Contributor’s Note: This post was originally published on Above the Law in partnership with MothersEsquire.
Do a Google image search for the word “mindfulness” and pictures will appear of beautifully kempt women, swathed in pastels or sepia tones, sitting serenely near a lake, in a field, or on some mountaintop. Then do a Google image search for “lawyer mom” and up pops the ubiquitous lady in a suit, often in a messy kitchen, juggling a baby and a briefcase or laptop. Based on this, it would seem that mindfulness just isn’t for the lawyer-mom. We aren’t those ladies in soft colors who have the time to sit around in nature. We’re the ones in dark suits with too many demands, too little help, and — implicitly the images accuse — too much ambition.
But I’m a lawyer-mom and have an active meditation practice. In fact, I went so far down that path that I’m now a certified meditation teacher. I didn’t start a meditation practice in spite of my dual roles as mom and attorney. I started one because of them. I’ve written here before about my difficult pregnancy with my first daughter and how my firm helped my practice survive by supporting me through that pregnancy. The rest of that story is how a mindfulness practice helped me heal from that experience and undo the mental frameworks that caused it, so I could grow and thrive.
I had read about mindfulness practices before I became pregnant with my daughter, but I never was able to establish a regular practice until it became so clear that I needed it. The year after my daughter was born, I had a two-week wrongful-death trial coming up. My husband and I still had not gotten our daughter to sleep through the night. I had so many things to do that I struggled to decide what to do next. I was so tired that I was seriously considering going part-time or even changing careers because I felt like I was bad at everything. I can’t even remember why, but one day I just decided to try meditating.