Wednesday, October 6, 2010

If Justice Ginsburg can do it...

As an attorney I receive countless periodicals and magazines in my large mail pile. Honestly, 9 times out of 10 I just toss them leisurely to the side and continue to tackle my mountain of correspondence.

Today as I went through my mail, I discovered a copy of the American Bar Association Journal. It was hectic morning and I had to tackle a monster brief, so I started to do what I normally do…picked it up and started to take it to the “circular file” aka the garbage.

But wait! All of the sudden, the cover caught my eye. It was a picture of a mother in an embrace with her daughter. This was odd because normally the ABA Journal covers are full of business suited, serious looking male attorneys.  But what amazed me the most was this wasn’t just any regular Mom. The Cover read: “Family Ties: The Private and Public Lives of Ruth Bader Ginsburg”.

I tipped back in my chair and opened the magazine. The article was fascinating. I guess I always pictured our Supreme Court Justices as machines…they couldn’t possibly be down to earth parents, could they? I was amazed as I read to find out Justice Ginsburg was a mom like me, juggling her children and a busy legal career. The start of the article inspired me, for Justice Ginsburg was quoted when asked about motherhood and the law…

“I think my life was more balanced. . . I was less apprehensive than my classmates because there was something going on that was more important, frankly, than the law”.

 I read through the article, amazed at how a woman in Justice Ginsburg’s position as one of the highest judicial officials, battling the hardest legal issues our country faces, still managed to be a great Mom. She brought her children with her to legal functions, she made sure she was home to have dinner every night with her children.

In fact, Justice Ginsburg believes her children actually helped her career. She states:

“I attribute to my daughter the responsibility for why I was such a good law student. I went home, played with Jane, had dinner and then I was ready to go back to the books. It was the pause that refreshes.”

I couldn’t agree more. My children are the “pauses” that refresh me in my crazy work week…they keep me going. My work is so much better after a quick lunch with my kids, or an evening laughing and playing. It helps to remind me why I do what I do.

I kept reading and was surprised to “hear” Justice Ginsburg sounding like me:

“My initial response to Jane (her daughter) was I wanted to enrich her in every way I could, so I overdid it. I was compensating for my having a job”.

I do the same thing. I am constantly on the go with my children, constantly making sure they experience everything…constantly overdoing it.  I don't want them to suffer because I am forced to work.

Justice Ginsburg truly believes that balancing the working Mom attorney life is not impossible and women should keep trying.

I was so inspired by this article. There are times in my life when I get down…wondering how on earth I am going to be able to keep my worlds in perfect alignment. How do I give me kids the life I want them to have, be there for them for constantly, all while maintaining a very rewarding but stressful career?? Can I do this??

Well… if Justice Ginsburg can do it….I think I’ll be okay.

I’ll post the link to the article on the JD Moms Facebook page. I highly encourage you all to read it.


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