Sunday, November 11, 2012

Parenting & Being A Lawyer - One Mom Quits With A Great E-Mail


The blog, Above The Law, got their hands on this memo from a woman who sent it to all her colleagues on her last day of work at Clifford Chance. You can read the memo and their thoughts here. The REPEAT is the thing that is the killer. Just that one word.

A day in the life of Ms. X (and many others here, I presume):

4:00am: Hear baby screaming, hope I am dreaming, realize I’m not, sleep walk to nursery, give her a pacifier and put her back to sleep
4:45am: Finally get back to bed
5:30am: Alarm goes off, hit snooze
6:00am: See the shadow of a small person standing at my bedroom door, realize it is my son who has wet the bed (time to change the sheets)
6:15am: Hear baby screaming, make a bottle, turn on another excruciating episode of Backyardigans, feed baby
7:00am: Find some clean clothes for the kids, get them dressed
7:30am: Realize that I am still in my pajamas and haven’t showered, so pull hair back in a ponytail and throw on a suit
8:00am: Pile into the car, drive the kids to daycare
8:15am: TRAFFIC
9:00am: finally arrive at daycare, baby spits up on suit, get kids to their classrooms, realize I have a conference call in 15 minutes
9:20am: Run into my office, dial-in to conference call 5 minutes late and realize that no one would have known whether or not I was on the call, but take notes anyway
9:30am: Get an email that my time is late, Again! Enter my time
10:00am: Team meeting; leave with a 50-item to-do list
11:00am: Attempt to prioritize to-do list and start tasks; start an email delegating a portion of the tasks (then, remember there is no one under me)
2:00pm: Realize I forgot to eat lunch, so go to the 9th floor kitchen to score some leftovers
2:30pm: Get a frantic email from a client needing an answer to a question by COB today
2:45pm: postpone work on task number 2 of 50 from to-do list and attempt to draft a response to client’s question
4:30pm: send draft response to Senior Associate and Partner for review
5:00pm: receive conflicting comments from Senior Associate and Partner (one in new version and one in track changes); attempt to reconcile; send redline
5:30pm: wait for approval to send response to client; realize that I am going to be late picking up the kids from daycare ($5 for each minute late)
5:50pm: get approval; quickly send response to client
6:00pm: race to daycare to get the kids (they are the last two there)
6:30pm: TRAFFIC with a side of screaming kids who are starving
7:15pm: Finally arrive home, throw chicken nuggets in the microwave, feed the family
7:45pm: Negotiate with husband over who will do bathtime and bedtime routine; lose
8:00pm: Bath, pajamas, books, bed
9:00pm: Kids are finally asleep, check blackberry and have 25 unread messages
9:15pm: Make a cup of coffee and open laptop; login to Citrix
9:45pm: Citrix finally loads; start task number 2
11:30pm: Wake up and realize I fell asleep at my desk; make more coffee; get through task number 3
1:00am: Jump in the shower (lord knows I won’t have time in the morning)
1:30am: Finally go to bed

REPEAT

Needless to say, I have not been able to simultaneously meet the demands of career and family, so have chosen to leave private practice, and the practice of law (at least for now). I truly admire all of you that have been able to juggle your career and family and do not envy what a challenge it is trying to do each well. I appreciate those of you who have been incredibly understanding of my family obligations over the past few years, and especially the last several months. I have learned so much from so many of you and hope to keep in touch for years to come (a special thank you to A, W, G and D). Please call or email anytime – my personal contact information is listed below.

92 comments:

Geebz said...

I feel for her. Sounds like my life. LOL. Glad she has the option to quit and hope that she is eventually able to return to her job. Times are tough and managing is truly tough. Best of luck to her and her family.

plrtz glrb said...

Whinge, whinge, whinge

hag said...

Don't get why the husband isn't pitching in more. She is stuck doing everything for the kids

By: Elsa said...

Hello, long time reader, first time comment. *waves* Alrigjt, here I go: As a woman, I feel like years and years of propaganda telling us that we can do both have put us at a disadvantage and a consequential realm is which we feel inadequate, a failure. We definitely got the short end of the stick- I freakin' bring home as much as my husband yet if my house isn't spotless, a home-cooked meal prepared 30 min. after I walk through the door, a cheerful disposition, clean socks always available, and the libido of a boarding school teenager... if I fail to deliver this whole other full-time worthy array of duties then I'm judged as lazy, or incompetent. Yet men, as long as they bring home a paycheck and mow the darn lawn, they are freakin' superstars. Lord knows, the expectations on me will only increase when I have children. So although I know I am empowered as a woman through my higher education and have a certain independence because I have a good paying job, I'm not going to lie... sometimes I wonder if as a female we will always get the short end I the stick. Did the stay at home women before us have it better? Oh, by the way, I'm Latina, so add the dynamics of old-world culture to the mix and the sense of inadequacy grows exponentially. So, Lawyer-mom X, more power to you for liberating yourself and taking the step to a happier, healthier you.

By: Elsa said...

Oops, sorry for all the typos. BTW- I am happily married and love my husband, he's great, but I'm looking at the situation objectively and echoing what most of my girlfriends also share in terms of their stress of balancing home and career lives.

annabella said...

something has got to give for women who have jobs 'outside the home' and children.

this woman is lucky because she could afford to quit. most single mothers wouldn't have that option.

my former downstairs neighbor was a couple w/two young children, 4 and 8 months old when I moved in.

the mother was an academic with a good job in her field. she had a full time babysitter during the day.

at night her baby would cry his eyes out, I mean for about an hour, and she wouldn't pick him up. the husband wouldn't either.

I used to listen to the baby screaming for his mommy. I wasn't mad that the baby woke me up, I was upset with them for considering that not picking a screaming baby up was somehow 'good parenting.'

I wanted to break the damn door down and pick the baby up, but, then I'd get arrested.

they moved when she got a tenure track position at a good university.

but, I have to say, I'd see her interact with her in laws, neighbors, etc., and act as if she were the best mommy in the world and that she loved her son (the baby) more than anything.

it kind of sickened me, because I knew better. she was making him suffer so she could push forward with her career.

it would be interesting to hear from the children of this woman who quit. I bet they'd have an interesting email as well.

chellesy said...

More power to her!

She is more woman than I am. I stay at home with my children while working part time in the home, and it still never ends.

I have nothing but respect for women who can juggle a full time career and children. I am not one...lol.

Urban Rosebud said...

I think your neighbor, especially an academic one, may have been using the "Ferber Method" on the baby to make it go to sleep. Very controversial: I tried and could not do it with my little one, however, for some, it really works to get your child accustomed to sleeping on his/her own.

I was truly appalled by all the comments regarding her resignation. I cannot believe how much compassion we lack as a human race. Blaming the husband, calling her names, joking about her struggles. WTF is wrong with us. No matter what, you can see that she was struggling & needed to vent it out and just move on with her life. She expressed her experience and graciously extended herself - the last paragraph was kind & she did not blame anyone. Those comments made all those jokes about lawyers seem very very true. Stone hearted sociopaths who will sell their mother on the corner for a nickel. Yuck. I pray to God I never need one.

ButterKwup said...

I think the key is finding a partner who will actually help and empower you. If you choose a husband who never helps cook or do the dishes, never runs the vacuum and you still decide to have children with him, you deal with the consequences. I come from a family full of men- husbands and fathers and grandfathers who are willing and able to help their wives in whatever way they can.

BettorOffSingle said...

Oh cry me a fucking river.

If women weren't social-climbing whores, they'd marry men who offered moer than money. The ones who have high-paying jobs usually get those jobs becuase someone wants to fuck them anyway. Their whole lives are garbage.

I'd have more sympathy for women if they weren't so arrogant, verbally aggressive, and hypocritical, but that would be asking too much from this dumbed-down generation.





Kim's World said...

I tend to agree with By:Elsa and hag why isn't the husband helping her I mean at least he should be able to make sure his wife took a shower in the morning. I am not married and I don't have kids but it gets draining having to always do everything myself so especially with kids involved I don't understand why the husband doesn't help.

victoria said...

this makes me never want to have kids or get married. poor woman, i hope she manages to be happy

By: Elsa said...

Hell hath no fury like a man scorn, eh?

CamColty said...

Easy mr mysogony. Someone has mommy issues.

The Black Cat said...

I had a husband who didn't help, after a while I figured life would be easier having one less person to take care of. It was the best decision I could have made and have no regrets. Everyone's situation is different though, some people need to be married to feel normal.

CamColty said...

Ahem. Mysogyny. My bad. I'm just a dumb woman !

T. E. Cuz said...

This woman is lucky that she can leave her job in order to focus on her family. I know wayyy too many people in the legal industry who would die of happiness to get a job emptying wastebaskets in a law firm....


@betteroffsingle.... It's widely stated that good-looking people get hired and get more promotions, both male and female. Guys hire girls that they wanna bang. Is she wrong to play the system and take the job??

L said...

And there I thought the effing moron had left us for good... but i digress

wow, i do not know how she managed to keep the rhythm for a few years [assumption on the basis of the elder child being able to wake up and go to mummy] and be productive at work, be a mum and a wife.
Good on her for being able to make this choice and going with it.

Charley said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Charley said...

Good for her that she has the option to leave and focus on her family. Unfortunately, many who are in the same situation are unable to. I would be beyond frustrated if my husband did not help out. My dad barely helped my mum out and she did almost everything on her own.

CamColty said...

Any asshat, be it male OR female that wants to shame this, or any woman for having a hard time at trying to be everything (wife, mom and employee) needs a backhand to their ignorant head. YOU try it and tell me you could do it without any quams. I can't fucking stand people who judge when they have absolutely no idea
Yeah, woman hater, I'm talking to you.

P.s. I find it amusing how narrow minded you are but can't believe morons like you still exist.

That is all.

Jemtastic said...

@chellesy: Please don't feel that way. I've worked with women that have full-time jobs, are married and have kids; everyone handled their situations differently but I noticed the ones that were less stressed were the ones that were honest enough to acknowledge their PERSONAL limitations. There is no shame in knowing what you as a person can handle and doing the best you can.

hag said...

Bahaha no wonder you're single!

hag said...

I know! The wife is forced to give up her career that she spent years of hard work and tons of money to become educated for, and the husband doesn't even take over the bedtime duties when his wife is clearly beyond overwhelmed? Just seems weird to me. It shouldn't have to come down to that, in my humble opinion.

CarmeliteLady said...

THIS is why I've decided not to have kids. I have one six year old step daughter, and that's plenty. I want my life to be for me, and my husband. I don't want to be a tiny persons thankless slave. So they can grow up to hate me and tell me the ways that I ruined their life while working two jobs and going to night school? F that.

I second that Hag!
BetterofSingle your moniker says it all. She's better of without YOU. it's sad that someone who can't get positive attention will resort to negative attention, anything at all just as long as it's attention. Do you think that your comments make you seem witty and unattainable? They make you seem bitter, resentful and wounded. I"m sorry that you're still so hurt by the women in your life.
But stop with the troll comments.

Sarah said...

I love you, Elsa. You get me.

Snakeoiler said...

This stinks, but she WAS making over $200,000/yr (CC's starting salary is over $150k), so I don't feel so bad for her. I would feel worse if she were one of the people making 10% as much who work just as hard.

Helen Lawson said...

Sounds like she did not know how to delegate at work and her spouse was dead weight. Don't know why a 2 income family did not hire a nanny, or why she did not have an assistant, or why a big firm like that did not have any support other in place (i.e, paralegals, clerks, etc.).

Cmacs said...

That is exactly why I am now a "retired" lawyer. I also am "lucky" that my spouse is a lawyer so I "get" to stay home -- but his work schedule is precisely why we couldn't make it work with both of us at a law firm.

That said, it is never easy to walk away from a six-figure job. It isn't as if the family doesn't notice.

Amy said...

Because no one else at a job has a personal life.

I don't understand why sent this -- she was in the clear, out the door. She's hurting only herself with something so unprofessional. Good luck re-entering the workforce a few years from now.

Me said...

i don't think most people want to admit that parenthood is a full time gig. it is the best "job" i eve had, and i feel very fortunate that i have been able to be home with my kids. i started a job recently (part time)and i'm enjoying it BECAUSE (in large part) it is my choice to work. if the US would get on board with the rest of the world and give parent benefits, we wouldn't have letters like this. kids are little for such a short period of time. the first 3 years are very different from the rest of parenting. ineer felt competitive about a job. when people would say something about "you are JUST a stay at home mom" i noted it, and what they felt was important, but it wasn't insulting to me. family first. ths woman is fortunate that she has a choice.

Agent**It said...

Must have been formula.

Robin the Mad Photographer said...

What Urban Rosebud said, and then some: Nobody really wants to admit that raising children is a damn hard job, and even when both parents pitch in to the best of their ability (I suspect the husband in this case is, if not pulling all his weight, at least carrying some it), it's still exhausting. Add to it the fact that not only is the world more complicated than it was back in the '50s and '60s, but that more is expected of parents now than back then, and you've got the perfect setup for a major meltdown. Frankly, I'm amazed that so many parents in all social classes do as well as they do by their children, especially if they have to work outside the home as well.

Oh, and the fact that you know about this blog, Enty, suggests to me that you at least have some kind of knowledge or connections in the legal field, since that's pretty much the blog's readership. (No, not all lawyers are dicks--most of the ones I've worked for were basically decent people--but there is a certain very single-minded, focused mindset that you need to be a good attorney, and it doesn't lend itself to being all warm and fuzzy and ingratiating to others.)

Robin the Mad Photographer said...

I don't see this as being "unprofessional"--she knew that her colleagues would want to know why she was leaving, and might try to talk her into staying, so she wanted to make sure they understood what exactly was going on. She doesn't blame anyone at the firm, or try to make the firm in general look bad; she's simply acknowledging that at this point in time she can't continue to do both jobs simultaneously as well as they need to be done, so she's concentrating on her kids for the time being. She's human, not an automaton, and human beings can only handle so much before they hit the breaking point.

Amy said...

It's definitely unprofessional. (Think of it this way: What if a man earning a 6-figure salary at a law firm sent out an email detailing everything in his personal life from hours before he arrived to hours after he left and all the pesky work the job itself entailed.)

I'm all for empowering women, but I've learned the hard way that doing things like this can be exhilarating in the moment but in the long run will do exactly the opposite for this woman's personal empowerment. She's shot herself in the foot.

Sugar said...

BOS you always crack me up with your uneducated and bigoted comments. Have you ever read A Confederacy of Dunces? You remind me of Ignatius J. Reilly but I'm afraid you are real, not a character in a book.

Melpomene25 said...

I agree with everything you said, Elsa...and thank you for saying it!

dunduhdunddun said...

The only hit that comes out of a Helen Lawson show is Helen Lawson, and that's ME baby, remember??
Lol

ButterKwup said...

Do stay at home moms really just stay at home with the kids these days? I'm really asking. The stay at home moms I know are always on edge and look for any excuse to have a conversation with a grown up. I would think just being a mommy is rewarding, but not that healthy in the long run. Don't you miss adult contact? And kids need to have contact with strangers. I'm not saying to drop your kids off at a bus terminal, but the more moms who make their kids their entire universe, the more we have selfish kids and helicopter moms.

AndyCane said...

Oh how I have missed you Mr. Better. Never a dull moment when you're around. Comedy gold

timebob said...

There is a woman in my office that send a car service to pick up her kids after soccer practice so she can stay in the office and work.

But without her salary her kids won't have the best that life has to offer in education and exploring their interests.

Another woman left her high paying job to become a teacher, then came right back six months later when the romance of being a teacher didn't pan out, she said they were "animals" her words.

It's not an easy decision, I guess the woman was trying to put her life and career in context for others to understand with some humor. But walking away from money is hard knowing the compromise you have to make later on down the line.

FlirtyChick74 said...

It wasn't an offensive letter. She didn't name people or curse anyone out. She cataloged the realities of her life at home and on the job. All of these issues led her to quit. Simple as that.

Who knows what her husband does for a living? He may not be in a position to help, even if he wanted to. He may have a job that requires him to travel a lot. Can't throw stones.

Alma said...

Right on! I get mad at the ex for splitting but he was pretty useless anyway. One day i actually thanked him for leaving. We are happier and i get to focus on the real toddlers.

I think we do expect women to be two people. Do your share and his of the parenting. Nurture and provide the financial support. And the whole time you better be sexy while you do it because if he loses interest it is your fault.

The downside of feminism is perhaps that we put an inhuman amount on our plate. In a commercial, this woman would manage her day and call herself a "supermom", resigning anything would not be an option. The kids normally end up paying. Or the marriage suffers. Being a regular parent is hard enough without being super.

TheOtherJulia said...

I never comment, but this thread hit close to home, so I just wanted to lend my experience to the conversation. I have a 10 month old that I breastfeed, formula feed, and give solid food 3 times a day. My husband and I have very different schedules, so in order to keep the baby on track with naps and sleeping at night, making her dinner and giving her a bath at night usually falls to me. Night feedings are mine as well, because when my husband tries, she cries even harder than before. And she won't drink formula at night, for some reason. On top of that, she's teething and starting around 4am she will refuse to sleep in her crib after waking up. So it's to our bed she goes. Which, according to almost everyone I talk to, is a slippery slope that will lead her sleeping in our bed until she graduates high school, apparently... so we're trying to get her to sleep on her own, usually going for the 'cry it out' method, which I find repulsive but see few options. I usually give in and into our bed she goes at around 4:30 or 5am. Our neighbors probably think we're monsters, but I digress. My point is, sometimes you want to split responsibility - you really, really do. But it doesn't go as planned. And it's not the mom or the day's fault. It's the baby's... also, I start my work around 9pm and hope I can get a couple of things done before falling asleep. I don't hate my husband. It's just how it goes. Sorry for the long thread, but parenting isn't clean and it isn't pretty. Not after 7pm anyway :)

Agent**It said...

The comments made on the original story that Enty linked to in his post are quite interesting.

http://abovethelaw.com/2012/11/departure-memo-of-the-day-parenting-gets-the-best-of-one-biglaw-associate/#disqus_thread

Lauren said...

*stands up and applauds Elsa*

misspeg86 said...

@ButterKwup ITA with you on this one. I'd like to think my future husband loves and cares about me enough to not be scumbag and let me do everything.

__-__=__ said...

Life is all about choices. She's lucky she isn't a single mother. Not that it can't or won't still happen. Doesn't sound like the husband is into family stuff.

K333 said...

Who works 9 to 5 these days?

WBotW said...

@annabella: it's called 'crying it out' and for some babies it is the ONLY way to teach them to self soothe. If you don't get it ingrained at approximately 8 months (hmmm) then you have kids still waking up in the night at ages 2 and sometimes 3, expecting Mommy or Daddy to soothe them back to sleep. YOU may have thought your neighbour was putting on a show of being a good mother; I bet she IS a good mother and you simply know nothing about the whole business.

WBotW said...

{{{HUGS}}} TheOtherJulia

pb said...

In response to a number of comments more so than the OP; Having children and choosing a partner who will not make you feel judged/unfairly burdened are choices.

I do not shed a tear for those in the workplace who feel the world has been unfair to them because they chose a lousy partner or spawned offspring.

argmoon said...

My hubby stayed home with our kids when I went back to work (he works nights), I eventually quit when they were 4 & almost 1 (twins). I volunteered at school when the oldest started. I still volunteer & also sub now. My hubby still works nights so I have to get the kids ready & drop off for school & taxi girls to ballet (Nutcracker season is a bitch - 6 days/week instead of 4). My hubby does as much as he can (boy scouts w/ son & ballet duty when I have PTA)& has always been that way. I have to admit that our house is a mess (something has to give). I got lucky. Sorry so long :)

TheOtherJulia said...

Thanks, WBotW :) Much appreciated

Krissie said...

I agree with Amy this is unprofessional. It's not her co-worker's fault that she has a hectic life. If I got a letter like this from a co-worker I would wonder what the hell that co-worker was expecting me to say or do about this situation. "Sorry you are stressed out"...I guess??

Her husband sounds like a real deadbeat. Maybe she should be sending HIM this letter so he can realize that.

Me said...

TheOtherJulia; it gets easier. i have 3, and one was not about to got to bed when she didn't want to. every child is different, and parents know their own children better than anyone. my own attempt at having my child cry it out resulted in her pojectile vomiting all over her room from hysteria. so, to me, that wasn't a good choice. my kids are in middle and high school now, well adjusted and all sleep in their own beds and through the night!

its disappointing to me that we still try and make parents feel bad. why would you want to do that? its okay to acknowledge that the first years are hard and that you will feel overwhelmed. bullying is not okay, for kids or adults.

Henriette said...

I always wonder about people who get married like this. This is a great argument to stay single. I don't have a lot of sympathy for this.

My job is pretty demanding, BUT I made sure I got into a career that would give me some leeway. I also married a guy who actually helps around the house and with the kids. It's called partnership.

Stephanie said...

I agree that the American workforce needs to get with it regarding flexibility for working parents, both mothers and fathers equally (who is to say the father here couldn't pitch in more if his work were willing to play with his schedule?) but sending this email out was extremely unprofessional. If I were a colleague in this firm I'd either be uncomfortable reading it or I'd roll my eyes over it. Wahh wahh. You know what prioritizing what you have going on in life is called? Being a damn adult. She's making a responsible decision based on what she needs, she doesn't need to act like she's flouncing out of the room about it. It also sounds like she was a bottom-level employee, anyway, if she really didn't have anyone under her to help her manage her tasks, so I'm not imagining the company is wringing its hands over her loss. Her cause would have been better served having a private meeting with the partners about her concerns and trying to open up a dialogue with them about whether they'd be willing to work with her schedule for a few years or not. This email just comes across as righteous and self-centered. I'd be like, "Damn, Diane, I didn't need to know that much about your day. I signed the card already."

Henriette said...

I agree that this letter is unprofessional. I don't know of any man who would write a letter like this.

FlirtyChick74 said...

I agree that who you marry matters. You pretty much know what you're getting after a couple of months of dating. So basically, if a person isn't all that helpful while you're dating they're going to be the same way after you get married.

Alma said...

Hi, i honestly don't think it is this way if you do it properly. I plan many outings to try to keep us active and them learning. The park, zoo, storytime at the library. I have never seen an active parent be bored, tired but not bored. Mostly it's the ones who sit them in fron of the t.v or drive around to shut the kid up. There are ways of socializing with adults and being a parent. Though yes the child comes first. They are only little once. Soon i will have two teenagers who will be too cool for me.

Tuxedo Cat said...

Wow, I can't believe all the people who are sort of down on children and parenthood?

Who would have raised you fine folks if everyone had been so reluctant to have children?

When you have one, it really takes you out of yourself in a good way. Yes, they are a lot of work, and yes, there is always someone wanting something.

Most kids are good. The chances of you ending up with a little monster are very very small. A kid that has sufficient clothing, toys, food, and lots of love and acceptance will likely be fine.

I have one teenager, and he is a doll. He has some social anxiety, but he is a nice kid, and so are most of his friends.

lakeuniongirl said...

All of our kids slept with us when they were little. They all graduated to big boy or girl beds within a few years. No one was crushed or smothered. We all got some good sleep. Give yourself a break.

lakeuniongirl said...

I am still a stay at home mom even though the youngest is in kindegarten now. When they were small they went to preschool for a few hours during the week and also did a sport of some kind. I am totally on board with the stay at home while they're young plan. I figure I've got many years of "real" work when they are older. It has not been easy financially to live off one income, but the benefits of being with the kids outweighs the boat/new car/bigger house/trips to Hawaii. Works for us.

Egyptian Ankh said...

Sounds like maybe she might have control issues relinquishing duty to hubby. I have a friend who does everything for her 2kids bc she has major mommy issues and thinks the husband can't do it as good as she can. She wants to be super mom and it has caught up with her.

MadLyb said...

Just reading that stressed me out. Where is the hubby in all this? All the married women with kids I know do a similar schedule. They drop off the kids at school work, sometimes leaving work for an hour to take a kid to the doctor, come back, stay an hour later to make up the time, leave work, take the kids to their games or lessons, go grocery shopping, take the kids to get shoes, come home, make dinner, help the kids with homework, do laundry and clean up the house. The husbands? They work, come home, flick on the tv while waiting for the wife to prepare their dinner, eat, then watch more tv and go to bed.

Wil said...

Jesus .. where to start with this.

Well first, the partners don't give a crap that you can't get yourself together with regards to your children - the one's you decided to have. You were a lawyer before and you knew what your work load was and was expected to be throughout your career .. so tough beans, honey. GUARANTEE that is exactly the thought process of the partners. I have seen it .. it sucks .. but there is it. Most of them are either females without children or men with stay at home wives. They don't care.

Next, ladies with babies and partners who use whatever lame assed excuse they can think of to shirk their duties .. suck it up and put his balls/her tits in the fire now regarding parenting. They start to deal with the dramas of being a parent now .. or you are going to be doing every shit job being a parent entails until the kid goes to college. So stop coddling your partner and get him/her to help regardless of his/her schedule, the kids hating him/her or whatever other lame thing he/she has you convinced is a good reason for him/her not to be bothered.

I have watched girlfriends damn near slide into suicide because of slothful husbands who have some 1950s idea of what is and isn't their responsibility. I watched one lesbian girlfriends literally lose her mind and hair [she was so stressed she pulled it out!] when her partner wouldn't help her with the child they decided to have. You own 50% of the responsibility for this child .. you sacrifice just as much as I do or you are going to pay me everything you make in the form of Alimony and Child Support, get it?!? It ticks me the hell off that there are guys - and girls! - out there who think in this day and age they can get away with this crap.

And speaking of the 21st Century .. I wholeheartedly agree that employers need to get a clue and help out new parents and parents in crisis. However, these are the same pricks who fired me after I fought for my life for 5 years and finally managed to not die after my kidney transplant - thereby sending me into bankruptcy and foreclosure. So frankly, it is going to be easier to change your partner than your employer at this point, I am extremely sad to say.

Lola said...

@Julia...My daughter slept in a bassinet next to the bed until 3 months and then slept with me until about 2 then graduated to a toddler bed in her own room (still sleeping with us very occasionaly). This, despite all of the grandparents' insistence that she was still going to be sleeping with me when she when to college. I also carried her everywhere in a Baby Bjorn and she napped on the couch next to me. At 12, she is (according to teachers and all who know her) one of the most mature people they know. She is not clingy she is not whiny, she is not scared of her own shadow if Mommy is not there. What she learned was that it was okay to go out in the world and that we would be there to catch her if she fell.

Don't listen to the naysayers. Your daughter will tell you what she needs. She won't end up an emotional cripple. She won't end up living at home when she's 30 (well, not because you let her sleep with you)...peace and calm is important, do what you need to do to get it.

Lola said...

On another note, I will preface by saying that I consider myself to be a feminist. Having said that, women were largely sold a set of false goods. We were told that we can work full time, raise our kids, keep house, cook...and do it all 100%. Well, we can't. We can't have it all and expect for nothing to suffer. Our kids suffer, or our work suffers, or our marriage suffers...or everything suffers. And we are made to feel like failures when the facts of time limitations...and HUMAN limitations mean that we have clay feet.

I am highly educated and was on a professional track when I got pregnant. I chose to stay home and the derision and put downs I have heard over the years (almost always from women) pains me...not because I care what people think but because instead of supporting choices, we have bought into the myth hook, line and sinker. Now, I am forced to reenter the work force and am dismayed that my choice means nothing. I raised a human being.

Someone said to me, "well you better hope you get interviewed by a woman." my response was that actually, I believe that would be the worst outcome as we are harder on each other than any man could ever be.

This woman recognized that she couldn't have it all; not without giving everything less than it deserved. She should be applauded for recognizing her limitations, not vilified for refusing to revel in them.

Miss X said...

Now that is how you resign! She made it clear why she was resigning without burning any bridges.

Boobs U said...

Agreed, I never let my son cry it out and sorely regretted it!! I had a terrible time getting him to sleep through the night!!

Boobs U said...

Agreed, I never let my son cry it out and sorely regretted it!! I had a terrible time getting him to sleep through the night!!

ReacherB said...

Well, lets be honest, if she's only a junior associate, there is no way she's getting away with a 9-5 job, when the reality is any firm would be looking for her to be doing a minimum of 1900 hours a year....getting into a profession where you know the drill, AND you have two small kids at home is not a wise choice....I tend to think this isn't true.....

yodelay said...

@Lola, you're right. You can't be a full time mom and a full time worker. Just not enough hours in a day.

Selock said...

Personally, I think people misinterpret "having it all". Having it all means having options! Every option open to you, and you make choices, which have consequences...it's not running yourself ragged trying to have your cake and eat it, too. For me, that meant not having to get married to the wrong guy when I got pregnant, taking a hit in salary so I could pay the bills but be a very involved parent...many of us are quite lucky to even have such choices - that freedom is what the feminist movement meant to accomplish. Glad for this mom that she figured out she was exercising her greatest power in walking away from the rat race. The kids would've been okay, either way, I'd bet - but I'm sure they won't miss whatever six figure salary was lost as much as they missed having a happy healthy mother.

By: Elsa said...

Thank you ladies! It took me a while to decipher all of this, but the moment I released trying to meet all expectations and accepted that I won't be perfect at everything, I found more peace in just being me. All we can do is give the best of us each day (and some days it won't be enough, but that's just quite ok). :)

Lola said...

@Selock...I applaud your choices (and your ability to have them) and I fully agree that is what "having it all" SHOULD mean (and what we, as feminists should be promoting to young girls of today).

Unfortunately, it usually doesn't.

I grew up in the 70s and can still remember the Enjoli commercials telling me, as a young girl, that to really be a woman, I had to work, cook, take care of the kids...all while looking sexy and being available at the beck and call of my man. And as girls growing up in the age of female liberation, we believed it. Not because of a commercial, per se; because of the mindset and cultural conditioning that led to a commercial like that even being made. We believed to prove that we were deserving of our place in the world that we not only had to be as good as men (and do what they did)but we had to be better (and do more). Even though in our conscious thoughts we no longer believe this, our unconscious bears the fruits of what we were taught...and causes guilt (on one side) and shaming (on the other) when we realize that the "ideal" is unattainable and a false bill of goods.

I hope that the generation of girls today is moving away from this line of thought and I hope that all of our daughters (granddaughters, nieces, etc.) understand that liberation means exactly what you said...that choices abound...and being a woman in control of one's destiny means that no one choice is empirically better than another.

And that concludes Lola's deep thoughts for the day...

By: Elsa said...

Amen.

Jules_345 said...

Bwhahahaha

plrtz glrb said...

Agree with cry me a river, however it is both men and women who seem unwilling to accept the consequences of the choices they have made. nothing is more annoying than hearing people whinge about the children they CHOSE to bring into the world. " duh ... I have to look after them and provide for them... Duh"

frausimon said...

"we are harder on each other than any man could ever be."

So true, Lola. And so hard on ourselves, too. I was one of those stay-at-home moms with control issues who didn't trust my husband to do anything right when it came to taking care of the kids or house. That came back to bite me in the butt now that we're divorced--I can't control their home environment when they're with Daddy. But for the first time in eight years, I can actually get a night away for myself and enjoy life again...

Discobitch said...

Or you could talk to your husband and ask, no tell!, him its 50/50 responsibility if he doesn't like it go back to his mother!! ;) x

Beta said...

By:Elsa: my thoughts exactly, beautifully said :)

this kind of reminds me a bit of Miranda from sex and the city jeje

loved this post!

Mrswife29 said...

I gotta say that as a childless employee of a very busy company, it infuriates me when a co- worker comes in late b/c of the baby, leaves early for the baby, has to leave mid-day to pick up a sick baby. Guess who must cover for these people?? You guessed it. And it's constant!! It's not like there is just 1 parent in my office (although many think they are the only ones so overworked and frantic with parenthood--you understand, right?????). Trust me, I'm sure the firm was thrilled to replace this person since she couldn't handle the workload. Sorry to rant, but I so often get left doing the work of others b/c of their kids!! I'm trying not to be bitter!

By: Elsa said...

Lola rocks!

Mischievous Angel said...

My husband works 12 hours a day and will bring it up whenever he is asked to help around the house. Meanwhile, I work from home and take care of the kids, house, etc.
I wrote an article a while back about how we really didn't get equal rights. We just added an extra burden on our shoulders.

Henriette said...

Why doesn't feminism promote women marrying better mates? I remember in one of my grad programs being with young mothers complaining about their spouses. They had just had babies and their spouses weren't "pulling their weight." I tell you, if we stopped marrying and dating men like this, a lot of these problems would die done.

OMAMA is BROKO said...

better to choose to raise the kids one made over money, any day.

FlirtyChick74 said...

@Henriette: amen!!! 100% on board with that. I tell my girlfriends (and guy friends) that all the time. But no, some don't listen. :-((

Kool Kat said...

wow! all the best to her and all other mother's who juggle children and work. It really is incredible what you superwomen do. sadly this is one of the reason's I don't have children. I also love my job. weird I know. lol

JoElla said...

@Kool Kat, not weird. I think its a great thing that you know yourself so well. No shame in that ever.

@Julia, I used to use Hylands Teething Tablets with tylenol for my kids when they were teething. I was one of those anal moms who tried everything before giving it to my firstborn, and oralgel BLECK burns and tastes horrible! If you try them, I hope they work well for you. very easy to use, I would put one in the bottle or sippy cup.

It is hard when your partner/husband works crazy hours. I understand, and have lived through it... heck still living through it. We have 3 kids now, and they have all managed to live into the teen years ;)

It is so hard when people say 'before you know it, they will be all grown', but I am finding it to be true. My oldest is a Senior this year, and right here and now, am baffled by how quickly the time has gone.

IMO life is hard. Being a woman is hard, and if you choose to be a parent, that's hard too.

I am lucky to be able to stay home, I am also lucky to have a husband that realizes exactly how much I actually do. Took him a few years (okay more than I care to admit) but he did get there.

I also agree with those who say we did kinda get sold a bad bill of goods about "having it all". The idea seem so simple and attainable, but in reality, it can nearly kill you.

I don't know an easy answer to this, but I wish as women we would be kinder to each other. I think if we (general) can at least try to do that, then perhaps things can become better.

off my soap box everyone have a great monday! =)



Sherry said...

This is exactly what the book "Left Neglected" by Lisa Genova is about.

It's a great book.