Skimming over the class yearbook distributed at my 20-year college reunion recently, I noticed that at least 80 percent of my classmates (myself included) who’d submitted a bio identified having children as the most significant milestone of our lives, with the remainder split between loss of loved ones or getting married. Not a single person mentioned career or even a job-related accomplishment.

The results from my class yearbook, while not scientific, reflect the feelings of nearly all of us who are mothers and lawyers: We value our children more than anything, including our jobs. But if that’s the case, why do so many of us give our children short shrift, sacrificing bedtimes and first words and all the silly little rituals that grow out of the day-to-day routine of raising children for time at the office? Some would say it’s because we don’t value our children as much as the job, but as my class yearbook bears out, that’s not the case. Instead, we value our children so much that we place our relationship with them on a pedestal, treating the relationship as something so sacred and cherished that we can’t bring ourselves to strategize, negotiate or advocate for it with the same intellectual detachment and vigor that we reserve for our clients.

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