September 28, 2011 Articles

Finding My Way on a Reduced-Hours Schedule

The result of a reduced-hours schedule can be a more manageable practice and a more peaceful coexistence between your professional and personal lives.

By Sara E. Dionne

During my first pregnancy, I could not imagine slowing down at my job after becoming a mom. As a fourth-year associate, I had spent my first few years at my firm working hard. I found my work exciting and engaging. I could not imagine why I would want to change this.

Fast forward approximately one year later. After the birth of my first son and my maternity leave, I found the adjustment back to work more challenging than expected. Some challenges I anticipated (e.g., the need for flexible childcare) and was able to manage with a strong support network and some careful planning. Other challenges, however, caught me completely off guard. Key among these was the tug-of-war I felt between my professional life and my new title as mom. I felt spread thin between these two worlds, many days unsatisfied with my job performance in either role. I managed to get what I needed done, but had neither the time nor the energy to enjoy work as I had in the past, nor to be as engaged as I wanted to be at home.

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