Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Wednesday Rant

I usually wait to write blog posts until I am inspired by something.  It just flows and is easier to write.  But this week, I am uninspired.  So I will write about how uninspired I am.

This week has been just blah.  A few days ago I was still riding the high from New York, where I had help from family and a night out in Manhattan.  I even got to go see a movie by myself (one of my favorite things).  And now I am home.  All. Week. Long.

It's ironic that even though I am a stay at home mom, Mondays are as daunting as ever.  On Sunday nights, the idea of a whole, blank week ahead is overwhelming.  I try to find ways to fill each afternoon with at least one activity.  Sometimes it's a playdate.  Other days it's a walk.  Some days it is a trip to the drive thru CVS Pharmacy (if everything were drive thru, my life would be so much easier).  Being the Type A personality that I am, I usually try and have everything "scheduled" by Sunday night.  But some weeks I am lagging.  Such is this week.  Braden is due to wake up any second.  And then what will we do?  Whatever will we do? (Cue sad orchestra music.)

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Thank you, New York

When I left New York four years ago, I bid it good riddance.  I was more than ready to go.  I was sick of my job, my small apartment, fighting with strangers over taxis, cold wind, sweating in the subway no matter the season, cocky investment bankers, mozzarella sticks at 2am, hangovers, scaffolding (everywhere), trash (everywhere), grocery stores with less than six aisles, Long Island strip malls, rude dentists, rude cashiers at CVS, rude people everywhere, lines at every brunch venue on Sunday mornings, tourists in Time Square... You get the drift.  For those of you tempted to comment about how ignorant I am, and how much New York has to offer, you needn't bother.  Because you're right!  It's me, not you, New York.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Time Out

Last weekend we relocated our family temporarily to Long Island, at my in-laws' house.  We typically come up here every year for Passover, and given that Braden is on spring break from school, we decided to stay the whole week this time.  It is of course nice to see family and get help with the kids, but the real treat for me is on the horizon.  In a few hours, I am going to drive to Manhattan and check into the St. Regis where I will be spending the night with my husband (thank you, Starwood hotel points).  I'll take a long bath, watch some tv in the hotel, attempt to nap, meet a good friend for a drink, and then have dinner with my husband at Nobu, where I will order a dirty martini and not give a second thought to the price of the tasting menu.  THANK GOD!  Nevermind that I hate Manhattan.  I totally deserve this break. 

I am stressed and tired.   

Don't get me wrong, when I was in biglaw, I was also stressed and tired.  There were numerous times (like, every week) where I would feel completely overwhelmed.  This would occur when I would have what felt like a thousand things thrown at me at once.  Where you think there is no possible way you can get everything done, and your stress has reached its max, and then, what do you know, an unexpected motion gets filed or a document request comes in.  All you want is a break - a time out from the stress - but you can't because deadlines loom.  And you hate and love the deadline at the same time - hate it because the work seems insurmountable, but love it because it means at a certain point, the work will be done.  Home was a temporary respite, but the stress followed you there - through the blackberry, and through your own racing thoughts of how you will get it all done.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

My Current Clients

Which is harder - spending a long day at work, or at home with the kids?

My husband and I debate this often, and never come up with a solid answer.  Sometimes one of us is the clear winner.  A few weeks ago, we did the "potty training weekend," where you don't leave the house AT ALL and let your kid run around naked from the waste down, cleaning up after him as needbe.  It was miserable for all involved (and not too successful).  We only made it through with heavy use of the TV during the day and alcohol at night.  That Sunday, after the fifth outfit change and a failed family huddle over the toilet, my husband looked at me and said, "Honey, I'm not going to lie.  I can't f***ing wait to go back to work."  Yes, it had gotten that bad.  At that point, I admit that I also wished I had an office to escape to. 

Other days, I have it easier.  My oldest son, Braden, goes to school from 9-12, and I am home with Casey, who is almost 6 months old.  Until recently, my mornings were zen-like.  I could put Casey in the swing or bouncy seat, and he would drift in and out of sleep.  I could sit and enjoy a cup of coffee, watch TV, and (shockingly) even catch another hour of sleep.  It was mornings like this that really made me grateful for my new found unemployment and think, "Wow, what a great gig."   In the afternoon, both kids would nap at different times.  And if my husband got home by 6:30, it was a pretty easy day.

But my husband is rarely home by 6:30.  Braden seems to be dropping his afternoon nap.  And Casey is officially waking up from his infant slumber.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Lawyer Wives

I've experienced a fair number of changes in title recently.  No longer a lawyer.  No longer employed.  New stay at home mom.  And I now have yet another designation:  lawyer wife.  I may have escaped "biglaw," but I can't say the same for my husband. 

My husband and I were married in September of 2006.  We met on the first day of law school, and eventually became study partners.  He got better grades than me in almost every class, but I didn't mind too much.  The rest is history.  Ours is a quintessential law school love story.

Our careers followed similar paths for a long time, going from one big firm to another.  He does corporate law, and I did litigation, but there was still a mutual understanding of what the other was doing, and the associated stresses involved - billable hour requirements, juggling multiple projects, and balancing work and family.  Once we had kids, my work was scaled back as I went part time.  And thanks to the economic downturn, my husband enjoyed pretty regular hours for the first year or so of our first son's life.   

Slowly but surely my husband's regular schedule started to change. My friends, I don't care what the economists say, the downturn is over.  At the same time, I am now home.  All. Day. Long.  My husband and I have both gone to opposite extremes - him working like crazy, and me not working at all.  This will all eventually become part of my new normal.  But right now, it is taking some getting used to.

Thursday, April 7, 2011


Be careful what you wish for.

I think when anyone starts a blog, a goal is to gain an audience, and I am no exception.  When I published my inaugural blog post last Friday, I immediately starting checking the "stats," to see if anyone out there would read it.  I referenced it on a few mom discussion forums, and slowly but surely, it started to get some hits.  For the first time in a long time, I felt a sense of accomplishment.  I wrote out my story.  A handful of people were reading it, and even liking it.  I may not be a working lawyer, but maybe I could call myself a blogger.

By Monday, I was still getting some views, and this helped to add some excitement to an otherwise typical day.  You know, the 7am wakeup call by both kids (how is it they both always wake up at the same time?).  Braden goes off to school, I hang with Casey in the morning, pick Braden up at school, and wait patiently while Braden sits on the pavement in the parking lot and refuses to move.  Lunch, nap (or lack thereof), play, make dinner.  It was during this latter step that I decided to check the stats on the blog once again.  I had to do a double take when the hits were in the thousands.  I checked the "hit sources," and there it was - the blog had been picked up by Above the Law.

Friday, April 1, 2011

My New Endeavor

I have been thinking about starting a blog for a long time.  My excuse was always that I just couldn't fit it into my life.  Between long hours at work at a law firm, taking care of my son, and trying to get at least 7 hours of sleep per night, there just wasn't any room for creative endeavors.  And then, when I had my second son and was on maternity leave, there was the obvious excuse of no time for anything other than nursing my infant, trying to quell the jealousy of my two year old, and trying to get at least 4 hours of sleep per night.  Now, both of my kids are sleeping through the night, I am managing to get at least 7 hours of sleep per night with the aid of sleeping pills (a topic for a longer post), and the long hours at a law firm are no more.  After leaving my job and becoming a stay a home mom, my excuses are officially over. 

A bit of background first.  I am your typical overachieving, risk averse law graduate that has followed the path nicely laid out for me by law school career services.  As a student at the University of Pennsylvania Law School, I spent my first summer interning for a federal district judge.  The second summer I spent being wined and dined at Skadden Arps in Manhattan, making far too much money and consuming way too much alcohol.  After graduation, I embarked on the consummate two month around the world "bar trip" with my fiance (also a Penn Law graduate), in which I spent a large portion of said money from the prior summer at Skadden.  The trip was immediately followed by a mad rush to find an apartment in Manhattan, and start work as a first year associate at Skadden a week later, the last possible start date.  And so began my life as a lawyer at "biglaw," where, back in 2005 at least, associates felt entitled to ridiculously high salaries and bonuses, and gamed the system as best they could to bill only the minimum amount of hours.  I went through the motions, and true to my nature, billed as much as I could and got great feedback from even the most discerning of partners.  My future at Skadden, a firm that was described in a Vault publication as a "honeymoon canceller," looked bright.  But passion for my job, and my life generally?  Completely lacking.

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