This blog is not intended to provide legal advice, legal services or legal anything else. Don't sue me. All I have is debt anyway.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Balancing Act

When I first got pregnant, I went to a few of those pregnancy websites looking for information and advice. Unfortunately, the message boards left much to be desired. At the point I read a post and subsequent comments from women who were convinced they can tell the sex of their baby by peeing into a cup of Draino, I gave up. I decided I didn’t want any advice from women who are stupid enough to do that. But my biggest concern is that these women didn’t seem to have anything else in their lives except for their children. I’m not saying every woman should have advanced degrees and a career, but I think women need something more than staying home with their children all day (or getting on-line and talking about their children all day) to keep their sanity. Not just for them, but for their children too.

I don’t think there’s any “best” way to parent. I know several stay-at-home moms who are well-balanced, happy women who spend their days taking care of their children and still have other activities they enjoy. I know many career women whose children are in daycare or with a nanny or other relative during the day that are great moms with happy children. And I know women in both categories who are completely miserable and their kids are going to pick up on that, which is what’s really sad. I think whatever your situation, you have to remember that life isn’t all about just one thing. As much as I want a career, that’s not the only thing I want. And as much as I want a family, I could never see myself giving up on everything else that’s important to me in order to devote every waking moment to my children. They don't need that. There has to be balance. Sometimes it’s about the kids, sometimes it’s about the spouse, sometimes it’s about the career, but somewhere in there, it has to be about me too. I can’t be a good mom, a good wife and a good lawyer without being a happy, fulfilled person on my own terms.

That’s why I like reading the lawyer-mom blogs, because I’m inspired by stories from women who want the same thing I do: a career in law but still being a good mom (and wife!). It’s a hard balancing act, but I think it will be worth it.


PT-LawMom said...

Dude, don't say any of that to the ladies on those boards. They will hurt you. ;) I found a lot of them to be silly, but I did find one online birth group that I love and the women and I have been together since we were three months pregnant (our kids are turning four now). It can be helpful to get advice and info from all sorts of moms. I can't imagine staying home with my child and having that as my only focus, but you will soon find out how many women feel differently. Wait until you give birth and the judgment starts in force.

LL said...

Yes! I've written about this topic often while pregnant, and talked (complained) about it to JP even more. To the women who act like I'm being selfish by wanting a career, I just think you're being selfish for wanting to claim you gave up everything for your children. Like you said, there are lots of happy stay at home moms, but I'm talking about the ones who have a smug sense of martydom about their decisions. It's not selfish to want to continue down a career path I've worked very hard to get on- it's my life too!

On an unrelated note- thanks for your comments on my blog after Landon's birth. I'm also happy to find another law school mommy :)

Andrea said...

Great post. That is all.

calbar blondie said...

Taking the Bar Exam and handling children and household needs does get rather challenging. Keep your priorities straight and you can do it! Wish I had done this when my children were small(er). They are 16 and 17 now. Hard to turn life off when you are going after your professional/legal career goals. I'm banking on it eventually enabling me to send my oldest son to a good college!

KatieC said...


I am a 3L, a mom of two, and a wife also. All of these comments are great and so TRUE! We are thinking about getting pregnant during this last year. This means I will be pregnant when I take the bar...about 8.5 months. Any advice for or against? We feel this will be the best window since I hope to work after I take the bar.


Proto Attorney said...

If you want my advice... I'd plan to be a little less pregnant at the time of the bar, unless it's no big deal for you to wait six extra months for the February exam. They say every pregnancy is different, and while you might very well pop exactly on your due date... well, I popped the day of my Insurance Law final, exactly one month early. :P

la critika said...

I just found your blog after googling "taking the bar exam while pregnant." I'm not in law school, but I am in the dead middle of a PhD. What is your take on the possibility of being pregnant during a major exam (in my case my "orals"). Terrible idea? Disaster? Not as bad as it sounds?

Just reading these comments on your blog makes me feel better about the prospect of pregnancy - so nice to see a bunch of women thinking about families and careers happening at the same time!

annie4 said...

You have mail :)