16 weeks and so worried all of the stress I’m under is going to hurt the baby. Between work, my own scary (non-pregnancy) health stuff, the pandemic, my mom (who is a widow and lives alone, basically isolated by choice due to covid) is having health issues, and pressures to keep billable hours up, I’ve been having complete breakdowns. Today I spent almost the entire day crying and now have to make up the billable time this weekend. I really worry abt what effect this will have on the babe.

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Sorry my 3 am pregnancy brain missed the main point of your post.

I worry about stress too (along with my diet and other things) and I’ve had breakdowns as well. I’ve also had late nights, long days, early mornings, and it’s all because of work. I let it consume me sometimes. Prioritizing myself and the baby is something I’m still working on, so I feel guilty for prioritizing work, letting work stress me out, and even for drinking coffee even though my dr says it’s fine to have a cup a day. I totally get where you’re coming from.

We’re going to feel guilty for everything, whether that guilt is internal or external. I won’t say that mom’s stress isn’t impacting baby, but I will say that so many women have given birth to healthy babies in similar or more stressful environments than us, so we’re not doomed. We have to just try to do what we can to prioritize our health, keep stress down and do what we need to do to allow our bodies to create life. I don’t always do my best but I’m trying. I haven’t been eating well this week (and I think last week) so I’m going to turn a new leaf tomorrow, buy groceries, cook, and try to eat healthier. I haven’t gone on enough walks this week so I’m going to try to go on a long one tomorrow. I know there will be days or weeks ahead where I let work consume me and don’t prioritize my health and the baby, but that’s fine I’ll just have to try again.

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Just to add- I’ve taken a few days off here and there to try to give myself some “me time” and it’s really hurting my billables. I’ve only billed abt 50 hours so far in December.

Where is the pressure coming from? Is it coming from you, the firm, or somewhere else?

This sounds like burnout. Is it possible to take a paid leave or some paid time off to deal with the health stuff and recharge?

This is probably counterintuitive given the nature of our profession, our usual work ethics as lawyers, etc. but, I think you (me, and everyone else) need to distance from the billable hour.

The quota will always be there, and the work will be too. You can focus on the most important things (your and your family’s health, major deadlines at work), and put everything else on the back burner, to be dealt with in due course.

It’s so much easier said than done, I know. I’ve struggled with it as well, especially when talking to coworkers about how we’re all so busy. I still see my therapist (virtually), and have brought this up a bunch of times. I’m still so focused on meeting targets at work, being valuable and valued, etc.

Therapy has reminded me that this is just a job, I’m creating life (in a pandemic no less), and deserve some grace (as do you). Taking the pressure off and changing my priorities has also helped me become more productive these last few months (I’m 32 weeks).

Also, I billed the same as you and I’m fine with it. December tends to be slower than other months, and I’m not going to overextend myself for a statistic, not anymore... I am more than my billables and so are you.

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