Thursday, July 3, 2008

Waning Enthusiasm

I am a very upbeat and enthusiastic person. No, really. I get up early on the weekend and generally prefer to be at work early during the week and can usually go until midnight most days. One of the things I was most looking forward to during this pregnancy was "getting excited" for the babies. Our lives will never be the same (in a good way) and I was looking forward to organizing, planning, etc.

Instead I've been working my tail off at my job. I know, I know - I picked this profession and life at a Big Firm. I think I just expected more sympathy/cooperation. Last night around 11 pm I sent an email to my team telling them what was open (document-wise) and that I couldn't "physically" work any more that night. This was after Husband got on my case about how I can't keep doing this. And I agree but I can't let my team down either.

I was checking and I've been on this deal for only 7 weeks but it has felt like a lifetime. Originally it was a 3 week bid but then we (non-deal lawyers bear with me) went into unprecedented waters to actually enter into definitive financing documentation. I think the lack of support from the parnter (a very rare occurence at my Big Firm) is a big part of it. I'm actually meeting with a consultant about team dynamics in our department (of course they feel like hiring someone from Harvard is supposed to help when really they just need more midlevel/senior associates) - can't wait to give him a piece of my mind!

There is a light at the end of the tunnel - and I'm looking forward to saying no to any new projects thereafter, even if it requires a doctor's note. I can get organized at my office and home and get excited for our babies. And of course blog about a lot more interesting things than my job.


Liz Jimenez said...

Get thee a doctor's note, woman!

I admit, I will never understand the Big Firm life. One of my best friends is a Manhattan Lawyer, and even though she does the relatively lower-pressure Trusts & Estates, I still can't believe it when she says her firm is so good for working moms, because a lot of them work part-time. Part-time apparently means 35 hours a week. Yeah... not in my world!

But hey, as jealous as she was of my half-day summer Fridays and the fact that I was usually out the door no later than 5 on the dot, she was... ahem... not exactly jealous of my salary. Trade-offs in all things, right?

Seriously, though, Husband is right. Be careful. I know you already know you're in a tricky stage as far as pre-term labor risks right now, so keep an eye and an ear on your body at all times and LISTEN to whatever it's trying to tell you.

*off my soapbox now, sorry!*

Anonymous said...

I totally hear you (and Goddess, since I know her & her Manhattan lawyer friend in the real world :)
Draw the line as soon as you can. You've earned it by pushing yourself the last few years. I know it's really hard not to think of a case/deal as teamwork and feel like you need to do your part, but at the same time it is *just* a job and if you're not handling something than someone else will step up and do so. You can't kill yourself trying to be the super-associate when, for medical reasons or otherwise, it's just not good for you.
Now I'll step off the soap box that Goddess so graciously vacated. I also agree on the consultant issue -- don't bring in expensive consultants to write a report when the probably is that there just aren't enough people to cover everything, and, as a result, everyone left is getting screwed.
On another note, I just wanted to say as a biglaw, future mom, I really enjoy reading your blog. Thanks for writing!

Husband said...

Just say a few words in self-defense, I wasn't trying to "get on [Wife Esq.'s] case." I was trying to make the same point as Goddess, albeit less eloquently.

Wife, you're at most 8 weeks away from giving birth...and that fact is pretty obvious to even the most casual observer now. People will understand if you have to tap out at 7:00 to get some sleep. Better that (from their perspective) than weeks of totally unproductive bedrest.

Anonymous said...

Amen Sistah! It's my last day before my c-section on Monday and I'm turning agreements as we speak, and I need to finish a closing binder before I go home today. WTF!?

Bessa said...

As a litigator at a trial boutique, I've always thought deal lawyers were... not as... well... weren't "real lawyers." ;) But you have totally changed my mind! I seldom have to stay up until 11 or midnight, even during trial. And at least you know when trial's going to happen - and it only lasts three weeks (the longest I've ever done). I think it may actually be much harder to do the juggle as a transactional attorney versus a trial lawyer.