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.