplish really helps. That way, you can say every night from 5 until bed is family time/cleaning time or whatever.

When finals rolled around, my schedule went out the window, but the rest of the year went fine.




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