Full-time student, full-time mom

Rachael Thompson is a 1L in the full-time program at UHLC.

People keep asking me what it’s like: fellow students, friends and family, other moms at the baseball fields. I’m a mom who until very recently stayed home with her kids and did all those things stay-at-home moms do like volunteer for church and the PTA, go on field trips, and have lunch with friends. Now I’m a full-time 1L. It’s crazy. I’m crazy! I felt called to start a new career in law, and somehow it worked out that I’m here at UHLC, working alongside fellow students many years younger than myself. So, what it’s like to be a full-time law student and a mom of two adolescent boys?

My tasks as a mother have not changed. Dinner needs to be made, laundry piles up, and homework needs to be checked. Oh, and carpool—lots of driving my kids and other kids all over. Now I get to add in about four hours of homework a night and lots of work on the weekends, too, not counting the hours spent in class. Thankfully, my husband is very encouraging and, more practically, enjoys cooking.

To keep up with the student side of my life, I need to be fairly organized. I have to look ahead each week and plan out what needs to get done each day. I’ve been able to keep up and get my work done. If I know I have an important event at my son’s school one evening, I’ll work ahead the weekend or day before so I can take care of my motherly responsibilities. I fit in reading when there are breaks in some family event. I’ve read Torts in the car during a rain delay at a band competition. I’ve read Torts during baseball practice. I’ve also read Torts between games at a basketball tournament. I’m not sure why, but Torts seems to be my go-to choice to bring along to kid events.

Life with my family while I’m in school has had its ups and downs. There have been quite a few times when I’ve forgotten something important my son asked me to do or we’ve run out of bread again because I had no time to go to the grocery story. I missed my youngest son’s first home run in a baseball game. I wanted to finish some studying before heading to the game, and next thing I know, my husband is calling me to tell me the exciting news. I haven’t missed everything, though. The highlight of my weeks lately has been watching my oldest march in the band at Friday night football games, and I’ve been to lots of other good baseball and basketball games my youngest has played in – with my Torts book in hand, of course. Through it all, my kids are learning to be a little more independent and are taking on new chores to help around the house, which is good for them to do regardless.

Back to the oft-asked question: what’s it like? Life is busy and challenging. I work hard to do what needs to be done, one day at a time. I get my homework done, and I take care of my kids. It’s not perfect. My house may be messier than it used to be, and the laundry piles a little higher, but I’m thankful each day that I get to embark on this crazy adventure.