Friday, June 3, 2011

Bringing Home the Bacon

Things are happening, people.

First, I have made approximately $25 from this blog.  This is the most (okay, only) time I have ever been paid from writing something (legal briefs don't count).  So I am pretty proud of that $25, thank you very much.  It took about two months to get that $25, so if I'm calculating an annual salary, that would be $150/year.

Second, I think I may be getting a paid blogging gig for another website.  It's more of a corporate blogging thing, so I won't even link it to here.  And, okay, it is for a family member.  But I will get paid approximately $60 a week.  $60 x 52= $3120/year.   Now we are getting somewhere.

And that's not all!  My Craigslist patrolling has yielded another potential money stream.  There was a posting last week from a law student seeking a legal writing coach.  Yup, I can do that.  I know IRAC like the back of my hand.  And then some.  Fee?  I picked $65/hour out of the sky, and what do you know, the person is interested!  I'm meeting with her this weekend.  So, to be conservative, lets say I get 5 sessions out of it.  That is $65 x 5 = $325.

So, assuming the above, I can say I have an annual salary of $3595.

And that is something.  Not much, but something.  Oddly, I feel prouder of that salary than the six figure salary I had grown accustomed to as a lawyer.  I think it's because this money really feels all mine.  I'm not at the mercy of billing rates or salary structures, and all of the money goes directly to me, not a partnership.   It's a feeling of independence I haven't experienced before.  And I'm spending my days with my kids, making my own schedule, and not "working" all that much!

I realize how lucky I am, by the way.  About six weeks ago, when the blog was still in it's baby phase, someone commented to my Lawyer Wives posting and said:

"[I] keep waiting for the post where you explain how lucky you are to be able to make the decision you've made, and how grateful you are to be doing what you do. [D]o you know how many lawyer moms are financially unable to leave biglaw?"

I doubt this commenter is even still reading, but the answer is yes, I understand how lucky I am.  Most people could not survive on a salary of $3595.  So as Oprah suggests, I'm putting that gratitude out into the universe.  And out there to my husband.

Yes, my husband now is the sole supporter of our family.  And to be honest, I'm not completely comfortable with that yet.  From the time we met in law school, we had always been perfect equals.  We were both summer associates, making the same salary.  Then we both started in biglaw, making the same salary.  Things changed when I went part time after having my first son, but I felt it all kind of equaled out, since I was providing childcare on my days off, thus saving us the cost of the nanny for those days.

But now....  It's different.  If I ever go shopping for myself (which isn't that often), I am conscious of the fact that I am spending my husband's salary.  Same thing when I buy him a gift - it's kind of like he's buying his own gift, right?  Luckily my husband is not the chauvinistic, controlling type, and we have always said that our money and our debt are collective - they belong to both of us, no matter the source.  But it's still just weird.  And to any commenters, please don't make any references to "The Feminine Mistake" or any of those other books that will tell me that someday soon I will be divorced and poor and unemployed.  I haven't read them, and I don't want to.

You may be surprised to know that my husband was the biggest proponent of me staying home.  For some selfish reasons I'm sure - he no longer has to worry about leaving work early or staying home with a sick kid when I am too busy at work to cover.  But I like to believe most of the reasons are altruistic - he wants what is best for our family.  And a happy mom definitely makes for a happy family.  

So yes, I am grateful.  Grateful for the choices available to me.  Grateful for an awesome husband and amazing kids.  And grateful for a potential salary of $3595, which really isn't too shabby.


  1. Big firm attorneys get used to being so much that they lose perspective; you're right in thinking that $3600 is a good amount of money. Most stay home moms would love to make that much on the side but don't have the training to make it possible. Depending on how you live, $3600 can be a year's worth of car payments, a year's worth of bills for certain utilities etc.

  2. I can't seem to comment here with my blogger account.

  3. If you haven't read Friedan, now is not the time, given the decisions you've made. But it probably would have been a good decision to have done so when you were younger. Working maybe would not have seemed like a burden to you, you maybe would not have felt guilty for doing so, since working stacks the odds in your and your children's favor that their mother will not end up unemployed, dependent, and someone without any real power in the world. Too late for you, as you said you are not interesting in reading such nonsense. I'm just glad I did, but I am a feminist -- the word stay at home moms hate.

  4. @12:54- I think you are overgeneralizing a bit. All stay at home moms don't hate feminists. Believe it or not, I like to consider myself one! I didn't choose to stay at home because I feel a woman's place is in the home. Life circumstances and my desire to be with my kids were the main driving factors. In any event, I definitely acknowledge that by leaving my job I am making myself more vulnerable in the situation of a divorce. That obviously happens to lots of women, but there are also a lot of women who have a happy ending. I hope to be in the latter category! And in terms of having "any real power in the world," I guess I'm not so interested in that like I once was. The only "power" position I hold these days is that of a mom to two adorable boys, and if that is as powerful as I get in this life, I'll be a happy camper.


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