What a day today. I came home from work excited and happy about all the recent changes in my life. To start, I have a new job! After ten years of a career in the law, I have decided to take a leap of faith and follow my passion and make a total switch. More on the switch in a minute. Instead, let’s back up to a few years ago when I received an email from Anne Murphy Brown about a book she was in the process of authoring: Legally Mom: Real Women’s Stories of Balancing Motherhood and Law Practice. The subject of her book? That million dollar question that many moms in demanding careers have asked themselves daily: How do I balance having a family with a thriving [legal] career?
I was intrigued to say the least. Although I was five years into my career as a law professor, I still remembered many days and nights where I sat behind a computer preparing for a court hearing or writing a legal brief while burning the midnight oil. I had a three-year old and preemie baby at home. I found myself hating myself for working so much but feeling like I was not working enough.
But my story as a legal mom began before my days as a litigator. I spent most of my second year of law school pregnant and by the second week of my third year I was a new mom. That year was spent balancing my breast pump on one shoulder with my law review books on my other. After passing the bar, I entered the world of litigation. When I found out I was pregnant with my third, I knew that there was no way I could or would continue to practice. By that point, I had a four-year old, one-year old and newborn. It was wrap.
I shared my story with Anne in a series of phone interviews that resembled somewhat of a Barbara Walters interview. I know I cried at least once. Almost two years passed before I received the email from Anne a few weeks ago with the news that the book had published and my copy was on the way.
When I saw the package yesterday I couldn’t wait to read it. I told my daughter that our story was in it and she plopped herself on the bed, found our chapter, and then began reading out loud. As I heard my story through my daughter’s voice I had to fight back the tears again. Every once in a while she would pause to add her commentary or question- (“Mommy- you really cried in the middle of the night?! Why??)
I have already read several of the chapters and Anne did such of wonderful job of capturing the personal story of more than twenty lawyer moms practicing law at different stages of their career.
Today, as I prepare to close out that chapter of my life and start a new one, I can say that I am certainly grateful for my legal education and career. I may not have chosen the easiest route, but I know that like my other experiences, it made me who I am today. My first blog, started while in the trenches of law practice, led me to write my first blog post. We were “three moms that happen to be lawyers to.” We shared our stories while also falling in love with the world of blogging and social media. For me, that journey led to a new passion and seven years later, a new career at an advertising agency as their social media strategist.