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A day in the life of a solo attorney mom

generation-jd-sheri-hoidraBack at it again — the morning marathon. I’m chasing after two boys trying to get them to put on pants so we can head to daycare.“No daycare! Mommy stay home!” shouts my 3-year-old.

Nothing like starting off the day with a dose of mom guilt.

As the minutes fly by, the anxiety sets in that my first consult will be at the office in an hour and the kids aren’t even in the car yet.

How have I survived three years of this?

Honestly, it’s a fake-it-until-you-make-it kind of mentality. I think this is true for most parents juggling a family and professional life. We sort of figure it out along the way every day. Some of us have more help than others, but all of us are faced with challenges. Only our families truly see the sacrifices we make – the blood, sweat and tears it takes to keep the machine going.

After an hour-and-a-half, my boys are finally at daycare, and it’s time to battle Baltimore beltway traffic. Thankfully, my first client of the day is usually a consult with an interesting story, and it energizes me. I live and breathe for this stuff. But my calendar is completely booked into next week and I’m not even sure when I’m going to find the time to eat lunch.

Practicing family, personal injury and immigration law makes it so that every hour is different. I can go from talking to an adjuster about an offer to settle an auto accident case to finalizing a Marital Settlement Agreement to finishing up a naturalization application all before 11 a.m.. The day flies by and I check off my Outlook items as they get accomplished. I remind myself that it’s all worth it because I get to change lives every day.

Fast forward to 6 p.m. and I’m still at the office. The guilt sets back in again – am I going to make it in time for dinner? These pleadings are not going to write themselves. I get the job done and head home a little later than I would like.

As soon as I step foot into the house, I get the biggest hugs from the littlest arms. They still love mommy unconditionally despite my biggest fears. I manage to be the last voice they hear when I read them their bedtime story. The guilt slowly melts away as they each fall asleep on my shoulder. Another day has passed, and I know that one day I will miss the craziness of it all.

I want my fellow working-attorney moms to know that I know this is hard. I know you’re worried about getting peanut butter stains on your suit jacket before court. I know you fear that people may question your commitment to either your family, your work or both. But we have to continue to push ourselves through the gamut of emotions that we face each day. We provide a compassionate and worldly understanding of our cases and clients, and this profession needs us.

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