Ed. NoteThis is the last in our series of blog posts about motherhood in the legal profession, in partnership with our friends at Mothers. Welcome Jimmy Sizzle back to our pages. Click Here If you wish to donate to MothersEsquire.
I’m dead positively, I’m not the only lawyer here who has voluntarily listened to many of the 2021 goal setting or visualization workshop. In fact, I very much enjoyed the Visualization and Reflection workshop hosted by fellow MothersEsquire lawmom and Above the Law contributor, Claire Parsons. One of the big takeaways from these workshops was writing. He. She. Down. Show the crap from those targets! Write it into existence.
Or be careful what you wish for.
After all, one of my recent ATL posts closed up with “Up Nose, Mama!”
Therefore, it should come as no surprise when, over the Christmas holidays, my child Venus decided to put its newly expanded olfactory ability to the test. As I sit down, quietly working away on a project or another and enjoying a week long late to work, my ears are attacked by a sexy chorus of “Over my nose! Mama! It’s stuck in my nose! Mama! Mama! Take it out! Mama! It’s stuck! Get it out!” From the kitchen. (Her vocabulary has exploded! The fun watching this process is her own posts).
Oh, for the love of the new baby Jesus, not again.
Half of them expected my offspring to sprout a Christmas record in a way that gave Pinocchio a run for his money, so he wrapped around the corner.
What amazed eye appeared? A three-year-old boy, eyes round in fear.
She managed to help herself with a bag of peas in the fridge. From the early days of solid food, frozen peas have been in regular rotation. Craving for her favorite legumes, she managed to stuff a small frozen pea into her nose. At this point, I am an accomplished professional, calm and calm under pressure. I took the 3-year-old girl screaming, put her on my side, and spoke in a moderate voice that removed the little boy.
These grapefruit spoons turn out to be helpful.
You might be wondering what does this have to do with life as a lawyer. Parenting and attorneyship go hand in hand. It has completely underestimated the impact that being a mother has had on the way I pursue my work as a lawyer.
Parenting has brought me my self confidence. When I was under the pressure of a screaming little boy, I knew exactly what, when, and how to do. My daughter looks at me to be reassured, and expects me to speak about her with confidence. Case in point, heading to me to throw peas out, I’m sure I’ll save them. The confidence you developed as a mom goes straight from home to work; No need to juggle it. Thanks to my daughter, self-confidence is now a muscle memory.
Parenting taught me self-regulation, and I realized how much of my mind and my feelings could influence my decision-making (and influence those around me). The calmer, the easier it will be to help my daughter calm herself. When participating in a high-stakes tax audit with negotiation with an auditor or in a heated discovery dispute, maintaining my peace of mind is critical to ensuring that I represent my clients’ best interests. I now have years of almost daily practice.
Raising children improved my negotiation skills. The little boy’s tenacity is a sight to behold. Even more so when this kid is the daughter of a lawyer. What can I say, I taught her well and the phrase “negotiable” was one of her early words. The truth is that it teaches me. The biggest lesson I learned in negotiating as a parent is to present only alternatives that you can live with from the start, and I take that with me in my work.
Parenting has highlighted my creative side. Hi? Grapefruit spoon. Parenting requires constant creative thinking. In this sense, trying to expel frozen legumes is very similar to trying to piece together the legal landscape in a case. You have a problem. You know there is a solution. Creativity is what gets you there.
Parenting has given me an excuse to indulge in the fun, which is, after all, the most important.
Parenting reinforces life’s lessons. So, in the spirit of learning the lesson and showing the folly of what I’m writing, I’m not going to close this letter with “Up Nose, Mama”, but instead:
Enjoy life, mama.
Jimmy Sizzal is an attorney at Brann & Isaacson, whose practice focuses on assisting companies with all aspects of their state and local tax dispute, from audits and administrative procedures to civil litigation. Jamie actively volunteers with the Alumni Network and Women’s Leadership Council at her alumni, Trinity College, and is actively involved in the Mothers, Division of Women’s Law of the Maine Bar Association, and serves on the board of directors of a nonprofit dental services corporation in Maine. Outside of work, Jamie enjoys raising her thorny, independent daughter so hard; singing; And hiking around Maine with her husband, daughter and dogs.