Solo and Small Firm

The Practitioner Winter 2014, Volume 20, Issue 1

Working Moms and "Having it All"

By Jibit Cinar

Jibit Cinar’s career as an attorney began in 2003 when she began representing professional engineers and architects in complex construction defect cases. She continued her career in the firm setting, expanding her knowledge to general areas of civil litigation. Mrs. Cinar started Cepkinian-Cinar Law Group in 2010 and practices general civil and employment litigation. She works and lives in Orange County, with her husband Pierre and daughters, Lara and Liana.

The question of whether or not a working mom can indeed "have it all" has always been a hot topic. In fact, the recent flurry of books, articles, and discussions on the matter has forced me to look at my own situation as a professional and mother more closely. Can I really have it all? What does that even mean? Should I follow Sheryl Sandberg’s theory that a woman should not be afraid to "Lean In" to her career and simply accept the fact that she’s not going to receive any mother-of-the-century awards any time soon? Or should I simply throw my hands up in the air and accept Anne-Marie Slaughter’s argument that it’s just not possible for a professional, working mother to successfully "juggle it all"?

By all means, I don’t want anybody to think that I’m an expert in this matter. However, I recently attended a panel discussion about this very topic during a local bar association event. The panel consisted of four women, including a well-recognized "rainmaker" who founded her own large-scale law firm (who, by the way, is mother to four children), a CEO of a publicly held corporation, and a contract attorney who works from home (sometimes while her 2-year old is screaming in the background). After listening to episodes of their daily lives, I realized that no matter where we are professionally, working mothers all share common, everyday hardships. And we can all learn from each other’s tips and wisdom.

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