The barely controlled chaos of September

Jeremy Rachlin

Jeremy Rachlin

I flinch looking at my calendar for next week. And the week after. And the week after.

Yes, attorney-parents, September is upon us.

September marks the time when, after that wonderful, 10-week period following the Maryland State Bar Association’s Annual Meeting when bar associations and boards and schools stand in recess, we are flung back onto the tilt-a-whirl of balancing professional involvement, parenting and maintaining our day-to-day practices.

For attorney-parents, the balance we had all worked so hard to find during the last academic year is suddenly thrown askew. September brings new activities that we must find a way to deliver our kids to, new needs, sometimes new schools and often completely new schedules. In my household, this September brings the addition of travel soccer practices twice a week and an additional weekday afternoon of religious education. And we only have one child whom we have to deliver to after-school events.

Yet, somehow, we all do eventually find that balance. It takes time, but we find ways to tend to discovery and deadlines and make it court, bar association events, client meetings and the sidelines of enough soccer/lacrosse/football/field hockey practices to feel like we are not neglecting our kids. It may take a carpool village. It may take some extra flexibility and communication with law partners and office staff and maximizing technology to do work after hours. It may take one spouse who takes complete (and autocratic) charge of the family calendar to make sure that every responsibility is covered.

If I click my heels together and repeat three times that, “By November, we will find our routine,” I do find comfort that eventually, it will all feel like second nature. Just in time for snow days and two-hour delays.

To those attorney-parents out there, I wish you an enjoyable last week of calm. Take heart that if you too are fearing next week; you’re not alone.

Jeremy Rachlin is a principal at Bulman, Dunie, Burke & Feld Chtd. in Bethesda, where he practices estates and trusts and civil litigation.