A Week in the Life of a Working Mom: A BigLaw Mom in Chicago

biglaw mom chicagoFor our second Week in the Life of a Working Mom series, I’m happy to introduce Reader L., who is a 29-year-old BigLaw mom in Chicago with a toddler and a work-at-home dad. Our usual caveat applies: please remember that this is is a real person who has feelings and isn’t gaining anything from this, unlike your usual friendly (soul-deadened, thick-skinned, cold-hearted, money-grubbing) blogger — so please be kind with any comments. Thank you! – Kat

If you’d like to be featured (anonymously or otherwise) for a “week in the life of a working mom” feature, please fill out this form here! You can see all posts in this series here.

Psst: if you’re interested in the BigLaw lifestyle, you may find our interviews with a lawyer mom working reduced hours.

First, Some Basics about this Working Mom…

Name: L.
Lives: Chicago
Job: BigLaw corporate junior associate
Age: 29
Home Situation: 

I live on the first floor of a standard Chicago two-flat (3-bed, 1-bath apartment) with my husband (30-year-old computer programmer and work-at-home dad) and our 20-month-old daughter.

Childcare Situation: 

We have a nanny who comes three mornings a week (15 hours total). Otherwise my husband stays home and takes care of our daughter. Whenever we have my parents or my husband’s parents in from out of town, they watch the baby for an afternoon/evening, too. We pay the nanny $20/hour for 15 hours a week, paid on the books (so with taxes/fees, etc., works out to $23/hour).


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Job and Career Changes After Baby: Did You Make Changes? How?

Career Changes After Baby | CorporetteMomsLadies, have you made career changes after having your baby? If so, how did your career, job, and general standard operating procedures change because of family? Did you effectively plan for the change before meeting your son or daughter, or did you change plans midstream? We talked once about planning your career for babies (back when I was pregnant with Jack!) but not really since, and I’m curious for your take.

Kate recently sent me a snapshot of a local article, quoting a pregnant television producer/host:

DeTar hopes to film Fringe Benefits past the second season and expressed interest in moving into other countries and writing a companion book for the show. With a child on the way, she doesn’t expect her aspirations or goals to change.

“I feel so thankful for the timing of all of it… maybe I’m being really naive, but I don’t see anything changing,” she says. “I… have the most supportive husband in the universe, and I don’t think he would let me not continue with the show.”

This is well-timed with other stuff I’ve been seeing recently — there was a recent article in Forbes about how a lot of women become freelancers, contractors, or entrepreneurs when they become mothers. And there was a great discussion (on this site and Corporette) on how to have a baby when both parents are working in BigLaw. SO, ladies, let’s hear it — how, if at all, has your Plan changed since having kids? Were there particular deciding factors (money, time, etc.), or was it a more general sense of “everything is different now“? For those of you who HAVE adhered to your Plan (since I’m assuming, cynically perhaps, that most of us have switched gears a bit) — how much focus did it take? Were there factors that were must-haves (double nannies, SAHD, etc)?

Pictured at top: Whychus Creek, originally uploaded to Flickr by Ian Sane


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