This pitch got my attention:
How many people can say they run a law firm covering cases such as Lois Ann Goodman or Survivor producer Bruce Beresford-Redman on top of designing the “Wild About Trial” app, being the legal correspondent on “The Insider’” and the co-founder of the Pasadena Recovery Center aka the location of VH1’s “Rehab with Dr. Drew”? Oh wait – and also mom of three young boys.
So how does Criminal defense attorney Alison Triessl do it?
I was intrigued and wanted to find out. So, I asked Alison to be my guest blogger and impart her wisdom on all of us. I think you'll like what she has to say.
Just so you know, Alison is President of the Los Angeles County Criminal Courts Bar Association,
and practices criminal defense law specializing in third strike, drug and assault cases. She also is the owner of three companies. Here are her life observations:
1. Work is work. It's important, fulfilling, and pays the bills. But at the end of the day,
work is work. There is nothing more important than your family and you can never lose sight of that. If my child is Student of the Month, I am there for the morning assembly, even if it means staying at
my office late to recover the lost hours of work. Also, when I am at work, I am totally committed to my job and my clients however, my cell phone is always on just in case there is a kid emergency. However, I am NEVER on the phone when I walk into my house. There have been hundreds of times when I have cut a phone conversation off mid-sentence by saying, "I'm walking in my house to see my kids and I have a policy of never talking on the phone when I walk in." Nobody has ever been offended.
2. Talk to your kids (without interruptions). When I get home, we turn off all electronic devices and put down the _____ ball (insert soccer, baseball, basketball, handball depending on the season or the day) and I then spend the next 15 minutes hugging, kissing and asking my kids about their day. I ask each one individually and wait for him to respond---my oldest son is super outgoing and therefore, he has a tendency to answer every question for everyone in the family so I make sure that each child gets a chance to tell me about their day. In those uninterrupted few minutes, you can learn a lot about the day's adventures including what they learned, who fell from the sunny list, what girl likes them, why they did not eat what we packed for them etc. Those minutes are so important because they allow me to stay connected to my kids. And since my work schedule does not allow me to be room parent or pick them up from school, I need that time to experience the day through their eyes.
3. Being a working mom takes planning. I have calendars everywhere---a calendar in my
office, a calendar in our kitchen and a calendar in my purse at all times. I write down every appointment, every event, and every work commitment in triplicate. I even color code the one at home, each child (I have three boys) gets their own color. I check my calendars daily and once a week, my paralegal and I have a sit down and have a "coordinate our calendars meeting."
4. Buy birthday presents in bulk. Some for girls ages 8, 6, and 2 and some for boys ages 8, 6, 2 so
we are not scrambling the morning of the party to get a present.
5. Give kids their space. My boys love to play handball and if I let them,they would play it in every room in the house. And while any mom will tell you that boys break things often, I have minimized their ability to do real damage. I removed all meaningful furniture out of our front room and
declared it to be our official handball court. They have access to the entire room. They can bounce the balls off of the walls, the ceiling, even their heads if they want to, I don't care but, it is the only
room in our house where they are allowed to play handball. If they don't comply, we move the furniture back into the room and their awesome indoor handball court is gone. Our handball court has been in place for two years now and no one has broken that rule yet!
6. Stay positive. I know that is the easy advice to give. I see real sadness in my job. I represent people who kill people, people whose lives have been torn apart because of drugs or alcohol or
sexual abuse. These are the real life horrors---the ones that we all want to shelter our kids from---and I have to deal with these tragedies on a daily basis. Yet, it doesn't depress me or sour me. It makes me extremely thankful for the life I have, for the children I am blessed with raising and the husband that makes my life complete.
7. Life is short. The time your kids are in car seats is even shorter. Enjoy it, enjoy them and remember work is work!