{ "media_type": "text", "post_content": "I feel very lost. I just started as an associate at a big firm this year and have a one year old son. Learning how to be a mom and an associate has been extremely tough and I have felt burnt out on multiple occasions this year. Prior to having a child, I was a very determined individual and was used to saying yes to almost everything because I wanted to accomplish those things. Nowadays I feel like I don’t care about my job as much and being away from him gets more and more difficult.", "post_id": "6175a9a17dab2a003233627c", "reply_count": 16, "vote_count": 7, "bowl_id": "5df70ed2f7169f002b172d3f", "bowl_name": "Big Law", "feed_type": "bowl" }

I feel very lost. I just started as an associate at a big firm this year and have a one year old son. Learning how to be a mom and an associate has been extremely tough and I have felt burnt out on multiple occasions this year. Prior to having a child, I was a very determined individual and was used to saying yes to almost everything because I wanted to accomplish those things. Nowadays I feel like I don’t care about my job as much and being away from him gets more and more difficult.

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That’s tough, I’m sorry, especially since as a junior, there’s a greater expectation that you’ll be responsive/online at all hours. If you are comfortable, I would start setting the expectation that you’re offline during certain points during your day to take care of your fam and then log back on at night to take care of anything you didn’t finish. Same for weekends, set the expectation you’ll respond after several hours. You probably won’t have the best reputation but that doesn’t really matter.

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Also managing deadlines/knowing when you can leave the office gets easier several months in, especially if you’ve developed trust. Ie I go to the gym/cook/meet friends during the week and might be unresponsive for an hour or two between 7-9 but my deal teams know that I’ll come back home and handle whatever needs to be done tomorrow that night

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Is your firm going to enforce face time requirements? I've heard that a lot of people just are not going in. At my firm, it's only the support staff that are required to go in and follow the attendance rules. We had an associates only meeting and the chairman very clearly stated that we have complete flexibility but there are times when we will need to be in the office. I've been in 2 times to attend social events, and everyone understands because they know I have a baby under 1 year. Being forced to follow any set schedule requiring me to be in the office without a specific purpose is now a complete deal breaker for me. I'm not going back to barely seeing my kids during the week, and working from home is literally the only thing that makes my workload manageable when I'm slammed. If your firm does not offer the flexibility you need, then you should consider looking for other opportunities. Maybe a reduced schedule would be possible. The first year of having a child is very overwhelming, so you may find that those feelings about your work eventually come back.

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It's going to take some time to work through these issues. I expect firms with strict requirements are going to back off once they lose enough associates. It's very likely they with face a large number of resignations the day after bonuses hit bank accounts. The end of this year is not going to be pretty. But I do believe that the end result is going to be more flexibility for parents with young children.

I have more thoughts on this but just at first, any chance your husband can adjust his schedule to help take some pressure off you? Don’t think there’s anything wrong with the way you feel. In my view the hardest thing to be in biglaw is a mother of young kids. It’s an industry wide problem.

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It’s complicated and it’s been kind of a sore topic between us but he is a business owner and the nature of the business makes it hard for him to be absent from it. He tries his best to make time with what he can and does. But I feel like I function almost like a single mom a lot.

Seniors are exhausted. I am on my 17th consecutive 250+month. Nevertheless, this isn’t on you. Lick your wounds and use it as a learning experience, but 100% not your fault. For the future, If you’ve been delegated something that exceeds your abilities, insider trick is to bracket and highlight the hell out of your draft so your superior is obligated to read closely. That may also help to ingratiate you to that person. I feel good about 1-2-3. X-Y-Z would benefit from your input. Again, not your job, because a senior should review every pen-stroke, but that will help you self-evaluate.

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Or maybe I am not fine. Realize I replied to the wrong thread with this post.

If they aren’t going to be flexible about going in, I’d leave. Let them stay in the old ways of doing things. There are great firms out there hiring who are going to be very flexible about this and this isn’t something you should compromise for as it’s clearly much more important to you to be a mother than an associate (rightfully).

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(To continue) Now that my firm is requiring for us to be in office soon, I feel even more torn. I can’t imagine coming back late and barely having seen him. I work in transactional and I do enjoy what I do but the hours and expectations are wearing away at me as a mom. My husband also works long hours. I don’t know what alternatives I have and I feel so stuck. I am also not in my 20s so this personally feels like I am failing because I should have my act together by now (in my head). Does anybody have any suggestions or perhaps can relate? I wake up anxious not knowing what to do but I’m just going through the motions of work.

If your husband cant help, pay for more help.

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Great quote form Mimi Slater of @cosbar on motherhood and work: “I don’t think my career path has changed because I became a mother. But, I think my approach to work has changed for the better. I didn’t realize how hard it would be to leave a 12-week-old at home, but I’m so glad I forced myself to get to work in those early days. It took me a while to get back into the swing of things, but now I think that being a mother is a total asset in the workplace. I don’t waste a minute of my workday. I’m better at juggling priorities, and I think I’m more empathetic, certainly towards other working parents.”

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