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Sunday, May 22, 2011

Guest Post: Marshmallow Mama

Today's guest post comes from a fellow lawyer, Joyce Lara-Tioleco.  Atty. Joyce is a full time mom to Joaquin and wife to Paulo, a medical oncologist.  She is also a budding chef wannabe.  Joyce shares why she transitioned from being a hardball lawyer to a marshmallow mama and how she did it.   

While my law school batchmates are climbing up the firm ladder from Junior to Senior Associates, or moving from law firms to corporations as in-house counsels or setting up their own legal practice, I transitioned from being a hardball lawyer to marshmallow mama. My shift from the practice of law to mamahood was, contrary to my expectations, quite stress-free.

First off, I had an uneventful pregnancy – sans morning sickness and unusual cravings (for which I am sure my husband was very grateful). My pregnancy likewise stayed true to the pregnancy basics as discussed in the popularweek-by-week pregnancy calendar, “What to Expect When You’re Expecting.”

In addition, our little boy made an undemanding grand entrance, hence, an anesthesia-free delivery. The contractions, which I anticipated with fear, turned out to be bearable and our baby was out after merely six monumental pushes.  

Breastfeeding our boy was also established with ease. He latched properly in no time and my milk came in on the fourth day. Of course, it came with the typical breastfeeding issues of sore and/or cracked nipples, nursing Q2, clogged milk ducts and engorged breasts, all of which were resolved with the commitment to nurse our baby. To date, thanks to my number one breastfeeding ally, my husband, our pediatrician friends and mom blogs** I follow, we are nearing the six-month recommended period for exclusively breastfeeding infants.      

Also, I credit my legal training for my almost effortless “makeover” from lawyer to mama. Lawyering and mamahood, I’d say, require similar skills:

1.      Dealing with overzealous clients, like breastfeeding, requires patience;
2.      Drafting and/or reviewing contracts, similar to bathing and grooming baby, demands attention to details; every crease and fold of baby should be soaped and washed;
3.      Handling cases as in changing nappies (particularly, of a baby who is starting to be mobile) demands strategy (i.e., how to change nappies in a jiffy, which toys to use to keep baby entertained); and
4.      As in all other things, one becomes a better lawyer or mother by experience.

Besides the foregoing, my not doing a double take on leaving law practice to attend to our son’s needs was, for me, a given. I would want my son to grow up with fond of memories of his mama cooking for him sumptuous meals, teaching him how to read (with good diction, of course) and construct (grammatically correct) sentences as I do. My brothers and I grew up under the care and guidance of our mother, who put on hold her career as a licensed pharmacist to personally care for us. In fact, until now that we have families of our own, my mommy continues to do what she does best, mothering.

Finally and most important, the champion behind my no sweat “semi-retirement” (albeit too early) from the practice of law is my other half, my husband. Knowing that a one-income family is unviable at this time, my husband backed my decision to stay at home with our son. Staying true to his promise, he more than ably provides for our household, affording us weekly dates and occasional shopping splurges.  

With due respect to my compañeras, yes, I would, in a heartbeat, happily trade daily hearings and power dressing for squeals of delight from playing peek-a-boo and singing along nursery rhymes and Disney songs -the simple joys of a stay-at-home mama.


Khaye Brotonel said...

Hi! I am also a lawyer and a first-time mom. And this guest-post really inspired me. Does she have a blog,too?

Ms. Jenny, your blog is very helpful. I scoured your entries for every breastfeeding challenge that I encounter. =) 

Jenny said...

Hi Khaye! no, I don't think Joyce has a blog.  But another lawyer has one -  and I'm also a lawyer :D  thanks for visiting!!

Khaye Brotonel said...

I'm a fan of your blog. And I'm thinking of joining the Milk Mama Diaries, schedule permitting :) I visited and realized we have confusingly similar blog names. I didn't know there's a legallymom blog in the Phil.. I seriously hope she doesn't mind :) 

I'm looking forward to reading more blog entries from you. Such an inspiration :)

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