Is your manicure in dire need of a refresh? Has your dry cleaning been sitting at the cleaner’s so long that you’re praying it has not been sent off to the graveyard of forgotten dry cleaned clothes? Do you just need a few hours to sit on the sand at the beach and just chill and breathe by yourself for a while without anyone needing you or demanding anything from you? Trust me, you probably do. Worse than you even know. And you likely have stacks of unused vacation time accumulating dust. So why not use them?
As lawyers and moms, we work double-duty during the week. We keep clients happy, judges off of our backs, the kids fed and appropriately clothed and the house in reasonably good order. Guess what we get to do when the weekend comes around? The same thing, all over again. But we do it with love and oh so much heart. We go to our kids’ soccer games, ballet recitals and swim meets not out of a sense of obligation, but because we really do want to be there. We want to root them on and be there for them. We would feel bad if we weren’t there. We take them to yet another bouncy house birthday party, buy a cute present for said party and make appropriate small talk with the other moms at the party. But when Sunday night rolls around again and you’re frantically scrambling for field trip permission forms, packing lunches and laying out your own clothes (and maybe your husband’s) for the week.
Rather than waiting for life to make you feel run down and possibly make you physically sick (which is no fun and does no one any good), why not be proactive and schedule some time off to decompress. A morning in which you can actually savor rather than gulp down your first cup of coffee. A meal you can chew unrushed. Benefits of planned decompression time include a renewed perspective when you do return to the office, renewed strength to manage your family and household, as well as more zest, creativity, and energy for both your work and family.
But what about you? As moms and lawyers, we’re always putting the needs of others before our own. Lately, there’s been a lot of talk about the importance of self-care and the need for women particularly and mothers specifically to establish a good self-care routine. It’s been shown to provide both physical and mental benefits. And who wouldn’t enjoy greater physical and mental health? You’ve heard it said that you can’t pour from an empty cup. And who, more than the lawyer mom, spends more time pouring?
Before you stop yourself from taking a day or two of vacation strictly for yourself, remember that while it is ultimately for you, it will also benefit your family, your clients and your work. In this case, putting yourself first really will help others as well.