Challenges

I love this Paper House Luminary by Just Something I Made (click for source)

I knew when I started this project that there would be some challenges. Learning the LSAT is and will continue to be difficult. The law school application process, if the LSAT goes well enough, will be difficult. Actually doing law school if both those things go well will be a challenge probably like none I have had to tackle before.

One challenge I anticipated but didn’t fully realize the weight of is studying at home with two kids. I do most of my studying in the evenings when my husband is home to watch the kids. I have an office in our basement with a table and a folding chair and I sit down here and wade through my book slowly but surely. My husband and kids play upstairs or in the playroom in our basement.

I knew there would be some issues with the noise of the children playing and getting upset, but I didn’t realize just how unable I am to tune those out. I don’t know if that’s a natural maternal thing or if it’s just my anxious and nosy nature, but it is what it is. I cannot seem to concentrate well enough here, and trying to concentrate on learning to tune out certain sounds while trying to concentrate on trying to learn difficult material is just too much for me.

We live less than two blocks from the public library and I’d love to go there every night, but my husband doesn’t get home until 5 and we’re not done with dinner until after 6. The library closes at 6 Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday, so on those days, studying must be done at home. I know I get less done and have to repeat things far more when this is the case.

Monday and Wednesday they’re open until 8, but for most of winter it’s just way too cold to walk outside (since the library is so close, driving is ridiculous) after dark unless there’s no alternative. It’s just not worth the pain of the cold hurting any exposed skin. Now that it’s starting to get nicer out, the library is a real option for me and I’m excited to see how much more quickly I’ll learn when I can focus for longer periods of time and am not distracted by constant unintentional scanning for sounds of distress.

So, while the studying is going well and I definitely feel like I’m doing better and learning something, it’s going slower than I thought. Spring will be great for my LSAT score, which is something I did not anticipate.

I should also mention that there is no way I could do this without my husband to take care of the kids while I study, especially with the risk that it may all be for nothing (if the LSAT does not go well enough). He’s totally supportive of my efforts and does whatever needs to be done to help me try to meet my goals. This is why my studying only occurs from the time he gets home until the kids go to bed. The time between the kids going to bed and us going to bed (~8p-1030p) is reserved for us to spend time together. Not only is this something we enjoy, we have learned in nearly a decade together (with over four years of that time long-distance) that it is something we need, both as a couple and individuals.

With all these restrictions and conditions this is starting to sound like one of those awful logic “games,” but I think it’s worth the work to make it work. More than anything, now that I’ve sat down to think it all out, I am grateful to be in a situation where I can even take on these challenges. To be able to devote this time and energy to studying and trying to pursue a career while being a mother to two small children and working (extremely) part-time is a privilege I do not intend to abuse.

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