Monday, May 16, 2011

Not Yours, Part Deux

So last time, I explained how the cat got out the bag to a good chunk of the legal community. And it turns out I was not wrong--the news spread from clerks to bailiffs to court reporters to judges to attorneys. Sweet.

Then I hear that the same person has been telling people s/he isn't sure I am coming back after I have a kid.

Okay. I was baffled, a little annoyed that "X" told the courthouse that I was pregnant. But whatever. It's good news. It's not like I wasn't (hopefully) going to eventually look like a pregnant woman. It's not like they won't figure it out when I say, "Hold up!" to the other attorneys and the judge in the court room, and then bolt for the nearest bathroom. But most of all, it's good news.

I am ANNOYED about this not coming back thing. It undermines me, whether X meant it to do so or not. It makes them think they should cut me out of the conversation, since I'm not coming back. It hurts the relationships I have carefully built up with the clerks, the court reporters, the bailiffs, the judges, and of course, the other attorneys. I've already had people asking, I've already seen people who are involved with a case on my docket turn to another attorney in my office. Is X spreading this to my bosses? Awesome.

I am going back. Law school loans + husband with law school loans + mortgage + baby + (intangible factor of my sanity X need for rational, non-cooing or screeching interaction) = Grace needs to go back to work. At least part time. Maybe that will change some day, but for me (and I stress, this is only for me--know thyself), that's the way it has to be.

So I tried to talk to X about it. FAIL.

Re: the actually telling of the pregnancy, it was all, "you should have specifically told me not to tell!" "but it's good news!" "but I'm so happy for you!" I would have bought the last two more if the first one had not been said first. While I didn't say Thou Shalt Not Speak Of Baby, I said things to the effect of "so early," "only telling most important people in our lives," "want to keep to ourselves for a bit longer," etc., etc., etc. I shut the door. So, no winning that battle, because anything I said didn't matter.

Re: the telling people I might not be coming back. I said, you should have come to and asked me. I would have told you I am. "But plans change!" Yes, I am painfully aware of that. But I am planning on coming back. "But plans change!" Over and over and over, while I tried to explain this was problem.

It was like beating my head on my desk. Finally, I said, whatever. I knew I'd made my point--and my point is that I don't want X telling more people, and specifically telling more people I am not coming back.

If I hear any more talk of this that is directly attributable to X, I will take the next step. It won't be pretty, but I have worked my increasing behind off to build a good professional reputation, and I will damned if I let anyone undermine it.


LawMommy said...

What the hell? Who IS this person? They ARE undermining you with this "plans change" business. Women go back to work after having children ALL THE TIME. Do some of them decide not to come back? They do. BUT THAT IS YOUR CALL. NOT THIS OTHER PERSON'S.

I am seething for you. Literally seething.

Look, I am a lawyer and a mom, and both things influence a huge portion of my personality/life, etc. If you want to be taken seriously as a lawyer who is also a mother, you have to balance those two identities very, very carefully, and this person is undermining your ability to do that.

Will you want to go back to work? I suspect you will. Considering that you deal with child endangerment (I assume, from what you occasionally discuss of your career) - I will be honest and say it may not continue to be your area of practice. But maybe it will make your conviction to practice in that area stronger. YOU are the only one who knows that.

I needed to go back to work, for my own sanity, for my own sense of self. Don't ever let anyone make you feel badly about that. You are in a position to know all too well what a lousy parent looks like - and when you have seen things like sock burns and malnutrition, the fact that you choose to have a career is not something you should ever feel bad about.

Um...okay, I will end my tirade now. I am just truly furious for you.

Grace said...

Thanks :)

I am still more like, "..wha...?" I'm just baffled as to why they think that all this was okay.

Fortunately, from what I can tell, they have stopped telling the world that I am leaving. For now.