If you are in your first year of law school, you are most likely still on your winter break and probably enjoying it immensely! I hope you are taking the time to really enjoy your down time and time with family. I know, for many of you, you are working too, and you didn’t really get much time off at Christmas. I used to hear from people all the time – so, are you enjoying your break? How is it being on vacation? I used to think – I am not on vacation, I am still going to work. Still, not having the added responsibility of homework and going to classes is really nice for a few weeks! So – relish it while you can! I know I loved actually going home at a decent time every night and having dinner and bathtime/bedtime with my family.
Maybe this break has given you a chance to reconnect with your spouse and kids. Possibly some issues have come up that you did not expect. I know that for me and some of my classmates, and our spouses, we were a bit surprised that being back at home more sometimes caused conflict. It makes sense when you think about it. You and your spouse have both found ways of making life work with you not around the house very much. Suddenly, there you are again, wanting to be part of daily decisions, childcare, and more. It can throw things off a bit. This will actually probably become a more stark reality the further you get in school.
I recommend actually talking about it with your spouse. Even if you don’t feel like there is any kind of problem, talk about how it feels to have you around, ask if you are messing up the routines, see what you can do to make your spouse’s life easier, and he/she, in turn, might do the same for you. Talking about it before it happens may prevent the problem altogether. If not, you will have laid the groundwork for working together if irritations do arise. Sometimes just acknowledging that something has changed or feels off takes away some of its power. There won’t be a growing uneasiness that can be misinterpreted and lead to more conflict.
Feel like you could use more tips for getting through law school with a spouse and kids? Now is a great time to read my book: Law School Insights: An Insider’s Guide for Non-Traditional Students.