Balancing it all as a working attorney mom

Sheri B. Hoidra

Sheri B. Hoidra

They say if you ever want something done, give it to a busy person.

The same thing can be said of the attorney mom. There is no more magnificently imperfect creature on this planet, frazzled with daycare drop-offs and early morning trial dates. But we manage to get it done every day.

Truly, every attorney mom I know is constantly seeking perfection in everything she does, knowing all the while that no such thing exists. That doesn’t stop us from trying though. We increasingly expect more from ourselves the more we accomplish.

So, working lawyer moms: Let’s take a moment and appreciate your hard work on a daily basis. I know there have probably been a couple moments this week where you’ve suffered from a dose of mom guilt, and I’m here to remind you that you are not alone. There are other attorney moms like you working long days and forgetting to bring a sippy cup to daycare.

I’ve even put a little list together to remind you (and me!) why our delicately balanced lives are actually a thing of beauty:

1) We get a break. Yes, I said it. It’s hard to be home all day. (Shoutout to stay-at-home moms!) Working moms get an opportunity to escape into the working world and come home enthused to see the kids. Having happy clients on top of that is the icing on the cake.

2) We are reminded on a daily basis we had a life before children. When I am discussing options with a client or speaking with a colleague at a networking event about anything other than “Ruff-Ruff Tweet and Dave,” I’m reminded of some semblance of adulthood.  Not to mention there’s no feeling of animosity if my spouse comes home late because I occasionally do the same. I imagine I would feel frustrated if I had been at home with the kids all day and my spouse came home late.

3) Your kids will respect women as professional equals. This is a big one for me. I’m raising two boys, and when they grow up I want them to know it’s normal for a woman to work and for a man to do the dishes after dinner. In my family, there are no gender roles for tasks because we are a team. This is an important lesson for girls as well: A recent Harvard Study found that daughters who grew up with working moms earn more money when they enter the working world. Let’s continue to help lessen the wage gap.

4) We can buy stuff with our own money. This is another big one. It’s incredibly rewarding to contribute to the financial well-being of the family. Daycare is expensive and to have the type of profession where it’s financially worth it to go to work is a blessing. Those 529 college saving plans are not going to pay for themselves.

5) Multi-tasking becomes a way of life. Juggling a career in the law and being a good mother crafts women into the ultimate multi-tasking machine. This may be a natural result of overcompensating for mom guilt, or is just a matter of necessity. Regardless, this constant state of fight-or-flight is the working mom’s reality. Don’t apologize for it. Embrace it. Your kids are watching.