I’m talking about something more subtle (or sinister, depending on your point of view, I suppose) than simply the ability to stop working at 5.

I loved law school. I am so excited to be admitted to the bar next month (officially — yay! I passed the exam!). I know this is the right profession for me.

And, yet, I find it so easy to “check out” in order to focus on motherhood. Reading books about parenting. Communicating on mommy forums. Meeting up with other parents from my local AP group. … In other words, engaging in all things domestic & ignoring the part of me that is a lawyer.

It may be that there’s a simple explanation: I just finished law school & passed the bar… who wouldn’t need a mental break after that!

But, just the other day I found myself feeling a twinge of guilt & envy when another mom of a toddler was talking about how she couldn’t stop reading a book that happened to be about something I supposedly care a lot about. She was also talking about a crafty class that I, too, would have loved in my former, non-mama life.

I know that being a mom is not the only thing that defines me. I proudly wear other hats. It just seems that, for me, the mama-hat is a 20-gallon hat right now & the others are beanies with little propellers on top.

Day-to-day this doesn’t bother me. And, secretly, I hope it will help me maintain some sense of my parental duties once I start working full time. Yet, I feel bad that I’ve let my professional interests fall to the wayside in favor of nesting (could this be because I had not a moment to indulge in any nesting when I was pregnant & still in law school?!)

I also feel disconnected from my colleagues & law school friends. I’m never the one who’s on top of the latest relevant legal news. I’m that girl… the one who beams when given the chance to talk about my dear child.

I don’t actually think this has much to do with being AP or not, though that would be an easy target. I really think it has to do with my personality… I’m a workaholic but I’m also single-minded — I can multi-task but my brain is much happier if it can focus on one thing… and I have an uncanny ability to focus on one thing for a long, long time.

So maybe it’s time that I force myself to do a little multi-tasking. It’s been wonderful focusing on being the best mom I can be, but the other parts of my identity deserve some cultivating, too!

How do other moms deal with it? How do you motivate yourself to keep up with the profession when you find toddler development infinitely more interesting that developments in employment law?



Filed under Bar, Lawyering, Living, Parenting

3 responses to “Balance…

  1. At least if you are going to be focused on one thing, that’s the best thing to be focused on. But like you side, other sides of oneself need cultivating as well.

    Personally, I don’t really deal with it. Of course, my daughter is three, so taking care of her is an all-consuming task for me. Instead of trying to get away when I could, I just embraced. That’s one of the reasons why I started writing about parenting. You’re lucky to be able to go to work and have both sides.

    • Thanks for your thoughtful comment, Jeff! I think you’re right, it’s not unhealthy necessarily to just let go of the nagging voice in your head & just embrace that parenting (especially parenting a toddler) is all-consuming & can also be fulfilling in & of itself. It’s funny, I usually don’t compare myself to others when it comes to parenting (or anything else) so it’s funny to be so concerned about whether or not I’m doing “enough” professionally or personally. … I need to let it go!

  2. Pingback: Gender gaps | Mom, JD

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