Big Law Lawyer that wants a Stay-at-Home Mom Alternative
I worked hard most of my life, went to a good law school and have been working at a Big Law law firm for many years. I am not a partner, merely a senior associate and my firm at this point knows I am not interested in being a partner. Even though I am "part-time" for a law firm (which is like full time for a regular job), the work brings me a lot of stress and unhappiness as I find a great amount of pleasure being around my kids. It is so important to me to be the one picking them up and dropping them off, and just spending time with them after school. I have a one year old and three year old. I don't want to miss out on these moments. Every mom I have spoken to in my large law firm outsources everything - they either have an au pair or full time nanny; but I don't want that. I want to be the one with my kids.
The two reasons I haven't quit at this point is because (1) I live in the Bay Area, and costs are high, and we wouldn't survive on one salary; and (2) a lot of older mothers tell me not to let go of all my hard work to get to my career because in a decade, my kids will have their own lives.
What a dilemma for women! I wish I loved my career so much, and I would be happy to outsource the hard parts of parenting. But, for me, the moment I had kids, my love for my career really disappeared. It is now a means to an end. I am really struggling with how to manage life.
Does anyone have advice? I know everyone has a different perspective on what makes for a good life. For me that is being with my kids, but maintaining a (part-time?) job that pays decently well. I was considering starting my own practice so I can work on my terms, but the beginning years also requires a lot of time investment and that is the time I want to spend with my kids. I was considering changing fields within the law, but again worry that it would require a lot of upfront investment.
Any lawyer moms out there with advice?