Being a single mom is a lot of hard work for many reasons. For one, many single mothers are not only raising their kids, but they’re also working jobs, trying to get a degree, or sometimes doing all three. For one woman, becoming pregnant while attending law school was a surprise that she wasn’t expecting at all. Still, she beat the odds and managed to get her degree from Harvard. However, what she has to say about the situation will shock you.
20. Harvard Law School
Graduating from Harvard Law School is an accomplishment for anyone that completes the curriculum. However, for one woman, the prestige of graduating from Harvard Law School meant so much more when she did it while pregnant. However, you won’t believe how her story played out.
19. A Lawyer
Briana Williams, 24, has always known that she wanted to become a lawyer. So when she was accepted into Harvard Law School, she knew that she had to take the challenge seriously. However, things would quickly spiral out of her control when she found out that she was pregnant.
Williams discovered that she was pregnant during her second year at Harvard Law School. “I was made painstakingly aware of the professional woman vs. homemaker dichotomy that is still present in today’s society. Among some of my peers, instructors, and even prospective employers, I saw the doubt of my ability to succeed in their eyes as they’d hesitantly offer their congratulations on my pregnancy,” Williams wrote.
17. Balancing Act
“The question of how I would balance my professional and parental responsibilities rang in the air between my protruding belly and their critical gazes like a siren. I was suffocated with their cautious queries about whether I would wait until after solidifying a job for post-graduation to disclose my pregnancy to my law firm,” she explained.
16. Big Decision
Despite all of the outside noise telling her that she wouldn’t be able to accomplish her dreams, Williams decided to continue on with the pregnancy. In a candid post, she described how she had went into labor while completing a final exam. Then she headed over to the hospital.
15. A Big Challenge
“I immediately requested an epidural so that my contractions wouldn’t interfere,” the mom writes. “To say that my last year of law school, with a newborn, and as a single mom was a challenge would be an understatement.” However, Williams was determined to make it work.
14. Giving Birth
Evelyn, William’s daughter, was born right during final exams and Williams couldn’t have been happier. However, she also knew that this was going to be a serious challenge if she was going to undertake being a single mom while studying at law school. However, she refused to give up.
13. A Baby & Studies
Throughout the school year, Williams worked hard to balance between giving Evelyn what she needed while also making time to study for her classes. It was never easy and finding childcare as a single mother is harder than one would think. There were many times when the childcare fell through…
12. Reliable Care
“I struggled with reliable childcare,” the mom shared. “It was not atypical to see me rushing through Wasserstein to the Dean of Students’ office with Evelyn in her carriage, asking DOS can they keep her for a few until class was over. If not, she’d just have to come with me to class.”
“The choice was not easy. It required me to be intentional and resolute. If I needed childcare resources, I was not afraid to ask for help. I was unwavering in both my classroom and my parenting obligations. I was not ashamed to bring my daughter to classes or meetings with my professors,” Williams wrote.
10. Making Conscious Choices
“If I had to either write an essay or go to the pediatrician’s office, I brought my materials and wrote my essay in the lobby and never missed a doctor’s appointment. If I had to prioritize homework during the night hours because I wanted to focus on being present with my daughter during the day, then sleep just had to be put on the back burner.”
9. No Discouragement
Williams also revealed that she never allowed self-pity or discouragement to bring her down. If she ever needed a break, she would allow herself some time to ‘recalibrate’ and then move forward the next day. It seems that her hard work paid off because in May 2018 something amazing happened.
8. Graduation Day
In May 2018, Williams graduated from Harvard Law School with Evelyn by her side. Beating all the odds and stats against her, Williams walked down the graduation stage with her beautiful daughter in her hands. She even dressed Evelyn up in a mini cap and gown.
7. Social Media Post
Williams also shared her proud moment with many of her followers on social media. “I did not think that, at 24 years old, as a single mom, I would be able to get through one of the most intellectually rigorous and challenging positions of my life. It was hard. It hurt. Instagram can make peoples’ lives seem seamless, but this journey has been heart wrenching,” she wrote on Instagram.
6. Not Easy
Williams also wanted to let her followers know that the road to success was not easy at all. “There were many days that I’d go into a depression because I felt overwhelmed and let the pressure of what I was trying to do get to me. I suppose I just did what I had to do, regardless of how I felt on the inside, because I did not want people to be able to say that I had to choose between motherhood and success,” she revealed.
Williams wanted to prove to women everywhere that they didn’t have to choose between having a child and having a dream career. “I refused to allow anyone to assume that my daughter could hold me back in any way when she is such a fundamental piece of my success and courage. I knew that if I persisted, I could help other similarly situated women.”
4. Tons of Praise
Since she posted about her success story on social media, Williams has received a ton of praise from other women all over the country. “You are an Amazing Woman, Mom, Lawyer Thank you for Instagramming Your Amazing Journey And Showing Us how strong We Really are,” one woman wrote on Williams post. So what are Williams future plans?
3. Future Plans
Williams is going to be heading back to her home state of California where she has a job waiting for her at a law firm in Los Angeles. While there she will be joining the litigation department while also taking on pro bono opportunities in order to help others. She is grateful to her own family that helped her get by when she felt like she couldn’t.
“I went to college with one suitcase and one pair of shoes, holding on to a bible that my older sister had tucked away in my bag. I’d worked full-time as a waitress and bartender in New York to get by,” she wrote. “I found ways that I could appreciate coming from a disenfranchised background. I could look at the law through the lens of a black woman and (eventually), a financially independent single mother. I used this to my advantage.”
1. Amazing Role Model
Williams has served as an amazing role model to women and mothers everywhere. Since sharing her story, Williams has been asked to write a book about her experience. In the book she will explain to women how she was able to find a balance between motherhood and professionalism and hopes she can continue to inspire women everywhere.