Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Working Parents: Don't Be Ashamed to Ask For Help

It's not shameful to ask for help. But parents--moms in particular-- can find it so shameful to admit that parenting is hard work. They see the smiling moms, with their perfect jobs and coiffed hair raising three perfect kids, who make parenting and working look effortless.

Don't buy into that image. It's not always real.

Here's reality: When you're a working parent, it's hard enough to be in several places at once. If you're a lawyer and a mom, it's even harder. But this post isn't just for lawyer moms. It's for all working parents, as the struggle of balancing work and parenting is common.

Related Read: Quick and Easy Means for the Working Parent (Foodie Heaven)

When you're an attorney working at a firm, in house or operating your own practice, it's hard enough to be all things for all people.

Image from  Momsrising.org

But throw in kids into the mix and you've got a recipe for chaos.

It's a myth to say that humans are good at multitasking. We're not capable of multi-tasking. According to a recent study, only two percent of the human population can actually multitask effectively. What we've come to know as "multi-tasking" is actually the ability for a human to quickly change focus.

For a parent, it's even harder to "multi-task", yet, we've grown accustomed to switching focus at the snap of a finger. As a parent, at any given point of the day, your attention is split between your the task you are trying to accomplish and the need to care for your kids. Children are in some ways the most selfish of creatures. They don't care whether you are preoccupied or whether you have to meet a deadline. They don't care that you have hot oil on the stove. If they want something, they want it NOW.

Sounds like your legal client, doesn't it?

That's why the legal profession can be a particularly challenging one for a parent. You have people making quick demands and expecting fast turnaround all day, at all hours of the day. There's no "off" switch. There's no down time. When a legal client or a partner at your firm wants a task delivered, you must drop everything and deliver.

Many lawyers will opt to go in-house once they have kids, thinking that the removal of the billable hour might ease their deadlines and turnaround times. The in-house legal environment should theoretically be better. The attorney has only one client to represent-- the company. In practice, however, the in-house attorney's role is to be responsive to numerous internal clients, many of whom have critical multi-million dollar business deals to close in short time frames.

The reality is that if you're a working professional and a parent at the same time, it's hard to juggle the responsibilities of parenting and the demands of work.

Some people are fortunate to have parents or in-laws nearby to help. But for those people who aren't as fortunate, it's important to develop a network of close allies and friends who can help--you need good friends who can pick up your kids last minute from daycare if you're running late, share food with you, or even lend you a shoulder to cry on when the stress gets overwhelming. There's no shame in asking for help.

1 comment:

Soup said...

Hi there!

I'm just starting to blog and am creating a page for my "daily reads" with a list of blogs. I was wondering if you would allow me to add your blog to that list?

http://lipglossandbattlescars.blogspot.ca/