Keeping it together: Surviving my first semester as a law school parent

angell and kids

When I made the decision to go back to school, I knew it wouldn’t be easy: I’m also the mother of two boys, ages four and six. Making the decision to head back into school is a huge one, and I am eternally grateful to those that shared advice with me, so here are a few things that have worked for my family:

Stay Organized

Google Calendar saves us on a daily basis. My husband and I share access to the same calendar through our Gmail accounts, and we sync it to our phones. He teaches music and keeps a busy schedule with PTA programs and concerts, while my life is consumed with study groups and law school events. Couple that with a first grader in after school activities – yeah, we’re busy. But the calendar keeps us organized so we always know where the other is...and who has the kids!

Find Your Tribe

I thank my lucky stars that I have found other first-year students in the same student-parent boat. Having someone truly understand the daily struggles is amazing. We’ve all bailed each other out with emergency childcare and our kids love playing together. We share our small victories and vent when we need to.

Ask for Recommendations

Relocating is stressful, but you can take away some of the unknowns. Before I arrived in Lawrence, I asked for and received great recs for daycares, schools, and pediatricians. Other parents are usually happy to give recommendations, so just ask.

Plan the Week

Nothing satisfies my Type-A, over-organized self more than having everything for the week planned out on Sunday night. Now, this doesn’t always happen, but when it does it makes the week suck less. Meal planning keeps us from eating too much Pizza Shuttle (thought the kids think that’s quite alright.) Picking out clothes for the kids for the week prevents my six-year-old from coming downstairs in shorts on a 40-degree day.

Let Things Go

I’m not gonna lie, I’m terrible at this. Laundry piles eat away at my soul, but yesterday I resisted the urge to fold and I let it go. Now, rest assured that if you knock on my door I will manage to hide it all in the basement before you walk in. But, as my husband was quick to point out, at least it’s clean.

Amanda Angell, 1L, is a KU Law student ambassador. Reach out to her at amanda.angell@ku.edu.

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