I have been working in the field of law for over 12 years, and yes, it has had its challenges here and there. But nothing is as challenging as balancing a career, kids and spouse. I do feel as though I have a good work/ life balance, but I am constantly searching for ways to improve both areas of my life. There are some easy habits I have incorporated into my life to ensure that I get time with my family and time at my practice.
The first thing I do is wake up early. I am a morning person through and through; my mind works better in the first part of the day. I wake up on most mornings at 5:45, get dressed and have one cup of coffee before the kids wake up. This way when they are up, I feel ready to tend to their needs until it is time to walk out the door. One thing I would love to incorporate into my morning routine is exercise; I am still working on that. I come up with all sorts of excuses!
At the end of the day, I pick the kids up at 4 pm from their preschool. This time until their bedtime is dedicated to them. I have tried in the past to check emails or answer client calls, but it has not worked. I end up cheating both my clients and my children. Therefore, this time after work is family time. It is the luxury I have with owning my own firm. I can set my daily hours that suit my family and their needs.
To be honest when I am at my office, I feel like I am on vacation. I think most moms can relate to this. I get to work in silence and have my coffee without interruption. Since my kids are young right now (2 and 4), this alone time is BLISS. With that being said, I do love to pop over to see them at their school if they have a special event. It is a great perk of running my own law practice. I simply block off my calendar and ensure I am at their events.
The hardest thing to balance is spouse quality time without the kids and career demands. We are still a work in progress on this. I never realized how hard this would be when you add kids to the mix. All of a sudden, it is not just you and your spouse anymore. There are these little humans that NEED you constantly. We find that we must plan date nights to ensure we have quality time together. And we are constantly evaluating how to share parenting responsibilities. As I said, we are work in progress.
In the end, you hear a lot of people talking about multi-tasking and having it all–kids, spouse and a fulfilling career. I do have it all, but it is hard work and requires a lot of effort. There are weeks that we hit the mark and have awesome family time and others where we are lucky to get out the door in one piece. For me multi-tasking is focusing on my kids or spouse when it is our time and focusing on work during my scheduled work hours. I do not mix the two.
Alia Khan is lead counsel and founding attorney at Khan Law. She practices Bankruptcy Law, representing clients from San Joaquin County, Alameda County and Contra Costa County. Believing that everyone deserves a lawyer advocating for them, each case is handled personally by Alia herself. Clients are never passed off to a paralegal or assistant. She receives a great deal of satisfaction from making sure her clients feel emotional and physical relief from the harassing creditors and mounting bills. For help with your financial situation, click here for a free consultation with Alia.