The company I work for is a relatively large, global company, and in my opinion, it has a surprisingly small law department: it consists of one other lawyer and a paralegal. As a result, my job can be really demanding – it’s not unusual for me to work more than 40 hours per week, and spending the odd weekend or an evening or two to drafting contracts or negotiating deals. Thing is, I actually feel pretty lucky: at most other companies similar to mine, working these hours would require sacrificing a lot of family time to make the job work. However, when I signed on, part of my deal included working from home several days a week – and on days when I do go into the office, I’m usually free to leave at 2:30 to pick up my daughter from her school. Sure, it means that I finish the day’s work many evenings after she goes to bed; however, not having to punch a clock means that for most of her waking hours, I’m available to her.
Again, I don’t kid myself: I realize that I’m incredibly lucky that I’ve managed to work a lot of flexibility into my gig. That said, I’m also pretty realistic in the knowledge that this “flexibility” may cost me as far as future career opportunities with this company, unless I’m willing to give it up – but to be honest? I’m okay with that – I became a parent later in life, and feel pretty pleased with what I accomplished in my working career prior to my daughter’s birth. Right now, it’s all about figuring out what I can accomplish as a mom.
I’m curious: how do you work flexibility in your lives so you can be the best working mom you can be? If you haven’t yet, how would you like to make that happen?