5:30 a.m. Wake up to alarm. Baby is still sleeping, so shower and get dressed. Make coffee and do a load of laundry. This is normally my chore and I’m very OCD about it. The baskets are all messed up and out of order since Hubby has been doing it this week. Spend 45 minutes rearranging everything and re-sorting the clothes.
7:00 a.m. Everyone is still asleep so I leave quietly. Today is my big day with our final witnesses and I’m nervous.
8:30 a.m.–5:30 p.m. Trial. Goes later since judge does not want this to go past Friday (neither do we). We’ve rested and the defense put up one witness. They’ll finish and we will close tomorrow. All of my parts are done and I am exhausted.
6:30 p.m. Home. Eat dinner, which Hubby put aside for me. Homemade pizza, which is usually a favorite, but I can’t eat much. Catch up on the kids’ days and sit with Hubby at the table with after-dinner coffee while we go over the weekend calendar.
7:30 p.m. Nurse the baby and then go to bed. Fall asleep quickly.
Here’s what Meredith had to say about her husband’s role as a stay-at-home dad:
My husband worked in financial services and naturally scaled back to part-time work after the economic downturn in 2007–2008. Once I finished law school, I was making more than he was, we had our third son, and we decided he would temporarily be a SAHD until the mortgage business bounced back. But we found we did well on one income, I didn’t have to worry about missing work to pick [the kids] up from school or doctor’s appointments while I built my practice, and he loved being able to coach their sports teams, so we’ve kept that structure.
3:00 a.m. Wide awake. That’s the problem with going to bed at 7:30. Try to just lie quietly in bed, but can’t fall back asleep.
5:00 a.m. Get up, shower, get dressed. Nurse the baby and he falls back asleep. Think about walking the dogs. Forget to turn off the alarm, set it off, wake everyone up. Oops.
6:00 a.m. We all have breakfast together since everyone is now awake. Do a quick version of morning circle at the table and celebrate our “last day of school.” Everyone tells their favorite subject and one thing they’re proud of learning. It’s actually a nice way to start the morning after such a crazy week.
8:00 a.m.–12:30 p.m. Trial. Defense rests early. Then we close (co-counsel does ours) and judge gives instructions.
12:30 p.m. Take all our support staff and associates who came to watch closing arguments out to lunch at a nearby restaurant. I order a chicken caesar wrap but can’t eat much of it.
2:00 p.m. Arrive back at court. Jury is deliberating. We wait outside — chat with clients. Go up and begin packing files into our cars. More waiting. People start to leave as it gets later. Text Hubby to head to the birthday party without me since it looks like I’ll be here awhile. He takes all four kids to a baseball game birthday party himself (brave man!).
4:30 p.m. Co-counsel, his wife, my paralegal, and I are now the only ones left with clients. Eleven people from my firm were here earlier. There isn’t much to say as we wait. I eat the last Balance Bar we brought with us while my paralegal finishes the pretzels.
6:30 p.m. Plaintiffs’ verdict, just not as much as we hoped. Talk to the jurors and confirm the issues we suspected.
7:00 p.m. Everyone else leaves for the weekend. Chat with BFF and co-counsel in parking lot. Text Hubby; they’re still at the game. Decide to grab drinks with BFF since no one is waiting for me at home.
8:00–9:00 p.m. Dinner, drinks, and Trial debrief.
9:15 p.m. Home just before Hubby and kids. Everyone is exhausted and goes straight to bed. Nurse baby and we both fall asleep in my bed.
We asked Meredith whether or not this was a typical week for her:
Yes, this was a typical week. I am not in trial every week, but with litigation there are always client meetings or depositions or travel requirements to schedule around. It’s never really 9–5 and each week presents different challenges to trying to do it all well.
6:30 a.m. Baby does not sleep in. I am exhausted but get up anyway. Nurse him, then get up and play. Make coffee and try to wake up.
8:00 a.m. Wake up my 11-year-old for last-minute trip to Walmart. He’s leaving for Scout Camp tomorrow and still needs some things.
10:00 a.m. Pack with 11-year-old. Do laundry he needs. Pull my dry cleaning to drop off. Catch up on chores and cleaning that went undone this week.
1:00 p.m. Lunch with my in-laws. They live two hours away and have both been sick, so we haven’t seen them in awhile.
2:00–5:00 p.m. The 11- and 9-year-olds have a rank test for Tae Kwon Do. We all go. My in-laws and Hubby watch while I take the two littles outside to play for a bit since it’s hard for them to stay quiet for three hours.
5:30 p.m. Dinner out with my in-laws. Then they head home and we head home to finish packing for camp.
7:00 p.m. Boys watch TV while Hubby and I coordinate calendars for next week and divide errands. I realize I forgot to drop off my dry cleaning today. Then I plan meals (we use plantoeat.com) and print grocery list.
9:00 p.m. We end the week with a “slumber party” where we all cram into our bed and watch a movie. Tonight is the oldest’s choice since he is leaving for camp tomorrow. He chooses Jurassic Park. The little ones fall asleep quickly and are carried to their beds.
11:00 p.m. Movie is over and everyone goes to bed
Thanks so much to Meredith for sharing a bit of her life as a working mom! Readers, what’s your biggest takeaway from her week of work as a trial lawyer as well as her general work/life balance?
Stock photo via Deposit Photos / ginasanders.