Posted on | October 16, 2013 | No Comments
I have no idea what it’s like to be a stay at home mom. I have no idea and honestly, I don’t think I could handle the stress and constant, CONSTANT attention from a four year old. But what I do know is what it’s like to be a work outside the home mom.
And I’m not always such a big fan.
See, when your four year old is screaming at you all morning about things that happened three days ago, and your dress pants are snug because you drank a little too much beer the night before while trying to forget about the fact that your dress pants are starting to get snug, and then you drive to work and spill coffee on your shirt while your child tells you that he hates school and doesn’t ever want to go anywhere but home ever again, and then you drop him off and drive to work only to find your voice-mail light blinking with five messages that inexplicably came in after you left last night and your email lit up with the message that says your assistant is taking the third day off in a row…
It feels a lot, a whole freaking lot, like failing at two jobs. Simultaneously.
Don’t get me wrong, there are times when I’m rocking out at one or the other… days when I win a hearing or motion, days when J wraps his arms around me and announces that he loves me bigger than the sky, days when my clothes are stain free (at least until lunch time). There are even a few days… a precious few… when I’m actually adequately performing at both jobs. I guess the thing about being a working not at home mom is that no matter where you are, there are a ton of people who are depending on you for a ton of things. And each day is a precarious balancing act of who gets the most of my attention, the most of my patience, and the most of my joy.
I’d like to say that every day it’s J… but it often isn’t.
I’d like to say that I can balance and juggle and smile and work and still have so much of me left after 5pm to give to my child and my significant other… but it’s not always the case. Many days I’m doing good to just get home. Many days I’m phoning in parenting with a movie and a “picnic dinner on the floor” consisting of whatever I can quickly find in the fridge or cabinet.
Many days I’m just… worn out.
But being a working outside the home mom also means that I get that surprise moment at the end of every day, when I round the corner of the building and see my son looking for bugs with a friend. It means I get that moment, just before he sees me… just a moment… to exhale the stresses of being a lawyer and to inhale the sweetness of being a mom. And then he turns, his face lights up, and he runs full speed at my legs, wrapping himself around me and grinning my name at the top of his lungs.
Being a lawyer means I get to solve a lot of problems, cause a few, drive myself and others crazy, and get stressed out on behalf of other people. Being a lawyer means headaches and phone calls and emails and high fives all around when a big decision comes in. It means early morning meetings and depositions and using my brain to solve problems and dream up solutions. Being a lawyer means a lot to me, but….
Being a mom means… Love.
And if I can be a lawyer and a mom? If I can find that precious moment every day to flip the switch between here and there, between suits and pajamas… between attorney and parent? Well, then… I guess I get the best of both worlds.