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Lunch with moms

You’ve probably seen the ABA summary of Anne-Marie Slaughter’s Atlantic article, “Why Women Still Can’t Have It All.”

Slaughter raises a lot of good points related to the classic work-life balance struggle.  Points that deserve a great deal of debate. And in that vein, Slaughter will be online to answer questions about her article next Friday, June 29; you can submit questions or comments in advance here.

While I saw Slaughter’s article this morning, I didn’t actually plan to write about it.

But then I went to lunch. I had lunch with two lovely ladies. They are both also very hard-working professionals. They are also both moms of young children.

So we talked about our kids. We talked about where they are going to school next year. We talked about how busy we were at work, and where we were taking the kids on vacation.

But we also talked about work. And we talked about how we could use our positions, our individual professional connections, and our relationships with one another to help us each succeed in our respective professions. And we came up with a plan of action.

The three of us would never have connected with one another without our kids, or without the help of an event sponsored by the firm’s Women’s Development Initiative.

As I walked back to my office, I couldn’t help but think back to Slaughter’s article. The premise of Slaughter’s article seemed to be that it isn’t truly possible to “have it all,” and encouraged women to incite a cultural change; to develop a society that better accommodates a variety of choices.

But what about right now? Yes, we lawyer moms have to make some tough decisions. So do lawyer dads. And so do lawyers’ spouses. But no matter how much society’s expectations change, we will always have to make tough decisions. The legal profession will always demand long, unpredictable hours.  We knew that when we signed up.

But today’s lunch reminded me that we are already in the midst of an exciting time. There is already an open dialogue about how to make this work-life juggle work. We just need to help direct it, and make it work for us.

(Image: Phillip Toledano, The Atlantic)

One comment

  1. This blog post from Heather was a great case example at a recent panel presentation that I moderated for the Professional Development Consortium’s annual conference. The point that her blogposts make so well is that a lawyer can be authentic online (just as she can in person). Being authentic online connects lawyers with clients, friends and colleagues. It’s also a whole lot easier than trying to be someone you are not.

    Thanks Heather for making my point and really resonating with the audience.