September 22, 2023
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 sequence, we’re glad to introduce CorporetteMoms reader Siobhan, who lives in Dallas along with her husband, 4 daughters, and canine, and works as a in-house counsel for a software program growth firm.

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

In case you’d wish to be featured (anonymously or in any other case), please fill out this form! You’ll be able to see all posts on this sequence 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 growth firm (additionally my weblog The Law Mother; @TheLawMother on social media)
Age: 47
Residence 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 college. My 17-year-old and 14-year-old attend a Catholic highschool half-hour away, and journey the college bus to the elementary college. I choose up all 4 ladies at 4:45 p.m. The highschool buses children to and from Catholic elementary colleges throughout city to make college drop-offs and pickups simpler for households with multiple-age children.

How a lot do you pay for childcare?
4 children in personal college plus a further $300 a month for after-school care

We requested Siobhan about her resolution to ship her children to non-public/non secular college, and he or she shared this:

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

Our ladies attend a Okay–8 elementary/center college and a 9–12 highschool. Each colleges have excellent teachers, supportive academics and employees, the precise stability between conventional studying and know-how, and neighborhood.

Concerning teachers specifically, our ladies’ Okay–8 Catholic college prioritizes phonics-based studying instruction and cursive handwriting, like they’ve executed for 60 years. Two of my daughters are severely dyslexic and benefited vastly from this sort of instruction (together with remedy from a licensed educational therapist, additionally offered freed from cost by their college).

Whereas extra a lot reasonably priced than a number of the different personal colleges in our space, Catholic college 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 predict it’s price it.

We additionally requested Siobhan whether or not she will get plenty 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 Girls or the Ingalls sisters of the Little Home sequence.

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

Solutions for the document. My husband hit the jackpot with 4 daughters. I don’t focus on 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 school, med college, regulation college, and so forth. 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 obligations that you just see your colleagues and coworkers doing?
As in-house counsel, I’ve a significantly better work-life stability than legal professionals usually do. I’m anticipated to be conscious of calls and emails throughout regular working hours (9 to five, Monday to Friday), however I can schedule calls and Zoom conferences round college drop-offs and pickups.

I hardly ever get calls after hours or on the weekends. My job is totally distant, and I do business from home. My husband, however, 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 apply.

How do you deal with family chores, akin to laundry, grocery procuring, housecleaning, and so forth.? Who does what, and when — and the way typically?
I’ve a housekeeper who comes twice per week to wash and do laundry. My husband does the grocery procuring on the weekend, and we divide cooking duties (he’s a greater prepare 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 the entire “child administration” duties (e.g., garments procuring, college paperwork, homework, and so forth.).

Siobhan added, “I returned to work full time this 12 months after seven years of being a stay-at-home mother with a really small personal apply. 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 dwelling after I had my fourth daughter.

“I used to be nervous leaping beginning my profession after a seven-year break, but it surely has gone rather well. I work for an awesome firm and genuinely like my coworkers, although I’ve but to fulfill any of them in particular person as we’re all working remotely. I additionally get pleasure from being in-house versus a regulation agency. Issues I did proper whereas ‘leaning out’ from my profession? I saved my license lively, did the odd undertaking right here and there, and saved up with my skilled contacts (or a minimum of those I used to be associates 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 lady on her faculty functions. I do the grocery procuring, take the opposite ladies to a celebration, and write a weblog put up.
6:30–7:30 p.m. Cook 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 (focus on schedules, upcoming homework deadlines).
8:30–9:30 p.m. Oversee ladies’ night routine.
In mattress round 10:00 p.m. and skim for half-hour.


6:30–8:15 a.m. I get the ladies up and prepared for college. 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 journey to highschool. I depart at 7:30 a.m. to drop the 2 youthful ladies at college 20 minutes away.
8:15–8:30 a.m. Arrive dwelling 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. Choose up all 4 ladies on the youthful two ladies’ elementary college. The older two ladies’ highschool buses them to the elementary college.
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 dwelling and we prepare 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 Experience.
In mattress round 10:00 p.m. and skim for half-hour.

We requested Siobhan how she received right into a every day studying behavior — and whether or not she had some books to advocate!

For so long as I can keep 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 college 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. Irrespective of how busy you’re, there are at all times going to be spare minutes when you possibly can squeeze studying in. A anticipate a physician appointment that finally ends up being additional lengthy. Carpool line at college. Child’s sports activities apply operating late. I’m a heavy consumer 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 massive 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 dwelling 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. Faculty 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 college. I’m on the board. It’s the Catholic parochial college equal of a college board.
9:00–10:00 p.m. Oversee ladies’ night routine. Husband has arrives dwelling and works out.
In mattress round 11:00 p.m. and skim 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. Faculty pickup.
5:30–7:00 p.m. Dance class for youngest lady. I deliver my laptop computer and work.
7:30–10:00 p.m. Husband dwelling. Dinner. Oversee ladies’ night routine, together with ensuring homework was executed. On-line procuring with the 2 oldest ladies for Homecoming clothes.
In mattress round 10:30 p.m. and skim for half-hour.


6:30–8:15 a.m. Identical as Monday schedule.
8:15 a.m.–12:00 p.m. Arrive dwelling 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. Faculty pickup. Oldest daughter stayed after college for an exercise, so husband will choose her up from highschool on his approach dwelling.
5:00–6:30 p.m. End up work duties whereas oversee homework. Husband arrives dwelling 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 skim 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. Cook 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 skim for half-hour.


8:00 a.m.–11:00 a.m. Morning at dwelling 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 children to totally 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 skim for half-hour.

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

Inventory photograph by way of Stencil.