Balancing parenthood and any career is a challenge. If you have a law practice, the balancing act can be interesting to say the least. As an expecting parent, you’ve planned for maternity leave, but what about when the little munchkin arrives? Here are three tips from a newly minted law-mom that can help you with the balancing act.
1. Figure out (flexible) child care.
One of the perks of being a practicing attorney is that no two days ever look the same. Some days you’re in your office tied to the computer screen with research and drafting. Other days you’re out meeting with clients or waiting for your court hearing to be called. Some days you can leave in the afternoon or are working until the early evening. Whether it’s your spouse, other family members or other child care provider, your child care options need to allow for some flexibility in your schedule. Having a plan for someone else to care for your child when you’re in court, or just need some uninterrupted hours for legal research can be crucial to balancing parenthood and your practice.
2. Make your office child friendly.
Unless you work for a very un-family-friendly firm, at some point your child will spend some time in your office. Be prepared. Have toys, diapers and snacks stashed in your desk. Evaluate your lighting. Instead of subjecting my three month old to fluorescent lighting for the day, I shut my lights off and turn on lamps. Consider a putting a play table in your reception area. Not only will it help occupy your kids when you have to run into the office on the weekend, your clients will also appreciate it when they need to bring their kids into the office.
3. Plan ahead.
The most important thing is to plan ahead. If it’s acceptable to bring your child to a client meeting or to the office, make sure your child is well fed and well rested. You may not be able to guarantee that there won’t be a meltdown at work or with a client, but you can at least try to prevent it.
So, fellow law-moms and law-dads out there, what tips do you have for balancing parenthood and law practice?
(photo: by author, the photo may be shared or adapted for non-commerical use with attribution)