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Returning To The Practice Of Law As A New Mom

November 15, 2007

On March 15, 2007, I had my first child, a beautiful 10 pound baby boy.   A few months later, I returned to work, and I am still trying to figure out how to balance my new role as a mother with my role as a new partner in a very large law firm.  As I struggle with how to achieve the perfect work/life balance, I think about the many women who have been in similar positions before me, or who are struggling with similar issues now as they return to the workplace.  I thought we could share our experiences with each other, in hopes that we could learn from one another.  For example, I know I would like to hear from others as to what has worked or what has not worked when trying to have it all – the family and the career.  So, I thought I’d start the discussion by asking some questions below.  I welcome other members’ questions to the group, answers to questions posted, thoughts and advice, and hope that we can start a dialogue that will be helpful to many women facing the same issues.

QUESTIONS:  1.  What are the biggest challenges you have faced since returning to work?  How have you dealt with them?  2.  What advice would you give to other women returning to work?  caring for small children?  3.  What’s the best advice someone has given you?  4.  What type of childcare works best for you?  5.  How did you transition back into the work force?  6.  How do you manage your household?  Who does the cooking, the laundry, the grocery shopping, etc.?  7.  Have you developed any time-saving techniques worth sharing?  8.  Do you work full time?  How do you manage the hours?

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19 Comments leave one →
  1. ChattyKathy permalink
    November 17, 2007 3:42 pm

    My advice to new mothers returning to work is to have a solid support team in place. While we would all like to be all things to all people, it is simply not possible. We need help and it is best to recognize that ahead of time and have a plan in place that utilizes spouses or family or care givers efficiently. For example, your mother-in-law can be one of your new best friends. Seriously. I have found that having a baby changes the dynamics of many pre-existing relationships – for the better.

  2. ChattyKathy permalink
    November 17, 2007 3:47 pm

    One more thought – I have also found that having a baby opens doors to new friendships. You make friends with others you might not have in the past simply becasue you have children – around the same age – in common. This new group of friends is a great new source of information.

  3. Jessica Lippy permalink
    November 20, 2007 8:29 pm

    I work full time and have a 3 year old and a 7 month old. Both of my boys go to a child developlement center that is located at my husbands work. We chose it for its convenience and because he has a shorter commute than I do. As for tips – one of the 1st things we did when I went back to work was hire a cleaning lady that way we were not spending our precious “free” time cleaning. This is the best money I spend every week! I also try and run errands at lunch, do a lot of online shopping at home or quick trips out when the boys are sleeping so I don’t miss spending time with them. Some of the biggest challenges are when the boys are sick and are unable to go to daycare and both my husband and I have things we must attend to at work that day – so my suggestion is to have at least 2 back up care providers. For us it is usually my mom who lives 2 hours away. Luckily she is retired and willing to make the trip to help out for a day or two when we need her.

  4. mariafeeley permalink
    November 20, 2007 9:53 pm

    On-line shopping has been invaluable for me also. For those who might not know it, some grocery stores will deliver groceries after you place an order on-line. I have been very happy with ACME.com. There is a $10 delivery fee. It is a real time saver, and I highly recommend it.

  5. Exhausted permalink
    December 4, 2007 11:30 pm

    I think that new mothers (and old mothers) certainly deserve special well-deserved recognition. The hand that rocks the cradle certainly rules the world. In all fairness, though, how about those of us who are caregivers to elderly parents? Where do we fit into the legal world? Not much sympathy out there. I wish that those legal employers would acknowledge that life is full circle – the parents of today may very well become the caregivers of tomorrow. I tried very hard to find support systems for those of us who dedicate our free time (if any) to caring for elderly parents with Alzheimers or dementia, while trying to make our way through law school and the legal profession. Anyone know of any support for us?

  6. mariafeeley permalink
    December 10, 2007 6:41 pm

    Exhausted, this sounds like an issue that we might want to explore further at a monthly meeting. Perhaps we can put together a panel to address your issue and provide information about available support.

  7. Exhuasted permalink
    December 11, 2007 1:10 am

    That sounds like a great idea. I’m sure there are other women in the legal profession who are part of the “sandwich generation.” I’d love to help and fully suppor any efforts that are made to provide help and assistance.

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