Thursday, July 19, 2012

Why Being a Lawyer Then Makes Me a Better Parent Now

Speaking of questions we stay-at-home-moms get asked, this particular mom fields many along the lines of "Are you glad you went to law school?".

It's a good one, if one I need a few more days and a lot more tequila before I can fully address. In the meantime, what I will say is how surprised I am about how useful some lawyering skills are in my daily life, especially now as Master P enters toddlerdom.

No, for real. I'm being serious. Mostly.

I'll even break it down for you in lawyerly bullet points - be nice, or else I'll put it in outline form with Roman numerals and subheadings too. In any event, I find that I . . .

- can negotiate with unreasonable (and often short) people like it's my job;

- never ask a question to which I don't either (a) know the answer or (b) want to know the answer;

- cleverly disguise orders as two options, luring opposing counsel / toddler into false sense of power (granted, nowadays both options tend to be lead to happy things like "wearing pants", but . . . ); 

At the dawn of my legal career, inspired by the pursuit of justice and unusually large collars (apologies for awful photo quality, etc.)

- can read the same thing over and over (AND OVER - hello there, Sandra Boynton) again;

- have a high threshold for boredom (see point #2); not that staying at home is dull, but there are some loooong moments and the occasional day week;

- enjoy running my own department of one, from scheduling to budget (ok, I'm significantly less good at the latter, but I'm learning);

- can endure. If I can pass two - count 'em, TWO - Bar exams, thankyouverymuch, and serve seven years in a profession I cheerfully despised, I sure as Hell can outlast a tantrum, though there are days when those seem longer and infinitely more tedious than drafting yet another confidentiality agreement.

How about you - can you pinpoint something about your job, then or now, that helps how you parent?

11 comments:

Mandy said...

I was a teacher before being a SAHM and it helps sooo much!

Beach Bum & Baby said...

Ha! I love this! I was in sales.... so bargaining? Dealing with jerks (ie other parents that let their kid push my precious baby down at the water park.. ahem...).

I love this!

p.s. And yes the tantrums are getting longer. Think we can get a two-for-one on a wine of the day, I mean week, I mean month...club?

Colleen Sullivan said...

Former teacher here too, Mandy! Def helps!

D @ Naptime in Suburbia said...

Former 9th grade English teacher over here. It's amazing how many times I find myself saying the same thing to my 11 month old that I had to say to 14 year olds. Umm...yeah.

Also, we're big Boynton fans at our house too. Our copies look like they've been through wars (multiple).

Danielle said...

Maybe that is why my husband has more patience with the boys than I. Who knew there was actually something good to come out of law school (:

Lindsey said...

This is phenomenal!! Being a nurse before becoming a mom has definitely had its perks but also its over-worrying moments when the girls are sick and I get scared when things aren't getting better within a reasonable period of time.

Samma said...

Currently being a lawyer helps me mother, because I am so happy to get out of the office and home to my baby every day. So, hmmm. I guess I am saying that hating my career helps me appreciate how much I love being a mama? Haha, probably not the healthiest thing. . .

Sylvie said...

Thank you for addressing some of the lawyer questions,.

My jobs as a middle manager in an insurance company (then) and an elementary school substitute teacher (now) have helped me with organizing, coordinating resources and preparing them for classroom expectations.

Rather like Samma, working outside the home further solidifies/validates my definite preference for being the primary caregiver for our children and keeper of our home.

If only I could be like Kate (of plus 8) - but without the bad hair, idiot husband and unfortunate fame) and figure out a way for someone to pay me a living wage with enough left over to allocate funds for college whilst rewarding me with fun and educations trips for our family along the way. But I digress...

I wanted to mention that in business, having a business card was so useful. It took me a couple of years to finally get personal calling cards. They are useful in the same way.

Sylvie said...

Oops. Sorry about the "educations." Meant to type "educational." Carry on.

Sarah said...

This is funny stuff. I did employee benefits consulting, so I mastered the art of delivering really terrible news, (i.e., your health insurance costs are increasing by 35%) while making it somehow seem like good news (you can lead your industry with a consumer-driven plan that teaches your employees about transparency and accountability in managing their healthcare costs!). My toddler is maybe too young to fully appreciate this, but I can see years of masterfully manipulative parenting in my future. Kidding (sort of...).

AEOT said...

As a pediatric nurse practitioner, I can pretty much diagnose most things at home and illness doesn't worry me nearly as much as it would most parents. I also have a strong background in infant/early childhood development, so that really helps with the little kid stages. It doesn't help, however, with tantrums b/c as much as I know they are supposed to exist, that they're "normal", and that patience will get me further than anything else, I still get amazingly frustrated and just want to bang my head against a window/glass table/wall in the middle of them!! And, agree with me here, most times the tantrums are over the STUPIDEST things.....not wanting to put on shoes, not being able to decide what he wants to eat, wanting and then not wanting something all in the same breath. Ugg!!

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