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An Ode to the Law Student Parent

Betty Anne Waters

Rock-a-bye baby

In the tree top

When the wind blows

The cradle will rock

If the bough breaks

The cradle will fall

And Mummy/Daddy will sue the manufacturer and take them for all.

On Mother’s Day this year, I did not get my usual breakfast in bed of cold coffee and burnt Vegemite on toast. My gift this year was my husband and children going away for the weekend so I can work on an Admin Law take home exam. Such is the life of the student parent.

We have textbooks open on the kitchen bench while making dinner. We rock babies to sleep while listening to audio-streamed Constitutional Law lectures. We sit at the dining table helping children with homework and reader books, knowing all the while that once the little darlings are off in the land of nod, our night at the books will have only just begun.

Being a parent is hard. Being a law student is hard. Trying to do both is insane but nevertheless, so many of us go down this path. That is because being a parent is so enriching and rewarding, as is law school.

The studying parent is truly like Lady Justice, just without the kinky blindfold. On one set of scales are readings, lectures, assignments, exams and IRAC; and on the other balances kinder duty, school excursions, teething, sniffles, owies, and bedtime stories.

We do it because we love it. All of it. We love our children fiercely and will quite happily discuss the concept of duty of care with a child care worker who thinks they can escape liability for any potential injury to my child due to their negligence (yeah I don’t think so, sweetheart). We are undertaking two mammoth tasks that we are passionate about.

Our children may feel jipped that other parents don’t have to take textbooks and readings with them everywhere, but someday they will look upon us with pride and inspiration as they watch us graduate.

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