Lawyer-moms share horror stories of child care gone wrong

To read more about lawyers and their childcare struggles, read my story, Women Lawyers Deploy Tactical Maneuvers to Handle Child Care, originally published on law.com on Jan. 23, 2019.

Elizabeth Perez
associate with MehaffyWeber in San Antonio
“Recently, our little girl, who has a history of asthma, woke up struggling to breathe. My husband and I are both lawyers, and the following day, my husband had a major client meeting in a federal prison which took months for him to get in, and I had a hearing at which my client’s veterinary license was on the line. I had to pass my hearing to one of my colleagues to stay home. It was horrible.”
Karen Gibson
Levy Sibley Foreman & Speir in Macon, Georgia
“One particular time, I had a plane ticket booked for a client meeting and my then 1-year-old had an ear infection. I called our firm branch in Atlanta and they were kind enough to ask a paralegal’s daughter to come and watch him for me. So I flew to Atlanta with the baby and left him in capable hands for my two-hour meeting. It wasn’t ideal, but we made it work.”
(Photo by Two Chics Photography)
Maeve Carpenter
patent attorney at IBM Endicott, New York
“Fortunately, because we use a facility, this does not happen often. When my child is sick and cannot attend day care, we do have to resort to backup though. Typically either my husband or I will work from home, if possible, or take the day or days off. We know how lucky we are that this is an option.”
Elizabeth Steen
lead attorney at Washington Business Advocates in Seattle
“My daughter got sick at her daycare. My husband could not take her. I could not go to a meeting. I had to cancel appointments, lose a client, and the members of a networking group I am in sent me an email questioning my commitment. My daughter was fortunately fine and felt better in a day.”
Katie Watts
associate in Phillips Parker Orberson & Arnett in Louisville, Kentucky
“My 5 year old was off school and my childcare was sick. He ended up coming to the office with me. I had one meeting in the afternoon that was a couple hours long, and he hung out with another mom-lawyer in my firm who had crayons and play-doh in her office. The rest of the day, he played on his Kindle, colored, and watched movies in my office while I worked.”
Paige Lyle
attorney at Collins & Hunter in Nashville, Tennessee
“Recently, I had an out-of-town deposition and my husband was watching our son. The school called and our son had a fever and needed to be picked up asap. My husband had a huge deal closing at his own job and couldn’t miss work. After dozens of frantic calls for back up care and no luck, he wound up picking up our son and going to back to work with him in tow. He made calls and attended meetings while holding our sick kiddo. I was hours away trying to crisis manage from afar and feeling horribly guilty about the whole thing.”
(photo by J.Photography, Jac Smith)

Kelsey Lynn Truxal
law student at the University of Louisville School of Law in Louisville, Kentucky
“First, my oldest was sick and unable to go to school, but since he has a temperature, he also couldn’t go to daycare. I’m in law school, so I had to bring him to class, but I was unable to stay because he was a bit disruptive. I left immediately when I saw he was struggling and I ended up missing class that day. Second, a general complaint is that due to a lack of child care during specific hours, I am unable to take the desired classes I want. I am taking classes that do not interest me as much just because they fit into my child care schedule and will count toward my degree.”

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