I read this week that Collette Dinnigan- a talented and successful Australian woman has ‘thrown in the towel’ as such on her current very busy career. She says she has been doing two things adequately (in her mind) and wants to do one thing well- be a great Mum.
This has really got me thinking. I look at her career and success and think it to be so glamorous- an international fashion empire- surely that brings with it so much pleasure. And yet the irony- those who we aspire to be suffer the very same worries as me and as most working mothers I know.
As a mother I question on a daily basis whether I am doing the right thing- working for long hours and leaving my daughter. Will I regret that when she is older? In part I know I regret it already.
So why do we (working parents) do this? Mostly I think because we have to. Mortgages, loans and for me, dependent staff mean that I need to keep on pressing on.
Today however was one of those days where I wish I was Collette and had the courage to say enough is enough. Today I think I could still change the way families experience separation and divorce, and change how our family lawyers practice family law from the comfort of my lounge room within ear shot of my child.
Of course this feeling of frustration that will pass.
Today, a tricky day. Running a family law practice is anything but easy at the best of times. Today = tricky. Like all business owners I speak to, I seem to spend too much of my time putting out fires. The joy of being a family lawyer means that the very nature of my business is to ‘put out fires’ and hopefully solve problems.
I am constantly fascinated by the time I spend enmeshed in others problems. I am mostly talented at separating issues of others from me but it is not always possible. It is a tiring job that can really suck up your positive energy.
I am no expert in running a business- I have read, studied and spent much time thinking about it- but I certainly don’t have all the answers.
Of course there are many answers, many solutions and many problems. There is no doubt that once I start to solve an issue I tend to wish I had approached it differently- the ultimate benefit of hindsight! The tenuous balance between boss, friend, colleague and co-worker is never harder than when you run a small business.
So why is this important- well today, The Happy Family Lawyer is struggling to find the ‘Happy’ in happy. And so, I ask myself why?
It is easy on days like today to consider ‘throwing in the towel’. But what a courageous decision that would be. I am not ready to follow in Collette’s footsteps just yet- perhaps when I have achieved an international fashion empire I may be!
Tomorrow however I will turn on up, keep on moving and see what positive change I can make in how my lawyers practice family law!
And on that book- I know that I want to write for those parents who value their relationships with their children more than anything else- just like me.