The arrival of my daughter just under four years ago, began a process of transition in my life. Up to that point, my focus primarily was on my husband and my career. Although I knew I wanted be a mother someday, I figured until that happened, I would continue to better myself through building my career.
When motherhood came, so did the "baptism by fire" that many new mothers experience. I was not fully prepared for what it would mean, and I have to wonder if any first time mother ever is, especially if she is a working mom. There is just so much in life that we cannot know until we experience it. I find myself giving unsolicited advice to a new mom-to-be regaling her with my list of "what I wish I would have known," but in the end, she truly will not understand until she becomes a mother.
Life is full of transitions. At such times we may yearn to get back to "normal," but that never happens, so we move into a new "normal" letting the old slip away into fond memories.
Much like the transition from non-mother to mother, I experienced another transition in my professional life. It all occurred in the same time period as the birth of my little one. I was a professional, then suddenly I was a professional who also was a mother, and now nearly four years later, I am a mother with a profession.
My transition took me from being an attorney working more than full-time hours that required me to leave home before my baby was awake and return home after dark, to a stay-at-home mom with a profession, taking on contractual work that I could do at home. Before becoming a freelance attorney, guilt became my constant companion. I lived with guilt for not being at home with my baby, and when I did come home, I felt guilty that I was not using my education to its potential. It was as if my mind was rarely in the same place as my body causing me to focus on what was NOT happening, instead of living in the moment, the precious NOW which is all we really have.
In the years that have passed, I have owned my story and my path. At first I was timid in introducing myself as a stay-at-home mom to those in the legal community, but now, I am proud of my path and find that it is supported and well received by many in the legal world. I have also met many who are walking the same path.
There are so many paths available to women with a legal education. Let us all be proud of our path and support one another in our respective journey to find a fit for our lives.