September 22, 2023


Parenting News

Week within the Lifetime of a Working Mother: In-Home Counsel in Texas

9 min read
A woman waering a yellow sweater and two bracelets working at a wooden desk and typing on a laptop. The text overlay reads,

For this installment of our Week within the Lifetime of a Working Mother collection, we’re blissful to introduce CorporetteMoms reader Siobhan, who lives in Dallas together with her husband, 4 daughters, and canine, and works as a in-house counsel for a software program improvement firm.

Our normal caveat applies: Please keep in mind that that is is an actual one that has emotions and isn’t gaining something from this, not like your normal pleasant (soul-deadened, thick-skinned, cold-hearted, money-grubbing) blogger — so please be form with any feedback. Thanks! — Kat

In the event you’d wish to be featured (anonymously or in any other case), please fill out this form! You may see all posts on this collection right here.

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First, Some Fundamentals About This Working Mother…

Title: Siobhan
Location: Dallas, TX
Job: In-house counsel for a software program improvement firm (additionally my weblog The Law Mother; @TheLawMother on social media)
Age: 47
Dwelling Scenario: I stay in a 3,400-square-foot home with my husband (48-year-old Biglaw companion), our 4 daughters (17, 14, 12, and eight), and our golden retriever who considers herself the fifth daughter.
Childcare Scenario: My 8-year-old and 12-year-old attend after-school care at their Catholic elementary faculty. My 17-year-old and 14-year-old attend a Catholic highschool half-hour away, and experience the college bus to the elementary faculty. I choose up all 4 ladies at 4:45 p.m. The highschool buses youngsters to and from Catholic elementary faculties throughout city to make faculty drop-offs and pickups simpler for households with multiple-age youngsters.

How a lot do you pay for childcare?
4 youngsters in personal faculty plus an extra $300 a month for after-school care

We requested Siobhan about her choice to ship her youngsters to personal/spiritual faculty, and he or she shared this:

My husband and I are each merchandise of Catholic faculties, and credit score Catholic schooling with our success. When it got here time to decide on faculties for our kids, the choice was simple.

Our ladies attend a Ok–8 elementary/center faculty and a 9–12 highschool. Each faculties have excellent teachers, supportive lecturers and employees, the appropriate stability between conventional studying and expertise, and neighborhood.

Relating to teachers particularly, our ladies’ Ok–8 Catholic faculty prioritizes phonics-based studying instruction and cursive handwriting, like they’ve finished for 60 years. Two of my daughters are severely dyslexic and benefited tremendously from this sort of instruction (together with remedy from an authorized educational therapist, additionally offered freed from cost by their faculty).

Whereas extra a lot reasonably priced than a number of the different personal faculties in our space, Catholic faculty continues to be a sacrifice. Cash we spend on tuition now means much less cash for the ladies’ faculty and our retirement. Nevertheless it the long term, we expect it’s price it.

We additionally requested Siobhan whether or not she will get lots of feedback as a mother of 4 ladies (together with annoying ones), and he or she had this to say:

On a regular basis. All the time begins with, “4 ladies, your poor husband.” And it goes downhill from there. “Going to attempt for the boy?” “Do all of them have the identical dad?” “Begin saving for all these weddings.” “I hope your canine’s a boy.” Often, I’ll come throughout somebody who tries to be intelligent by making a reference to well-known sister quartets just like the March sisters of Little Ladies or the Ingalls sisters of the Little Home collection.

I get it. Individuals are inclined to say the very first thing that pops into their heads, and 4 ladies is uncommon. Although, not that normal. Two of my good mates even have 4 daughters. I simply want the questions weren’t so gendered and destructive, particularly when my daughters are in earshot.

Solutions for the report. My husband hit the jackpot with 4 daughters. I don’t talk about my intercourse life with random folks in (fill in title of retailer). Sure, one man can produce that many ladies. Neglect weddings, we’re saving for faculty, med faculty, regulation faculty, and many others. Canine is a lady (in fact). Would you need to be in comparison with Amy March (or Mary Ingalls)? I didn’t suppose so.

How is the work-life stability in your trade normally? What are widespread methods of juggling tasks that you just see your colleagues and coworkers doing?
As in-house counsel, I’ve a a lot better work-life stability than attorneys typically do. I’m anticipated to be attentive to calls and emails throughout regular working hours (9 to five, Monday to Friday), however I can schedule calls and Zoom conferences round faculty drop-offs and pickups.

I not often get calls after hours or on the weekends. My job is absolutely distant, and I make money working from home. My husband, then again, is a Biglaw companion. He works lengthy hours with some journey. He’s additionally the managing companion of his workplace, so he has administrative duties on prime of his authorized observe.

How do you deal with family chores, resembling laundry, grocery buying, housecleaning, and many others.? Who does what, and when — and the way typically?
I’ve a housekeeper who comes twice per week to scrub and do laundry. My husband does the grocery buying on the weekend, and we divide cooking duties (he’s a greater cook dinner than me). I do the morning chores (make beds, load/unload the dishwasher), and my husband does the night chores (load/unload the dishwasher, take out trash). I additionally do laundry all through the week and deal with all the “child administration” duties (e.g., garments buying, faculty paperwork, homework, and many others.).

Siobhan added, “I returned to work full time this yr after seven years of being a stay-at-home mother with a really small personal observe. I began out my profession in Biglaw (M & A and Securities, 80-hour weeks), transitioned to a small agency after I had my first daughter, after which stayed residence after I had my fourth daughter.

“I used to be nervous leaping beginning my profession after a seven-year break, however it has gone rather well. I work for an important firm and genuinely like my coworkers, although I’ve but to satisfy any of them in individual as we’re all working remotely. I additionally take pleasure in being in-house versus a regulation agency. Issues I did proper whereas ‘leaning out’ from my profession? I saved my license energetic, did the odd challenge right here and there, and saved up with my skilled contacts (or not less than those I used to be mates with). It saved me within the lawyer mindset.”

A Week in My Life


8:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m. Sunday morning chores (laundry, get the ladies’ uniforms prepared for the week, make my weekly schedule). Make breakfast for the ladies. Learn the Sunday morning paper.
12:00–12:30 p.m. Stay Peloton run with my favourite teacher.
12:30–2:30 p.m. Brunch with the ladies.
2:30–6:30 p.m. Husband works with our oldest woman on her faculty functions. I do the grocery buying, take the opposite ladies to a party, and write a weblog publish.
6:30–7:30 p.m. Prepare dinner and eat dinner with the ladies.
7:30–8:30 p.m. Watch TV with the ladies and assist them prepare for the week (talk about schedules, upcoming homework deadlines).
8:30–9:30 p.m. Oversee ladies’ night routine.
In mattress round 10:00 p.m. and browse for half-hour.


6:30–8:15 a.m. I get the ladies up and prepared for varsity. My husband leaves with the 2 older ladies at 7:00 a.m. to drop them off at the highschool bus cease. It’s 10 minutes from our home, after which a 25-minute bus experience to high school. I go away at 7:30 a.m. to drop the 2 youthful ladies at college 20 minutes away.
8:15–8:30 a.m. Arrive residence and verify work e mail. I work 100% remotely.
8:30–9:00 a.m. 30-minute run on my Peloton Tread.
9:00–9:30 a.m. Bathe and dress for the day.
9:30–10:00 a.m. Evaluation and reply to work emails and make my to-do checklist for the day.
10:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m. Work.
12:00–12:30 p.m. Lunch and stroll the canine.
12:30–4:00 p.m. Work, together with a few Zoom conferences.
4:00–5:00 p.m. Decide up all 4 ladies on the youthful two ladies’ elementary faculty. The older two ladies’ highschool buses them to the elementary faculty.
5:00–7:00 p.m. End up work duties for the day, together with updating to-do checklist and recording my time. I additionally oversee homework and spend time with the ladies.
7:00–8:30 p.m. Husband arrives residence and we cook dinner and eat dinner and hang around with the ladies.
8:30–10:00 p.m. Oversee the ladies’ night routine. Assist with homework, chat with the youngsters, showers, and bedtime. Husband does the dinner dishes and a 30-minute Peloton Journey.
In mattress round 10:00 p.m. and browse for half-hour.

We requested Siobhan how she obtained right into a day by day studying behavior — and whether or not she had some books to suggest!

For so long as I can bear in mind, I’ve at all times carried a guide with me wherever I’m going. As I child, I’d try library books 10 at a time and cram them into my faculty backpack. As a shy, introverted child, books gave me an escape. Each time I wanted a couple of minutes on my own to recharge, I’d pull out a guide. Belief me, nobody ever bothers a child studying a guide.

As an grownup, I at all times carry my Kindle e-reader with me in my purse. Regardless of how busy you’re, there are at all times going to be spare minutes when you’ll be able to squeeze studying in. A look forward to a health care provider appointment that finally ends up being additional lengthy. Carpool line at college. Child’s sports activities observe operating late. I’m a heavy person of the Libby app, which lets you obtain e-books onto your Kindle.

As for guide suggestions, I’ve learn the Outlander books extra occasions than I care to confess. My youngest daughter’s title is Claire, for my fellow Outlander followers. I’m additionally huge into books about dwelling a extra productive and artistic life. Two of my favorites are Cal Newport’s Deep Work, and Elizabeth Gilbert’s Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear.


6:30–8:15 a.m. Identical as Monday morning schedule, besides my husband has an early morning flight (down-and-back day journey to Houston) so I’ve to do each morning drop-offs.
8:15–11:00 a.m. Arrive residence and start work. Zoom assembly at 10:00 a.m.
11:00–11:20 a.m. Squeeze in a fast 20-minute run on the Peloton Tread.
11:30–12:30 p.m. Work.
12:30–1:30 p.m. Lunch, stroll canine, and bathe/dress for the day.
1:30–4:00 p.m. Work.
4:00–5:00 p.m. College pickup.
5:00–6:30 p.m. Eat dinner with the ladies, end up work duties, and assist with homework.
6:30–9:00 p.m. Advisory Board assembly on the youthful two ladies’ elementary faculty. I’m on the board. It’s the Catholic parochial faculty equal of a college board.
9:00–10:00 p.m. Oversee ladies’ night routine. Husband has arrives residence and works out.
In mattress round 11:00 p.m. and browse for half-hour.


6:30 a.m.–12:00 p.m. Repeat of Monday morning schedule.
12:00–1:00 p.m. Attend Digital CLE whereas consuming lunch.
1:00–4:00 PM Work, together with Zoom conferences.
4:00–5:00 p.m. College pickup.
5:30–7:00 p.m. Dance class for youngest woman. I deliver my laptop computer and work.
7:30–10:00 p.m. Husband residence. Dinner. Oversee ladies’ night routine, together with ensuring homework was finished. On-line buying with the 2 oldest ladies for Homecoming attire.
In mattress round 10:30 p.m. and browse for half-hour.


6:30–8:15 a.m. Identical as Monday schedule.
8:15 a.m.–12:00 p.m. Arrive residence and start work. Zoom assembly at 11:00 a.m.
12:00–1:00 p.m. Squeeze in a 20-minute run on the Peloton Tread, lunch, and bathe/dress for the day.
1:00–4:00 p.m. Work, together with two Zoom conferences.
4:00–5:00 p.m. College pickup. Oldest daughter stayed after faculty for an exercise, so husband will choose her up from highschool on his approach residence.
5:00–6:30 p.m. End up work duties whereas oversee homework. Husband arrives residence with oldest daughter and takeout.
6:30–7:00 p.m. Dinner.
7:00–8:30 p.m. Assist with homework, watch TV with the ladies, calm down.
8:30–10:00 p.m. Oversee ladies’ night routine and prepare for the morning.
In mattress round 10:30 p.m. and browse for half-hour.


6:30 a.m.–5:00 p.m. Identical as Monday schedule.
5:00–6:30 p.m. End up work duties for the week (together with time entries) and make Monday to-do checklist.
6:30–9:00 p.m. Prepare dinner dinner, dinner, film evening with the ladies.
9:00–10:00 p.m. Oversee the ladies’ night routine whereas husband cleans the kitchen and works out.
In mattress round 11:00 p.m. and browse for half-hour.


8:00 a.m.–11:00 a.m. Morning at residence hanging out with the ladies. Do my lengthy weekend run (60 minutes) on the Peloton Tread.
12:00–6:00 p.m. Whirlwind of driving 4 youngsters to completely different actions.
6:00–7:00 p.m. Dinner.
7:00–10:00 p.m. Husband drives oldest daughter to good friend’s home; spend time with different different ladies.
10:00–10:30 p.m. Oversee ladies’ night routine.
11:00 p.m. Husband leaves to select up oldest daughter from good friend’s home.
In mattress round midnight and browse for half-hour.

Thanks a lot to Siobhan for sharing a little bit of her life as a working mother! Readers, what’s your greatest takeaway from her week of labor as an in-house counsel in addition to her common work/life stability?

Inventory picture through Stencil.

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