Early bird! Sunrise selfie on the beach in Turks and Caicos.
Photo Credit: Eva Wilson
As you probably know, I am a law student who is a wife and a homeschooling mother of three children. I am finishing up my second year, and I am reflecting on all of the things that I have learned thus far. I have learned some amazing things about the law and how this world works, but I have also learned a great deal about myself and motherhood, and I am excited to share those lessons with you. I shared the first three lessons here, and I am sharing three more today. (This is part two of a three part series. You can read lessons 1-3 in part I here.)
4. It is a marathon, not a sprint. In law school you can’t just react to things as they come. Assignments are given on the syllabus on the first day of classes for a reason. It isn’t just to give you a heads up – it is so that you can start early and do the best work that you can do. In law school, I learned that it is not 3 months of stretching, then a sprint in the last month to the finish line. It is a marathon. Stretch and start running – you know where you are going, so start doing what you have to do to finish the race. Motherhood is that marathon too. It seems like a series of tasks that you see coming and just deal with when they come up, but it’s not. It’s not just about preparing your child for individual tests, but making sure they are prepared for life. It’s not just about getting a date night away from the kids with your husband, it is about having a successful marriage. It’s not just about carving out time to have a tea party, it is letting your daughter know that you will always make time for her, today, and every day.
5. Prioritize. I was just talking with Kerry of CarryOnFriends.com (business resources for Caribbean Americans) about this. Different classes in law school are worth a different number of credits. While I would love to study for all classes equally, as a wife and mom of 3 kids that we homeschool, that is impossible. If I have a 4 credit class, and a 2 credit class? That 4 credit class is higher on my priority list. I am too old not to get this law school thing right. Then there are the other things BESIDES school that are high on my priority list – like my husband and the kids. There are only 24 hours in a day, and I am told that I should be sleeping for about 8 of those. Of the remaining hours, I am either studying or in class for 8 of them on some days. That leaves me only 6 hours to talk with my husband, hang out with the kids, assign and check school work, write… clearly I don’t have much time left for my hair, nails, and other extra things. So I prioritize. What gives me the most “mommy credits?” Showing up on time to pick kids up from lessons and practices get 4 credits, as do getting their lesson plans done, and spending time laughing and talking with my husband. These days laundry is only 2 credits – don’t judge me.
6. Mornings are a gift, don’t waste them. Once I started law school, those 8 am and 9 am classes made me realize that I needed to be up and working in the morning, not just up. We began a 5 am schedule that included studying, cleaning, laundry, and homeschool – all before I went to my first class. By the time I got to class I was ready to learn, and not dreading coming home to a long to do list. I have always been that “early to bed, early to rise” type. My mornings have always been important to me, but they haven’t always been THAT productive. It has been a lot of me puttering around, thinking, looking at the kids while they sleep, making lists, sipping my tea, and sneaking in a show or two on Netflix. I have had to be at work at those early hours, but… coffee… a little email… my second breakfast… chit chat… wait for the stragglers to come in… THEN start really working around 11. Law school taught me that to be really productive and make the most of my day, I can’t waste those precious morning hours. I have to get as much done early in the morning as possible, so that I can relax and live the rest of my life in the afternoon and evening.
I have learned a few more lessons from being a law student that I applied to motherhood, and I am sharing them with you in three separate blog posts. The first one is here. Follow me on Facebook or Twitter to see when the next lessons are posted.
What have you learned your job or other activities that have helped you to become a better mother? Tell us in the comments!