Welcoming a new baby and preparing for the bar exam have quite a bit in common…you lose sleep, it can be really overwhelming, and it’s a huge life milestone. For many of us, simply accomplishing one or the other is feat enough. But to tackle both—at the same time—well, that’s super-human territory. 

Yet, Nashville mum Tenia Clayton made it seem easy! Her journey to becoming a mum and to becoming an attorney were tightly intertwined. She was recently sworn into the bar with a baby on her hip after having taken the exam just six weeks into her son Callahan’s life.

“I didn’t plan on taking exam with newborn,” she explains. Tenia graduated from law school in May, and in a normal year, would have taken the Bar in July—a month before her son was due. Perfect timing, she thought.

Then, COVID happened.

As a result, the exam was postponed twice, first to September and then to October, meaning that she’d have to sit for the test with an infant. Plus, the test was now online, which meant that there were stricter accommodation rules. For example, during each hour-and-a-half session, she wouldn’t be allowed to stand up. 

“Thankfully had a smooth delivery and was healed by six weeks and was fine to sit,” she says.

But that wasn’t all she had to overcome. Even though Tenia had been studying for months, as the test date approached, she started to feel like she’d forgotten some of the material she’d studied earlier. To give herself the best chances of passing, she’d have to review for the test during her son’s first days of life—which aren’t exactly known for being restful.

“I had to review which was stressful, and I knew that I wasn’t going to perform well if I didn’t get sleep,” she says.

Fortunately, Tenia had SNOO! Callahan started sleeping in SNOO his first night home. 

“SNOO has been super handy from the beginning. I have not had to rock him to sleep. We’ve always put him in SNOO awake and he goes to sleep pretty quickly,” she says. “We weren’t a family that had to get up every two hours. I would get up with him, once maybe twice, and without fail, we could put him down and he would go back to sleep. We didn’t experience any of the horror stories I’d heard where the baby just wanted to party at 3 a.m.,” she says.

During the day SNOO was able to lend a hand, too.

“He also napped well. It was nice to put him in SNOO and have a two-hour chunk to study uninterrupted,” Tenia says.

Tenia feels grateful that she didn’t have to lose sleep in the days leading up to the bar.

“It would have been an added stressor when it’s stressful enough prepping for an exam you have to pass to work. There’s so much money that goes into the exam and prep class. There was a lot of pressure to have my baby sleep at night so during the day I wasn’t dying of exhaustion.”

Her studying paid off: She found out in December that she passed! And since the bar, both Tenia and Callahan have added to their resumes: Tenia started practicing law at a firm, and Callahan is on his way to graduating from SNOO!

“All the help we needed along the way, Happiest Baby has been able to provide,” she says.

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