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November 30, 2008



So true. It is much easier said than done. I've just been taken off a special project I was given because I was rather too successful on it. Not working on it is driving me crazy but I'm trying to work on something else.

Great mantra. I'm going to write it down and say it to myself when I am tempted to go back to my special project.


I'm so glad you got such wonderful responses (in the mix, of course). I left your post yesterday open because I've been thinking a lot about these issues. I don't have nearly as stressful a job as you do, but I am committed to returning after 4 weeks and I have been really hoping that I'll be able to balance work (not nearly as many hours as a lawyer) with bonding with a baby. But of course I'm worried I'll just do both things poorly. I'm also in a situation where every minute that I take off post-birth is another minute I have to make up at some point because the end deadlines don't change so I find it infuriating when everyone tells me to take as much time as possible off at the beginning because I don't want to land up missing months 5 or 6 by working overtime. But the comments you highlighted make really good points about taking time at the beginning.


I'm glad you got some very good advice. I know it's hard, but you absolutely should think about what YOU need, what your family needs, and demand to take it, whatever it is.

not sure if the internet ate my comment on the last post, ah well.

as a new lawyer, I was never able to take more than a week at a time and that was pushing it. then it just got harder and harder to take the time. eventually, it took getting pregnant after so much struggle for me to even think of taking a leave. but when things went bad, I was unexpectedly out. I couldn't even think about work. I was only out two weeks, but it was the only time in my career I just didn't care. it helped halfway through when my supe said don't worry. but it is our nature to worry. and I couldn't. my energy was directed elsewhere...

I guess what I'm saying in sharing this story is sometimes we have to take what we need when we need it. sometimes there's no planning for it. we sacrifice so much. you've worked hard, and life will go on without you. you deserve whatever it is you need.


I come to you by way of my SIL who is an IF blogger. I am an attorney five years in. I met my husband while I was in my senior year of HS and he was prepared for the fact that I was planning on going to law school. My wise (although uneducated) mom told me I could have both a career and a family. She didn't give me the rule book, though, she said I'd figure it out along the way. I work for a small firm, so not the benes of a large firm and not the $$ or the hours, but I like it. We are in a lot of respects like a family. We have experienced birth, death, marriage, and bar exams with each other! When I told the partners that I was pg, they might have perhaps been more excited than me. I STRESSED about the balance of the two - the time off - the lack of replacement - the hours - all the things you said went through my mind. I admire your dedication to the profession and your conflicted feelings. What I can tell you is this. . . you are right - its not just a job, its a career. I take that very seriously! You can be both - your child does not know about the SAHM v. working moms wars (yet!). He/she will know what you impart to them. I actually found a pretty good balance. I work p/t now - but still every day, just shorter hours. And yes my workload is the same (if not more sometimes) but I treasure my ability to leave so much that I work my tail off all day until the clock strikes 3:00~ My boss recently told me that he knows many women have a tendency to slack off during early motherhood - but that I had exceeded his expectations. As a result, he said I could keep the hours and that we could keep things this way. I stayed home for 3 mos. For me, a new mother with a career, that was more than enough. I was also "on-call" during leave. I was angry about it the first two weeks, then it was actually ME calling to check in when the baby was napping. I am better to my son because I work everyday. I became lazy at home and disoriented. When you aren't used to it, or programmed to do it, it can make you very scatter-brained. I needed work to restore structure to my world. I get 2 hours alone with my son every afternoon, after work and before his daddy comes home. They may be my favorite 2 hours of the day. Sometimes the blackberry buzzes and hums in my direction, but just wait. . .co-workers cannot stand to hear a baby babbling into the phone. The calls don't last long. LOL. You have a special chore ahead of you - to create your own rulebook on how to have a successful career and be the best mommy your child could ever hope for. You will establish that for yourself at some point. It WILL happen - and you will make it work. All of this anxiety now is just preparing you for the day when you hold your child in your arms and it all starts to fall into place!!


I just want to add along the lines of what Jac said -- you're going to have to get used to blurring the lines; you're way too conscientious a worker. Give in to them contacting you at home; power up the Blackberry and laptop, and make it work. You'll figure out when to ignore stuff and when to dig in. It is so much better, after all, to handle stuff from home than to have to go in, and once you've got a routine going, you may be able to carry on working from home a bit even after you are back full-time. That said, other stuff gives way, like a social life. But priorities are priorities.


E-gads, I've been away too long! I am processing everything in your last three posts, and I can say that while I was not checking in, I'm so glad others (mostly) had the right words for you. And as another that loves her work and career, I understand where you are coming from. This last post sounds like you've successfully navigated through your feelings on this, and the other comments that may have pissed you off at least solidified and helped you verbalize all of your thoughts. Sounds like you now have a clear pathway on how to approach the situation, which is what I suspect you wished for all along! It always amazes me what the blog community can do for a person. Congrats on that car seat!!


Oh R I wish I'd had a chance to get caught up before now! I'm sorry you're going through all of this - your boss, man he sounds like a treat!

I do really get what you say about it not being just a job - its part of your identity, and who you are. There are many who probably can't understand that kind of feeling.

In any case, I stopped by to say hang in there, and I hope you really do get to take the time you need, and on your own terms.

And most of all - I hope you get to take that time soon!!


Damn, it sucks that your boss is putting you through this, on top of everything. May I just be indignant for a second: How dare he have any opinion, forget a negative one, about your path to adoption?!?

Sorry. Had to get that off my chest.

I like the letter idea, and the manual idea (if that won't be a lot of work that then gets stuck in a drawer somewhere while you get calls day and night). I know what you mean about this not just being some job where you punch your card, eat your sandwich, and then go home. I, too, have done all sorts of silly things for my passions, and can't stand it when someone says I should take a more nonchalant approach to my work. Why do it, for Pete's sake, if you have no intention of doing it well?

I hope all this gets worked out swiftly and as painlessly as possible, and that you're soon absorbed with a much more interesting challenge--welcoming home your new family member.


I'm glad I could be of some assistance. It's only taken me two (ten?) really bad years of making sacrifices and banging my head against the wall and compromising my own personal life/family/ovaries to get to a position where I can see things this way, and provide said advice. But slowly, I'm learning. . .good luck to you. I'll be keeping an eye out to see how it all turns out for you (and since you'll likely get there before I do, I'll be looking for a good swift kick in the pants when I start to backslide and try to sneak into the office on days I should be with a babe, intead. . .)


Um, sorry. I have not visited you in WAAAY TOO LONG. But so glad you got a car seat yeah! Whatever decision you make and go with will be the right one, it will be. You will be an awesome mommy...xoxoxoxo

the Babychaser

Yay! Mad props to me! :-)

Seriously, though, glad I could help. I never know when I go off on a rant like that if I'm getting too pushy or actually providing some good advice.

The most important thing is that this IS going to happen for you and you ARE going to make it work and isn't that insanely exciting??? I'm so far away from having a baby in my house right now it all seems like some detached fantasy, rather than something I'm actively working toward. For now, I live vicariously, and I'm thrilled at how close you are to the finish line (and thus the beginning of a new craziness).


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