Favorite Moment | The Mister

I never intended to be a stay at home mom. I went to one of the top ten colleges in the country. I had a master’s degree in health care administration and ten years real world experience before I entered law school. My career path, while circuitous, promised to be fulfilling and financially rewarding. I had big fish to fry, so I wasn’t going to waste my time baking fish sticks.

And then came Mikey. To say we had a rough beginning would be a heinous understatement, but we survived and bonded. The Mister and I were completely taken with our bald baby, and suddenly, after years of scoffing at “The Oprah Set,” we realized perhaps there was more to staying at home than we previously imagined. But, it was too late. I had to finish my final year of law school and study for the bar. We had my student loans to repay. I had to live up to the expectations of my family, my professors, and myself.

And I did. I finished my classes. I studied for the bar and passed on the first attempt. I secured a job, thanks to a close friend, as a part-time research attorney for a small family practice/criminal law firm. My mom took care of Mikey and I made very good money. The Mister was relieved to no longer shoulder the weight of everything while I studied. We moved to our dream home: a mid-century fixer upper. We started a complete kitchen remodel and picked out fancy finishes and appliances. Everything was perfect; I was miserable.

There are a series of events I remember clearly leading me to the decision to stay at home. The first had to do with my mom taking care of Mikey during the day. My mom is wonderful with children. My dad frequently says, unprompted, that she was born to mother. And it’s true. She is the consummate mother hen. No need goes unmet on her watch, and Mikey feasted on her tendency to dote. So much so, he often cried when it was time for me to take him home. This happens frequently with lots of babies and their daytime care providers, so I wasn’t too worried. Somewhat annoyed and hurt, but not terribly so.

Then, one day, my mom called and asked if I could come home early. Mikey was clearly sick and running a fever. Of course, I left the office immediately. When I arrived, there was Mikey snuggled in my mom’s arms. I walked up to greet him and take him home. I can’t describe the hysteria that ensued when I tried to take him from my mom. He cried until he could no longer breathe. He screamed and scratched at me and clung to my mom desperately. He could not be consoled while he was in my arms. In the end, she had to put him in the car seat for me. He was about a year old. My mom laughed it off to break the tension. I didn’t find it funny.

A month or two after that, when I got home from work, we went to order and pay for $20,000 worth of new kitchen cabinets. As we stood there waiting for someone to help us, the Mister held Mikey and occasionally tossed him in the air just to hear him giggle. I stood there holding the check book and smiled at them both. When it came time to pay for the cabinets, the Mister handed Mikey over to me. Again, he cried until he could no longer breathe. People started coming from different parts of the store to figure out what was wrong. The Mister asked the salesperson for the balance three times over Mikey’s screams, before he finally turned the computer screen around and looked for himself. In the end, I had to write the check and hand Mikey to the Mister. He was scratching my eyes and hurting me and twice I almost dropped him.

When we drove away, I stared out the passenger window and said in the dark to no one in particular, “I think those cabinets cost me more than $20,000.” The Mister knew better than to answer.

Although I was technically part-time, I worked constantly. When I was home, on my days off, I would often drop Mikey off with my mom so I could research and call clients. On the weekends, I did more of the same. I slept poorly, thinking about the latest stressful case and everything I had to do the next day. And always, I thought of Mikey and how we just didn’t seem to connect.

Not long after the kitchen cabinet debacle, the owner of the law firm where I worked told me I needed to work the weekend and draft an emergency motion for a divorce client who wanted to increase his visitation with his kids. The client was an insufferable commercial photographer who had left his wife for his much younger photographer’s assistant. The rub: he didn’t actually want to spend more time with his children. He intended to pick them up and drop them off at his mother’s house while he and the girlfriend partied in Las Vegas. He just knew it would piss off his ex-wife. He also knew if we had the visitation agreement amended permanently, he wouldn’t have to pay as much in child support. In his words: “I piss her off and pay less. It’s a win-win.”

When I walked into my office and saw that 7 inch file in front of me it hit me: I was sacrificing my time, spending time away from my family, alienating myself even more from my child, so that some jerk could get more time with kids he didn’t even want to see. I sat down, wrote the motion, and placed it on top of my boss’s desk. On top of it, I placed a letter of resignation.

I came home and told the Mister. We canceled the cabinets and reordered much cheaper ones online. We eliminated many of the fancy finishes we spent so much time researching. To this day, three years later, we still don’t have a back splash. Many of the items in our fixer-upper still need fixing. I decided to focus, instead, on repairing my relationship with Mikey.

This is a decision we made for us. This isn’t something every family can do, or something every family wants to do. I understand that, and admire the families out there who can make it work. We–I–couldn’t. I have never been good at balance, especially when it comes to work or school. The need to succeed and be at the top consumes me and, unfortunately, those around me suffer my tunnel vision. I realized if I was only capable of being good at one thing at a time, that one thing should be mothering.

It hasn’t been easy. Although the decision to stay at home was, ultimately, an easy one, the actual practice has been difficult. After being so focused on my career for so long, it took me a while to adapt to the change in my identity. I would be lying if I said I didn’t still struggle every now and then.

And, of course, we made a huge financial adjustment to our lifestyle. We had to scale back until we didn’t think we could possibly scale back more. And then we scaled back again. There are times, like this week, where I wonder if I made a mistake staying home. If, maybe, I should be working in a firm instead of eating popcorn with boys, beagles, and dinosaurs. Maybe if I was worried about my billable hours, I wouldn’t be worried that Mikey’s feet grew an entire shoe size since I bought his school shoes last month. I wouldn’t be looking in shock at the brand new jeans that barely graze his ankles when two months ago they dragged on the floor when he walked barefoot. I wouldn’t, I moaned to the Mister, be putting all new clothes and shoes on a credit card because we have to pay the car and home insurance premiums this month.

We should be paying down our credit card, not putting more on it.

The Mister waited until I was done orating and then said, “Every second you spend with our boys has far more value than any dollar we can put towards our credit card.”

And for once in my life I had nothing to say except, “Thank you.” Thank you for putting such a high value on what I do everyday. Thank you for always putting your family first, even when it meant turning down promotions and jobs I know you really wanted. Thank you for being such a wonderful father that people in restaurants will stop me after you walk by to tell me they have never seen a better dad to his children. Thank you for being nothing but supportive when I said, “I want to be a lawyer!” and then, “Or not!” Thank you for always trying to grope me when I unload the dishwasher, even though I’ve gained 30 pounds since we got married. Thank you for telling me every morning before you leave to go to work, “Thank you for doing what you do,” when it should be me thanking you.

Thank you for being my favorite everything, now and forever.

Comments
73 Responses to “Favorite Moment | The Mister”
  1. Vicki says:

    That was the most comforting blog post I’ve read in a long time.

  2. Making it Lovely says:

    You’ve gone and made me cry. You have such a wonderful family.

  3. jen says:

    I wasted way too much time worrying that I wasn’t “contributing” enough when I was at home with my kids and now I wish I could have it back again.

    I truly believe that it’s impossible to have it all. And in the end, do we really want it all anyway? I’ll take the little precious bits that I can never ever get from anywhere or anyone else. “Anyone” can have those kitchen cabinets.

  4. Kathi D says:

    I think you are just great. And your husband is a very very smart man.

    I am married to a lawyer, and once I had a long argument with several of our friends about whether it was ethical for a woman to go to law school and “take a slot” from a man, if she was “just going to end up staying home with her kids.”

    I couldn’t believe that people could actually argue that it was wrong to get an education if you were “only” going to raise children. The children can only benefit from everything the parents know.

    As a child of a mom who was always at home, I can honestly say that I never wished I had another toy instead of my mom’s ear at any hour of the day.

  5. Cathe says:

    There you went and made me cry…and I loved it!

  6. kim says:

    Love it. Every single word. Good decision, Mama.

    (BTW, my degree’s in health administration too…knew I liked ya for a reason. ;)

  7. Misplaced Country Girl says:

    You made me cry too. That was really beautiful. I hope to be half the mother you are some day.

  8. Brooke S. Rochon says:

    Jules, your story is my story, albeit you had a much more successful career than I. Every thing you are describing in vivid detail is how my life has gone since I had my daughter 4.5 years ago, even down to the mom, or in my case MIL who watched her every day. Sadly, I cannot move out of the position as breadwinner yet, and we are so far scaled back that we couldn’t even claim bankruptcy to ease the burden if we needed to. Soon, though hopefully, my husband will be done with school and at least be able to ease my burden a bit. I too should thank my husband even half as much as he thanks me, I’m rotten in that I just let my own struggle keep me blinded to all my blessings. A smart little girl and husband who would cut off his arm to save either of us. Thank you for reminding me of that.

    • Thank you Brooke for giving me a voice also. I live under the same exact circumstances, my husband is in school and I am the breadwinner. While I couldn’t ask for anything better than my husband staying at home and caring for our son, and while he is the greatest…I must admit I go through periods of resentment for having to leave my son. I always thought that being a professional was the path I wanted but truth be told as soon as I held my son for the first time I would have gladly changed everything. I cannot see the day that my husband graduates and I can stay home with my boy. Thanks for so eloquently describing what I find so hard to say without feeling judged.

  9. ~Valentina~ says:

    Jules! You made me cry…AND you made my day ;)

  10. zakary says:

    Man, that totally made me cry. I know exactly what you mean about your baby wanting your mother because my daughter did it too.

    My ex threw us out when Zoe was 18 months old and I was trying to finish my PR degree. I was working part-time at night, so we had to move back in with my parents. My mother, who sounds a LOT like your mother, was thrilled. Zoe started going to her for everything and I felt like Zoe thought she was her mom and I was crushed. We eventually got our own place, but some nights Zoe would scream bloody murder in their driveway because she didn’t want to go home. She’s almost 8 now and still a total Nana’s girl, but at least she doesn’t scream in the driveway anymore!

    I attempted to go back to work full time after I got my degree and I HATED it. I was missing the school stuff and never saw her. You are doing the right thing. I know everyone could use more money, but your kids are only little once and they need you. And you can’t put a price on that.

    ~Z

  11. Petunia Face says:

    I have so much to say to this wonderful post–I loved it, first. But I don’t have time. You just made me want to sit on the floor and watch Dora with my daughter.

  12. julie says:

    Beautiful post! I vividly recall thinking so many similar thoughts after the birth of my first child. I, too, never imagined the how becoming a mother would impact my life and career in the law–it inspired me to write Staying at Home, Staying in the Law: A Guide to Remaining Active in the Legal Profession While Pursuing Your Dreams (American Bar Association, 2008).

  13. TwoWishes says:

    So lovely, and so encouraging. I love your husband’s viewpoint.

    In my case, I’ve been on disability for a couple of years, and this time at home turns out to be a godsend now that we’re expecting our first child. But I definitely know firsthand the pain of paying off law school loans even after you’ve gone a different direction!

    In school, we once had a panel discussion of female lawyers who talked about the difficulties of trying to work part-time (which, as you mention, is never PART-time) or otherwise develop a work life that meshes with a meaningful home life. In a word, it was depressing. Their conclusion was that NO current choices solve the problem. It’s a shame that so many professional women (and men!) still have to make this choice *between* home and family, in the absence of solutions that make it easier to balance the two.

  14. Katie @ makingthishome.com says:

    Thank you for sharing this. I recently made the decision not to go to law school (lifelong dream) and focus more on family instead of career. I always wonder if I’ll regret this decision in twenty years as we don’t have children yet. Your words really mean a lot. Thank you.

  15. Patricia says:

    Gulp. How beautiful. Family is such a valuable treasure. So much of what you say here rings true to me as well. Staying home hasn’t been the easiest thing for me to do but I’d do it again in a heartbeat.

  16. Julie says:

    jules – i'm on the verge of tears. So much of what you wrote I could have written. For 20 years I was a legal assistant/office manager for a small law firm. Even when I worked part time, I fielded calls on the weekends, evenings, etc. My breaking point came when my father passed away. My boss called me at home and told me he needed me in the courtroom at 6:00 am for a trial – the day after the funeral. Sitting in tears on my front porch, phone still in my hand, my husband took me in his arms and said, "Honey, it's time to walk away from it." He was so right. I've never regretted it for a moment, although, like you, it's hard to adjust to being home all the time. My kids were older when we made this choice – 13 and 10. I love being home with them after school & attending ALL their sports events. They'll be off to college before I know it and I know time is short. I'm savoring every single minute right now.
    Thanks for sharing your story.

  17. carebear7951 says:

    Jules…I love it! I so agree with everything you said! And it’s so nice to have a “mister” who agrees on what the priorities are, isn’t it!? The sacrifice, the lack of $$, it’s all worth it in the end! Wouldn’t trade it for a minute! :) Thanks for the reminder!

  18. Jules says:

    Thanks, everyone. :)

    p.s. Who knew so many closeted lawyers and legal professionals read my blog?

  19. Brie says:

    loved that Jules!

  20. Miss B. says:

    Okay, my mascara is sloshing down my face. You ALL are so very lucky to have each other. You are wonderful, it would make sense that the Mister is too and the boys, well they seem darn well perfect to me on the other end of the monitor. I can’t believe that client, why do people even have children when they don’t want to dote on them? It makes me so angry!

    You both seem like very fine parents and that he gropes you is so sweet. He should you are gorgeous:)

  21. LL says:

    wonderful story jules. thanks for sharing..i’m sure all of the SAHMs who sacrificed their careers for their families are all nodding in agreement with you.

  22. darlabug says:

    Oh my gosh, that was beautiful. You made me cry at the end. Your story is so relatable. Since I had Baley, I only work Monday through Thursday and that has really worked for me. I am very fortunate too.

  23. Kristen says:

    That was such a wonderful post. What a great mom and dad. :)

  24. marcy wacker says:

    you’re a killer, jules. thank you for always reminding me that i’m normal. i can’t type anymore because the tears are blurring my vision.

  25. mahn-doo says:

    This is a great post and one that I’ll save for when I have to make this decision in a few months. It’s particularly poignant as I always wanted to be a lawyer, am currently working at a big law firm, and am, by all means, enjoying it. But I know my child’s worth it and when s/he makes his/her appearance next summer, all bets are off.

  26. Jules says:

    Thank you, mahn-doo. :)

  27. jamie says:

    Beautiful post!

  28. becoming-mom says:

    You made me cry.. crap, I’ve got to figure out how to do that (SAHM I mean, not make people cry..)

  29. In tears. I had never read this.

  30. Melissa says:

    Hi there – first time visiting your blog (I came over from Cherry Tree Lane) – thanks for making me cry on my first visit! I’m a “retired” attorney turned lifestyle/wedding photographer, and I could relate to every word you wrote. I too suffered from the “tunnel vision of succeeding” to the point that when I realized I could no longer practice law and be the mother I wanted to be I had no idea who I was. But I have no regrets – well, it would be nice if I didn’t have to pay that student loan payment. You are to be admired for having the courage to walk away from all you thought you wanted, only to walk towards all you really need.

    Thank you for sharing your story so poignantly.

  31. I adore this. Every word of it.

  32. Mary Ann says:

    Bravo and then some. Bravo.

  33. roni says:

    wrestling with this now…thank you for the insight. i am too nervous about leaving work but worried about family’s health and happiness.

  34. Lindsey says:

    Geez, wiping tears away from my eyes. Lovely post and love story…of your lovely life.
    And your hubby sounds pretty amazing too.

  35. Kristie says:

    I know you posted this a long time ago, but I just now stumbled onto your blog and this post reassured me that I have made the right decision for my family. My husband has been out of work for 16 months and I am a former ad exec and turned down a six figure salary to stay at home with my two children instead of taking the job while my husband is out of work. It’s been so difficult but so worth it. I know many people think I’m crazy but I was raised by my great-grandmother while my mom worked full time and to this day, my great grandmother was my mom and I’m not nearly as close to my mom as I wish we could be. I know it’s because of the time I spent with my great-grandmother when I was younger. Anyways, thanks.

  36. Lemonie says:

    Thanks. I needed that.

  37. shelleybelly says:

    I needed that affirmation, too. Thank you! And God bless your husband (and mine) for being so wonderful!

  38. Jenna says:

    At this moment I am 2 minutes away from being late for work, and instead of brushing my teeth and running out the door I’m crying about your story. This is how I have always envisioned a great relationship being. Sure things are crazy and never go as planned but the two of you make such an amazing team that none of the hickups really seem to matter. I am getting married in May of this year…and yeah I’m a bit nervous. I do however take comfort and encouragement in your story because, well it is just so damn awesome! I wish you guys the best of luck and can’t wait to read more of your blogs.

  39. susan says:

    I only just discovered this post. Thanks for having that “popular posts” thingy. I have to admit I cried. Sometimes I think back on having not finished up my degree – because I wanted to be home with my baby on the way – with such sadness and regret. Other times I find complete happiness in not even having given it a second thought back then. I’m glad you’ve found out where you need to be at this time. In the end, fancy cabinets and a breathtaking back splash are simply treasures laid up on earth, anyway, right?

  40. Katie says:

    I, too, just discovered this post through your popular listings. Up until now, “forgive me, for I have sinned…here are your tomatoes” has been my laugh-out-loud favorite phrase of your blog and what I use to introduce you to friends.

    I’m letting this one sink into my heart. Thank you for the courage and reminder that whatever side of this equation we’re on, if we’re not demonstrating our priorities with where our time is spent, something’s off. My husband and family and friends deserve the best of me, always.

    Continuing to strive for that with you–
    K

  41. Susan says:

    This was really inspired. I don’t have kids yet, but this really encompasses so many things about life, relationships, family work, passions. It’s so raw and honest and rare to find. I know I’ll re-read it frequently.

  42. Wow. I know it’s been years since this was written, but it still packs a punch. What a wonderful post.

  43. Shannon says:

    I just read this as I was (procrastinating) putting together a pro/con list for why I should go back to work full time in the fall. I struggle with feeling like I should justify my education and the benefits of staying home to friends who have chosen a different path. Thank you for spelling it out so clearly.

  44. Heather says:

    I’m an attorney and a mother. I walked out of my “prestigious” big firm job when I realized much what you’ve expressed in this post. I’m now a happy government attorney with a happy baby. Thanks for expressing what so many of us overachievers feel, and congratulations on finding your path.

  45. Melissa says:

    I found this site accidentally… and I have to say, this post brought me to tears. I’m a law student now, and I hope I’ll be a mother someday. I have no idea how I’ll balance both worlds. For the past several years, going to law school and becoming an attorney are all I could think about. For my entire life before that, I’d thought my “calling” was to be a good mom someday. Now that I’ve met the man of my dreams, I’m thinking more and more about what it will mean to be an attorney AND a wife/mother.

    I have no idea how I’ll reconcile the two.

  46. Noel says:

    Just found your blog and I love it! Love this post too. You made a very wise decision, something that I think so many people are struggling with in this country today. And for what it’s worth, I have no idea what a back splash is. :)

  47. Jeen-Marie says:

    I just wanted to say thank you for the written confirmation for SAHMs. I NEVER thought I would enjoy being on 24/7, but I do. So much, I don’t mind the large credit debt we aren’t paying off. Fortunately, I have a husband who appreciates and understands me wanting to stay home when others think we’re crazy.
    Earlier this year, a little girl passed away from my mom’s baby group. (Our kiddos where no longer babies, 15-18 months, and most of the moms had returned to work.) The sadness was incredible but conformation of our decison never spoke so loud. Every day is such a blessing. Even the good and ugly.

  48. Love, love, love this post (and yes, I’m a mom-lawyer too)! It’s such a struggle, but you’ve so clearly figured out the most important part of life. It’s all about the love. Just discovered your blog, and I’m definitely coming back for more. Thanks for laying it all out there!

  49. Marie says:

    I loved reading this post as I am in the same situation… could totally relate. I also dropped my job when I was 7 months pregnant of my first daughter, and it has been really difficult for the first 3 years to stay home in countries where I don’t have family and close friends. Only this year I am enjoying it as fortunately here in Singapore we can afford having a full time helper, and even though I had my second child 7 months ago, I feel free and have lots of time to do my things and try to create a business. At last.
    However every time I think of going back to work full time for a decent salary, I know know know that I would never ever been able to leave my kids with someone else than a close family member (which is just not possible since we live far far away from home).
    So it is ok to pay your kids clothes with the credit card, it is ok not to buy as many clothes, shoes etc for yourself as you used to do… keep smiling girl, you are rocking your world and you are achieving a WONDERFUL job with this blog, that I am definitely gonna read every single day :)

  50. Mary Anne says:

    I stumbled on your blog by accident…looked at this one because it sounded so romantic. Now I am sitting in my cubicle crying and everyone is looking at me. I am a 58 yr old mom of a 30 and 28 yr old who did not make the decision you made and my sweet, sweet 28 yr old son struggles every day and the root of it most of it was my decision to keep on working. I didn’t have a wonderful husband to support us…but I wonder, if I had quite working, maybe he would have stepped up to the plate. Anyway…you can’t go back…but oh what I would give …..You did the right thing for all the right reasons…who cares if you have backsplash.

  51. Ayleen says:

    this post made me well up. i could have written this 6 months ago. i am a lawyer too, turned stay at home mom (for the exact same reasons) turned blogger trying to get her foot in the door.

    i guess we are living parallel lives. i’ve been following your blog for like ever, but never came across this until just now.

    thanks for the reinforcement :)

  52. Sue says:

    I love him! I’ve just been reading your “Popular Posts”- now I’m going to have to go back though your entire archives, Jules. Brace yourself for some silly comments on old things!
    And I’m just dying to know- does he still say “move it or lose it!”? The how we met story was brilliant.

  53. Michelle says:

    I don’t even have children yet and I just cried from your post. Beautiful.

  54. Kymberly says:

    I made the same decision to stay home with my “Mikey” thirteen years ago.

    Let me tell you from the perspective of lo so many years that back splash is overrated and that the time flies, just flies, cliche but true. Already I cannot believe that my son is almost 14 years old and, God willing, I can work all the live long day and into the night if I want to – in just a few short years.

  55. meghan says:

    at the end of this busy work day, i checked blogger and saw that emily had linked to you. i started reading your post here that was written so long ago and yet i find it so perfectly timed for me. right now. right here at my desk. i have been struggling for so many years to do everything perfectly. to succeed. to provide. i’ve tried to rationalize providing in “different” ways than my heart yearns for. you know by sending my kids to daycare, and heading off to work, when all i want to do is just be there for all their moments. thing is…it’s NEVER felt right leaving them. my life is passing me by. my kids are growing. and i’m missing it. so thank you for writing these words down. even if they only reached me today. it is just so powerful to know that people walk away from a life driven by success that in the end means nothing. that they open the door to a life that means everything. it takes huge courage and vulnerability. and i will get there, i know. i’m just really happy to have found your words and your blog. thank you, thank you, thank you.

  56. Courtney says:

    Wow. i just clicked over from Small Notebook and am sitting here feeling like I found a soul sister. I have two boys and I just quit my job as a lawyer. i will be following and reading now. . . . so good to meet you :)

  57. margot says:

    It sounds like you didn’t like your job and so you took the societally accepted route of going home. Bummer. Your son is being denied a working woman as a role model, you’re being denied professional and intellectual stimulation and a range of other benefits from the non-parenting world, and the world is being denied the benefit of your 3 degrees and other training. It’s not a coincidence that men mostly stay in jobs they don’t like, work through the low points and hopefully find something better. It’s good to remember that your only choice wasn’t working like a crazy person to help a bad father get more custody of his kids OR staying home. You could have found a job that you actually liked and that was rewarding. And you could have found a job where you actually did work part-time, or perhaps sought therapy to help you draw boundaries and work part-time. It’s sad to think that someone needs to be full-on in the workplace or full-on at home.

    • Kendra says:

      Seriously? If someone has to seek therapy to help them draw boundaries at work I think it’s time for a good long look at their life. Oh and by the way, she did find a job that she likes and finds rewarding … being a kick ass mother to her two precious boys.

    • Stephanie says:

      Some people do not understand how important mothers are. Some people are not cut out to mold children into amazing young people… but, I know that your children are who they are, because they have had you at home 100% of the time. They are secure, confidant, intelligent, amazing individuals… and you have not missed a beat.

      My wise, 90 year old grandmother recently told me…”In 50 years, when you are looking back at your life, you will not regret the years of salary that you didn’t have in the bank, or the bosses you didn’t impress, or the clients you didn’t work for… But you would regret if you had not spent the time smelling the roses, reading books, playing hide & seek with your kids.” (Which by the way is the BEST kind of role model your children could ask for, because time makes a child feel VALUED!)

      Some women have to work and do not have a choice but to allow their children to be raised by day care, and many wish they could be home more. Their children will probably turn out fine… but if given the choice I admire those moms who choose their children over their careers. It requires more sacrifices than most people will ever understand, but those people also don’t understand it’s unique rewards.

  58. Sarah says:

    Thank you. That was beatifully written.

  59. Jennifer says:

    I’m a mother of 4 (ages 2 – 7). I am also an attorney. So is my husband. I quit being an attorney too. Sometimes, I think that I “should” return to practice. But, I can never return to these days of being home with my young children. The practice of law can wait, but this precious time cannot. Thank you for helping me to remember that!

  60. Mary Elizabeth says:

    I feel like I found my own personal little club of women. I had two babies in law school. Landed the dream big law job. Bought the fantastic historic fixer upper. Had baby number three. Cried myself to sleep each night. Quit job, sold house. Had baby number four and am finally at peace. My boys 5,4,2 and 1 will not wait but my career and yea the second mortgage, I mean student loans, can be deferred until they are grown.

  61. Mary Elizabeth says:

    I do work part time and as uneloquent and abrasive as some may have found the previous poster I did feel like I was floundering without some adult conversation. I have my own small practice and work 10-15 hours a month and that has done a world of good for me personally. It’s important to note that working part time is a solution often thrown out there but very difficult to actually pull off. Childcare is difficult to find for limited and often inconsistent hours. Part time work is difficult to find and not everyone wants to or can have her own law practice. Men do not justify professional choices to other men. Let’s not demean women because of hers, as a sahm or working mom or in between.

  62. Z says:

    I don’t even remember which links I clicked to get here (first timer on your blog!), but I teared up a little reading this. Can’t wait to read more.

  63. Lauren says:

    This is the most amazing post I have ever read!

  64. Becca says:

    Thank you for this post- I know I am a few years behind in reading it, but this is right now the story of my life… I graduated with a BA in Business from CBU Dec 08 and started their vigorous 1 year masters program in January. A few weeks into the program I ended up quitting because I found out I was pregnant- I could’ve continued, but I felt so many emotions and pressure and stress that I knew I would not be able to physically take care of myself let alone a growing baby (stress and I DO NOT mix… in a very bad way) so I quit. I was so disappointed in myself for quitting, knowing even though I will be doing something just as good by taking care of myself. I was like you- had to be on top, had to do it, the whole tunnel vision thing… my world crashed horribly. After I accepted my pregnancy (mind you the hubby and I had been married for 3 years and said after my BA we would try for a baby- I didn’t think it would happen for a while- was my mind set) things began to kinda settle, then baby came and I really wanted to stay at home, alas being on a tight budget having student loans to repay and a car payment I had to return to work. I love my job and the incredible flexibility, but it was not suppose to be long term. I expected to be somewhere else, somewhere making much more, working more hours. Eh. So I began to venture more into my photography (here comes more tunnel vision) and when I get going, I get sucked into the taking and editing of photos and nothing tears me from it. A few years later… The hubby is now going into the navy which will support me being a stay at home mom and I am terrified, I will be pretty much closing my photography business until life has settled and I can better handle the tunnel vision. I LOVE my son and I want more kids, but I don’t know what to do with him or with myself- I’ve always worked or gone to school and have had my life very much so “planned,” but now I wont… I am absolutely terrified- just knowing someone else has gone through something similar helps me feel a little better. Thanks for sharing your story (and for letting me share mine).

  65. Francoise says:

    Thank you for this. I’m 12 weeks pregnant with our first child and contemplating the stay at home gig with a raised eyebrow. Scaling back, abandoning my hopes and career in ER nursing (a fast-paced and chaotic environment I thrive in) to dedicate myself to my family seems… both wonderful and frightening.

    But I have a husband who loves me, who gropes at me in the kitchen, a thrifty attitude and decent DIY skills. With love and effort… anything is possible – including breaking the mold our mothers broke from theirs just a few decades ago.

    Your post was both enlightening and reassuring. Thanks again :)

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Hi! I’m Jules.

I used to be an attorney, but it made me grumpy. Now I write about life, sweet and savory, as a wife and mother to two small boys. My knowledge of dinosaurs knows no bounds.

You can read more, including the meaning behind the name Pancakes and French Fries here. And, yes, I really am phenomenally indecisive.