Celebrating 10 years! 2007-2017

Maternity leave ending

my leave is ending, and i really really am very close to dec legalbeagle01/04/17
Well my wife decided to stay home. She was a paralegal at Li cocolawyer01/04/17
If you could get away with staying home, stay home. Spending trollfeeder01/04/17
On a side note to underscore the inequity of practice. Out o mtobeinf01/04/17
"I came in to replace a hard working mother on maternity lea rubbersoul1401/05/17
If you can afford to not go back, then don't go back. But b rainsofcastamere01/04/17
im a 2nd yr associate...and those could be options... legalbeagle01/05/17
This is going to sound crazy, but... How does your husband f notiers01/05/17
supportive. he's behind whatever i decide. legalbeagle01/05/17
Well if he is on board then all clear cocolawyer01/05/17
Is there a way to temp trial it? My wife felt much like wha inho2solo01/05/17
How much income does husband contribute and how secure is hi flharfh01/05/17
Don't do it. You are early on in your career and once you le downwardslope01/05/17
I don't know that it's possible to say that you have "always notiers01/05/17
i am older than the typical 2 year associate...i was a paral legalbeagle01/05/17
Go part time? In my firm, one attorney does this to manage qdllc01/05/17
This. You indicate above that it could be a possibility. A g mountainhawk1101/05/17
i'm leaning towards discussing this option with my firm. legalbeagle01/05/17
Read this; http://mobile.nytimes.com/2013/08/1 1/magazine/th gazoo01/05/17
Great article. Try to keep your foot in the profession since cranky01/05/17
I would stay and figure out a way to transition to a job whe beat12301/05/17
As others have said, it can be very hard to go back. Unless therover01/05/17
these are important things to consider. thanks all for your legalbeagle01/05/17
My sister in law was a legal secretary but very good. The fi adamb01/05/17
I'm at attorney and left my govt DOJ job so I could stay hom briecheese01/06/17
Honestly as someone involved in hiring, it's not that easy b therover01/06/17
So I did this, and am now back in the workforce. 1) I wa mamaesq01/06/17
Mamaesq- what non-legal job did you take? therover01/06/17
I don't want to rain on anyone's parade, but you also need t fiftyplus01/06/17
^^ Very true. Another reason to think long term. therover01/07/17
Totally agree. I have seen it with clients as well as my own cranky01/07/17
The last three post are spot on. There is no reason to spen prodigy01/07/17
Just make sure your husband is 100% on board. I lived throu shuiz01/07/17
I worked part time as a contract attorney for about five yea frida201/07/17
truly appreciate all the insight. for some reason i thought legalbeagle01/09/17

legalbeagle (Jan 4, 2017 - 6:38 pm)

my leave is ending, and i really really am very close to deciding to stay home with my baby. i have always been focused on my career, but having a baby just completely turned everything upside down and changed my outlook on everything. What are your stories re: maternity leave. What did you guys decide to do and handle all these really difficult decisions?

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cocolawyer (Jan 4, 2017 - 7:33 pm)

Well my wife decided to stay home. She was a paralegal at Littler and made a great income. She always considered herself a worker bee but the idea of leaving the little one at home was too much for her to handle. Now granted she took off from like the 5 month mark onward.

Two points of view here. The first year you will think its great staying home. The second year it will drive you nuts.

If you are married, the second year your Husband will start to hint that it would be nice if the household would be benefited from your income. The reality is that if you went from a two income household to a one income you are already trying to adjust financially. Add a baby and expenses start to rise, without the income required to service everything.

I personally don't see anything wrong but make sure your husband is on board. Also make sure you can ACTUALLY afford it. If those two are checked then go ahead. Law sucks anyways.

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trollfeeder (Jan 4, 2017 - 7:56 pm)

If you could get away with staying home, stay home. Spending time with your kids is invaluable, and you never get it back.

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mtobeinf (Jan 4, 2017 - 8:18 pm)

On a side note to underscore the inequity of practice. Out of my two legal jobs, both times I came in to replace a hard working mother on maternity leave. That really made me despise practice all the more. Had bills to pay though. So did what I had to do. But if you can afford it then great. Get a DE llc, a DE holding company and put it under a trust. Start a daycare with the operating co. Save on all those childcare expenses. Charge a doc review rate an hour (25) or the highest amount the market will bear and take on bout 4-8 kids. Get ur operating income to pay salary overhead etc. the rest convert into passive income and send it up to the hold co. Hold co accordingly invests gets whatever taxes, if any at the passive income rate. Roll that up into the trust. Have the trust pay out and structured per your estate and tax planning needs. Or have a ball and do a nice offshore, onshore structure. Throw in some foundations and some charitable trusts. Go balls to the wall. And you can do all the attorney work so your costs are accountants and fees. Sit back and collect....basically, if you need the income there is another way. Law sucks. Use your knowledge for the benefit of you and your family to the extent legally proper and permissible. Good luck and Godspeed.

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rubbersoul14 (Jan 5, 2017 - 1:24 pm)

"I came in to replace a hard working mother on maternity leave. That really made me despise practice all the more."

Why does this make you despise the practice of law all the more? This happens in all industries. The work still needs to get done, even if someone is on leave. It's nice that the firm was willing to hire a replacement for the mother, rather than making her come back after two weeks.

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rainsofcastamere (Jan 4, 2017 - 8:43 pm)

If you can afford to not go back, then don't go back. But be very, very sure that you can afford it because it will not be easy to break back in.

You didn't say what sort of job you have. Are you at a firm/company that would allow for a part-time and/or work-from-home arrangement? That could be something to explore. Worst they can say is no.

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legalbeagle (Jan 5, 2017 - 1:24 am)

im a 2nd yr associate...and those could be options...

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notiers (Jan 5, 2017 - 12:40 am)

This is going to sound crazy, but... How does your husband feel about your not going back to work?

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legalbeagle (Jan 5, 2017 - 1:23 am)

supportive. he's behind whatever i decide.

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cocolawyer (Jan 5, 2017 - 5:32 pm)

Well if he is on board then all clear

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inho2solo (Jan 5, 2017 - 1:29 am)

Is there a way to temp trial it? My wife felt much like what you've mentioned after our second.

She ended up burning an extra 4 weeks vacation after her 8-week ML ended. Near the end of that time, she decided staying home was not what she really wanted and went back to work, and has been happy with that decision.

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flharfh (Jan 5, 2017 - 3:35 am)

How much income does husband contribute and how secure is his job?

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downwardslope (Jan 5, 2017 - 6:33 am)

Don't do it. You are early on in your career and once you leave, it will be very hard for you to go back. You simply don't have enough experience at this point to be marketable if and when you decide to go back.

My law school roommate decided to give the same thing a try. Her husband had a good job and they could afford for her to stay home for a while. While we were not in touch at the time, my understanding was that she practiced on a short time before she ended up leaving to take care of her child. When she decided to go back a couple of years later, no one was interested.

It's really the same issue in every field. We are facing the same decision in my office with another type of certified profession. There's a woman who seems to be a good candidate with a certification that is now inactive. She'd only been working in her field for about a year until she stopped to stay with her children. Now it's been several years and the hiring manager has concerns because she's not really up to date. I think they are still leaning toward hiring her, but she did work for us before. I think she would have had better luck if she had more years of experience before staying home with her child.

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notiers (Jan 5, 2017 - 6:33 am)

I don't know that it's possible to say that you have "always been career driven" when you've been a lawyer for less than 800 days, but I digress.

The real questions that you need to ask are these:
1) How much does my husband make
2) How much do I make
3) How bad are my loans
4) What are the monthly expenses
5) How secure is my husband's job
6) What is the difference between what my husband makes and the current monthly expenses
7) Am I 'ok' with derailing my career for at least a few years and possibly for good
8) are there other options like part time work for my firm

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legalbeagle (Jan 5, 2017 - 12:22 pm)

i am older than the typical 2 year associate...i was a paralegal for many years before going to law school etc.

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qdllc (Jan 5, 2017 - 6:41 am)

Go part time? In my firm, one attorney does this to manage the needs of her kids. She can also work from home over the network.

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mountainhawk11 (Jan 5, 2017 - 7:35 am)

This. You indicate above that it could be a possibility. A girl in my practice group does this. Works from home (in the office like 5 days a year), around 20 hours a week, nanny in the mornings to let her work, with the kid the rest of the time. It works for her and for our firm.

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legalbeagle (Jan 5, 2017 - 12:22 pm)

i'm leaning towards discussing this option with my firm.

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gazoo (Jan 5, 2017 - 9:51 am)

Read this; http://mobile.nytimes.com/2013/08/11/magazine/the-opt-out-generation-wants-back-in.html

Also, Google 'Regret sahm'

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cranky (Jan 5, 2017 - 1:06 pm)

Great article. Try to keep your foot in the profession since you haven't been practicing that long and the job market is bad to begin with. Even if your husband is ok with it, you could later experience financial difficulties or divorce.

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beat123 (Jan 5, 2017 - 1:17 pm)

I would stay and figure out a way to transition to a job where you can work from home or telecommute. My manager is a former attorney and now works for a software company in a non attorney role. She handles our contract negotiations and business development efforts. She works at home full time. It works for her and us.

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therover (Jan 5, 2017 - 2:05 pm)

As others have said, it can be very hard to go back. Unless you are thinking of a relatively short leave (like a year), you really have to consider that you will not get a legal job on the track you want when you're ready to go back to work. I know many women who this happened to, in law and other fields.

The stress of leaving your first baby is undeniably difficult. But you really do need to consider what the long-term implications are. Being under employed when that same child is 8 or 10 or 12 and being unable to fully fund your retirement, the child's education, or not having the income to do things you'd like at that age is also a real risk to consider.

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legalbeagle (Jan 5, 2017 - 4:41 pm)

these are important things to consider. thanks all for your input. i feel less alone in this.

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adamb (Jan 5, 2017 - 5:55 pm)

My sister in law was a legal secretary but very good. The firm was really flexible with her hours for a few years when her first kid was 6 months old. Now, she teaches, gets home early and lots of vacations.

But lawyers tend to get less of a break, of course.

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briecheese (Jan 6, 2017 - 3:22 am)

I'm at attorney and left my govt DOJ job so I could stay home with my toddler and I'm having the time of my life. I love spending all day with him and I know I will go back to work eventually and so I am cherishing this time. Each mother is different and different things work for different people. Do what is right for YOU - not what is good on paper. My husband and I sold back our new car, my loans are in deferment now, and we got rid of cable. I honestly don't miss those things at all. There's definitely an argument for staying in your career... for sure... but that's not everything in life. And you can always go back to work. I plan on being out of work for 2 years max. People take time off for family all the time...

The women in the "opt out revolution" article were out of work for many many years. Obviously the impact on your career is lessened the less time you are out of work. Also breastfeeding a baby is so much easier in person.

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therover (Jan 6, 2017 - 7:40 am)

Honestly as someone involved in hiring, it's not that easy briecheese. A small gap (1-2 yrs) is not fatal. But what often happens is then they have their second kid and 1-2 yrs turns into 3-4 and daycare costs too much for the more junior positions.

In tight legal markets, 1-2 yrs can be difficult. 3-4 is very difficult.

Op has only two yrs experience so jumping out at this point means when she is looking for jobs again she has relatively few skills to offer.

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mamaesq (Jan 6, 2017 - 7:38 am)

So I did this, and am now back in the workforce.

1) I was out for exactly a year, after toiling in mid law for about 3.5 years
2) I sent out tons of resumes in the meantime and went on interviews because it was my intention always to return
3) finally got a job in a small firm where I was miserable, underpaid, and never saw my kid
4) immediately started applying again and went on interviews again and finally left 9 months later, in a non-legal position
5) so much happier with a flexible schedule, and now 2 kids who I actually see! And get to do things with! And meanwhile stay fulfilled career-wise!

While I don't recommend step 3, it was the necessary push to make me realize I really loathed the practice of law. If you do find yourself wanting to go back, ask yourself for what reasons, and maybe perhaps see what's out there.

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therover (Jan 6, 2017 - 8:10 am)

Mamaesq- what non-legal job did you take?

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fiftyplus (Jan 6, 2017 - 1:47 pm)

I don't want to rain on anyone's parade, but you also need to think about the fact that many marriages aren't permanent. (I wish they were but many aren't.) You decide to stay home now with the full support of your husband, but three years from now you may need to earn as much as you possibly can. Having been a stay-at-home mom will put you behind. I think the idea of continuity in your career by staying with your firm but on a reduced number of hours or some work-at-home days. You don't want to miss the important early years with your baby, but see if there is any way you can lower your work hours and stress but stay in the game.

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therover (Jan 7, 2017 - 10:21 am)

^^ Very true. Another reason to think long term.

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cranky (Jan 7, 2017 - 11:33 am)

Totally agree. I have seen it with clients as well as my own extended family. Wife sacrifices to stay home with the kids and is out of the workforce for many years. Husband becomes a d-bag and/or cheats on wife. By the time they're going to split up, husband is not making much money, they don't have much or any savings, and Wife is stuck getting a crummy job while saddled with the kid (s). Don't let this happen to you.

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prodigy (Jan 7, 2017 - 12:31 pm)

The last three post are spot on. There is no reason to spend your life doting on the kid. They grow up really quickly. Focus on building yourself and career. Find a balance, which is sometimes easier said than done.

Case: Hubby a douche bag police officer on 170,000. Wife a per diem nurse. Wife stayed at home all in the name of the kids. Husband is divorcing wife who rarely worked as he said and I quote " my overtime is more than you would work to keep your nurses license active.

She is now broke, he took the car she drives, she is left holding 4 kids he took one so she has to pay him child support. Moral of the story is the kid aint gonna die if you work. Don't be left crying daily or at every court appearance.

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shuiz (Jan 7, 2017 - 2:23 pm)

Just make sure your husband is 100% on board. I lived through years of broken promises from my ex-wife to go back to work when the kids were "just a little older" and I believe the mutual resentment that resulted played a significant factor in our divorce.

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frida2 (Jan 7, 2017 - 4:09 pm)

I worked part time as a contract attorney for about five years when my kids were little. It was hard because I still had to find child care. I had no benefits, but got insurance for me and the kids through my husband's work. But I think getting a full time job as an attorney would have been impossible if I had not stayed in the game part time. It would be great in many ways to be a stay at home mom, but you have to think about the possibility of the marriage not lasting, or your husband dying or losing his job. It just feels safer to me to be employed. Also, when your kids get older they are going to want you to help them get started in life with higher education or a business, and will be so grateful if you are prepared financially for retirement so you don't become a financial burden to them.

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legalbeagle (Jan 9, 2017 - 6:58 pm)

truly appreciate all the insight. for some reason i thought i was alone in having the change of heart.

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