CM posted about her daily schedule and I thought “Wow, that looks familiar,” except I was unable to spend much time doing kid dropoff and relied almost entirely on poor Mr. V to handle it.
6:30-7:30 a.m.: Get kids up and fed; drag myself to shower/dress and hit the road
7:30 – 8:15 a.m: Commute time (checking BB at stoplights or taking conference calls with overseas during the drive)
8:15 a.m. – 6:30 p.m.: Work. Eat at desk. Get up to pee maybe once or twice.
7:15 p.m.: Get home, spend a few minutes with kids while trying to cobble together a semi-healthy meal for the family. Pray that Mr. V had actually reviewed homework with Pumpkinhead.
7:30 p.m. – Baby J bedtime (so, yeah, barely time to kiss him goodnight)
7:30 – 8 p.m. – Eat dinner/catch up with husband and Pumpkinhead.
8 p.m. – 11 p.m. – More work from couch, occasional conference call with Asia, make lunch for next day, hit the hay.
Weekends = more work at least for several hours one day or the other, plus constantly checking BB.
6:30 – 7:30 a.m. – Shower/dress, help Pumpkinhead make his lunch, make my lunch, get Baby J up and chat with my Mom on Skype as we head out the door.
7:30 a.m. – 8:20 a.m. – Commute time with Baby J, singing Raffi and making cute faces at each other in the rearview mirror. Drop him at in-house daycare downstairs.
8:30 a.m – 6 p.m. – Work, eat at desk most days, pee maybe three times on a good day, fly down to make 6p pickup time from daycare in lobby.
6:00 – 7:00 p.m. – Commute time home with Baby J. Usually he listens to Raffi and Laurie Berkner and I pop headphones on and listen to PMBR or Law School Legends lectures.
7:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. – Make dinner, catch up with Pumpkinhead’s day.
7:30 p.m. – Baby J bedtime (still little time at home but the commute makes up for that
7:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. – Eat dinner, catch up with husband, review Pumpkinhead’s homework and papers from school.
8:00 p.m. – 11:00 p.m. – Depending on the night, schoolwork or classes and catching up on a TV show with Mr. V.
Weekends = schoolwork and snuggling with Baby J, trying to make healthy meals for the week ahead, never-ending laundry, may check BB once but typically it’s off from Friday night until Monday morning.
In September 2011, I was in my third year of a very demanding and exciting job in the legal compliance department at a large corporation. I was in a global role with lots of contacts and lots of responsibility/discretion and I loved it. I was able to work on developing policy, training and marketing as well as data privacy initiaves that fascinated me. However, in the 6-9 months prior to my departure, my position scope had narrowed and I felt less challenged. I resented the time spent at home on the never-ending busywork and I was frustrated at being told they would eagerly support and partially fund my return to law school but then not being given the time to put in the required effort. I reached out to internal contacts and ended up being offered a significant promotion to a role that does exactly the same work as the three in-house corporate counsel, just with a different title (and close to the same startig salary). My company has a great history of hiring law clerks and mentoring them into in-house counsel roles. The difference here is that they were part-time and I remain full-time.
In the past year, I have learned a lot about contract negotiation, risk allocation, etc. and have developed my skills working with internal clients and external legal and procurement contacts. I have had more time for my family and don’t feel so overwhelmed. But, as some of the commenters on my fellow MILPs’ posts pointed out, there is this weird self-defeating need to be in the thick of it in order to feel fully challenged. The work I do is very rote. Same thing day in and day out. A lot of conflict at times when the customer doesn’t like or understand our language. I miss the excitement and sense of purpose in my former role.
However, as I sit here, knowing I can devote several hours to my studies without concern about the work that awaits me Monday morning, I do appreciate the rarity of this type of position. Both the GC and my direct boss chide me on taking on more than I can handle during the workday and get visibly frustrated if I try to do weekend or evening work. They emphasize that school and my family are equally important priorities. What more could I ask for? As LL has pointed out, the grass is always greener on the other side. I am hopeful that, at the end of this (long) law school journey, the promised in-house position materializes, particularly as I will owe them time when done unless I want to pay back the tuition borrowed. But I am equally hopeful that I will be able to take on a manager- or director-level job in my former field and do the work that makes me happy without sacrificing my childrens’ teen years to the demands of my career, as much as I might love it.
I get the sense this never gets any easier and that there really are no perfect answers. It’s hard to learn but it is next to impossible to give 100% to any one role you take on when you take on so many. With that said, it’s back to studying and not worrying about the work awaiting me tomorrow morning.