Back in 2003 I obtained my Juris Doctor or "J.D.". At that point in my life it was my greatest accomplishment, the thing I was most proud of in the world. Little did I know that my J.D. was about to take a backseat to three strong-willed adorable babies who quickly supplanted my degree as my greatest accomplishments! So, I guess you can say that when my children were born my degree magically transformed into a “Mom J.D.” and I entered the fabulous, often chaotic, sometimes sad, often funny, challenging, and gratifying world of being a working Mom attorney.
So what does it mean to be a JD Mom? Well if you ask me I will tell you…
1. It means that I may pull out a file in court to find a Thomas the Tank Engine sticker has been placed on top of it.
2. It means that I may accidentally misspell the last name “Bell” as “Belle” in a brief multiple times (true story by the way) because the Disney Princesses are everywhere in my house.
3. It means I know the heartbreak of my children screaming “Mommy don’t go” as I leave them at daycare.
4. It means that my brand new suits may have “hopefully non-noticeable to others” finger sized grease stains on the bottom from my morning good-bye hugs.
5. It means that if I get 5 minutes in the morning to curl my hair this is a huge accomplishment so my hair may not be perfectly curled when I walk into court.
6. It means the degrees that are displayed on my office walls are overshadowed by dozens of priceless fingerpainted works of art.
7. It means that my calendar is full of “green” events right next to my blue and red events (“Green” being my chosen colors for personal events). And my daughter calls it my “rainbow brite” calendar.
8. It means I will often be one of the last attorneys to arrive at a hearing or before a deposition…I will never be late, but its not unusual for me to be running in right at the start time.
9. It means you will often receive emails from me after midnight because my house is finally quiet and clean (well…clean enough) and I can now tackle that huge mail pile.
10. It means my “sick days” have been replaced by my kids’ sick days so although I stay home to nurse my children’s colds…you’ll see me sniffling at my desk dosed with Day-Quil.
11. It means I understand that I will never, no matter how hard I try, be a perfect Mom or a perfect attorney so I am content to be “decent” at both.
12. It means my direct line at work often rings with such riveting questions as “Honey, what should I feed the kids for lunch?” or “Honey where are the diapers?”.
13. It means that I understand that I did and will most certainly miss things like my child’s first step, first word, etc but that doesn’t stop me from deeming the date I saw it as the actual date and the one documented in the baby book.
14. It means when you call my office to schedule a deposition with me I often have to tell you I am “tied up” leading you to think I’m busy with another case when actually I’m off to dance or soccer.
15. It means my billable hours will never be the highest and I have had to constantly tell myself that the quality of my work makes up for the quantity.
16. It means my kids will probably grow up thinking all dinners magically come out of a freezer or a crock pot.
17. It means my power lunches now consist of me running home to eat grilled cheese and cheetos with my kids and getting a quick "fix" before finishing my work day.
18. It means that when I travel out of town for a deposition, I sometimes take the family with me and turn it into a family road trip.
19. It means that sometimes bedtime stories to my 3 month old consist of me reading Iowa Supreme Court cases out-loud in a nice calm relaxed tone.
20. It means I'd rather be climbing a ladder in a game of Chutes and Ladders than the corporate ladder.
Being a Mom J.D. is a part of my life. It’s who I am...the hand I was dealt and so I embrace it. I truly hope that when I look back on these years I will smile knowing my children and myself learned something from this crazy journey!