Season 1, Episode 005
As a Cuban American lawyer living and practicing law in South Florida, and a mother of 3 kids under the age of 7, Melissa’s passion is to help moms – who also happen to be lawyers – be productive as a lawyer and happy as a mom. After earning a Bachelor of Arts in Mass Media Communications and her Juris Doctorate degree, Melissa worked for a few firms before partnering with her husband to start their own practice, where she focuses on personal injury and business law.She founded The Objectionable Mom where she shares stories about being a mom, a lawyer, and everything in between. With a strong belief that lawyer moms should never have to choose their work over their families – she’s built an authentic platform filled with laughter and support.
DISCLAIMER: The following is the output of transcribing from an audio recording. Although the transcription is largely accurate, in some cases, it is incomplete or inaccurate due to inaudible passages or transcription errors.
Suzi: Welcome, everyone to legally bliss conversations. I would love to welcome Miss Melissa Cavaleiro Alton. Melissa is a lawyer mom of three and the founder of the objection mom, a Cuban American and South Florida native she launched her own law firm when her firstborn was only two months old. She now runs her own law practice together with her husband, who is also a lawyer might need to dig into that in a minute. Although she has always valued and prioritize self care 2020s COVID-19 pandemic force a new perspective on her and her family as it did so many others. It was during the long days and those sleepless nights have been quarantined at home with three small children on managing virtual school, a law practice meals, laundry and everything in between them, Melissa realized how limited resources are for working moms. Despite the already emotionally and mentally exhausting side effects of practicing law. There’s little to no recognition or outside support for lawyer moms who are struggling to finding to find a happy and realistic work life balance. Melissa has started the objectionable moms make sure you check out her Instagram. It’s so fun as a way to connect with other lawyer moms working moms and moms who feel overwhelmed at home, unhappy in their career choices, and dissatisfied with the unrealistic expectations placed on moms both at work and at home. Through her honest storytelling is supportive approach. The objection of mom encourages working moms to vent and share what they’re experiencing so that our conversations can continue to enlighten and embolden other working moms to do the same. And through those shared experiences, be brave enough to fight for more. I am so happy and excited to hang out with you.
Melissa: Thank you. Likewise, likewise, thank you so much for having me. I’m excited to chat with you today.
Suzi: Yeah, so why did you go to law school?
Melissa: It’s like the million dollar question. I feel like Right, like, I mean, in retrospect. So, you know, and I don’t want to, I don’t want to be so harsh on the legal profession right away. But, um, you know, I always wanted to be, I wanted to be a broadcast journalist. That was my thing. I was a communications major in college, I did a little bit of radio, I, you know, intern with a newspaper locally. And then that dream died when I got to know real life journalists and realize they had no consistency there. Their life was really hectic at that time. And when we’re talking about like, the early, you know, 2000s and whatnot, I mean, not early 2000s. But around that time, 2007 and whatnot. So social media wasn’t the way it is now, because I know, that’s impacted journalism a lot. But Case in point, I ended up I was in Tallahassee and went to Florida State University. And the benefit of being there is that all the politicians are there during session making laws and what not, and I had the opportunity to work for a lobbying firm with the, you know, basically to watch the politicians do what they do in the capital of our state. And I was in awe and amazed at it. And then what I noticed that a lot of the politicians had in common was that they were all lawyers first. And so right because, you know, that follows the traditional path of you know, then becoming a politician and then you know, President right, so, um, so I thought, okay, maybe law school was a good fit for me because I was public speaking and I loved writing and reading so I thought, I think this is going to be good and you know, opened a lot of doors for me, right? And so that is why I went to law school one. So after I graduated, I, you know, I was already working at a law firm there in Tallahassee just to sort of get my feet wet and see what it was all about. And I liked it and and so I went to law school, and then I got a job litigating and then I fell into litigation. So have and that way as well, because, you know, it’s one of those things where you’re brand new lawyer and you’re like, Okay, you want to hire me to do something? Sure I’ll, I’ll do whatever you want. And so it was like no, right, exactly. And again, I just wanted work, right? Like everyone in every profession. And so it just so happened to be litigation and again, also a good fit for me because I have no problem public speaking and, and things like that in quorum, people were like, how can you argue all the time I’m like, I don’t see it like that. I just see it as presenting one side of the coin and the other side, present service side, I’ve never liked the nastiness of anything like that. But funny enough, you know, fast forward 10 years, which is where I’m at now, this is my 10th year practicing. And I’m completely winding on all the litigation, because I feel so burnt out like this is, I don’t know, how people do it. I don’t know how people do it for that long. And there’s been a lot of other changes in my career, as well. Like, I went on my own, as you mentioned in the intro, once, you know, I became a mom, I was like, You know what? My former boss had already told me I was never going to be partner. So you know, in in the sweet way that lawyers and lawyer bosses like to speak sometimes to, to their associates. Um, he was like, greatest. Oh, yeah. Yeah, exactly. I’m sure every lawyer has a story that they worked with. Yeah, exactly. And so I was like, okay, so what am I doing? You know, so I went on my own, and I’ve been on my own ever since. And that that has helped. I will say, like, if there’s any lawyers out there that are considering leaving the law entirely, especially women after starting a family. I mean, you know, what I’m getting ahead of myself here. But I think there’s a lot of studies that have been done, especially within the last few years of why women are leaving the law. And a lot of it has to do with the fact that they’re just not accelerating in these big law firms, medium law firms, what have you in the way the men are? And so you start to think, why is that? Is it because we are moms? Is it because we do take on the caretaker duties, because we want to pick up the kids because we want to get our kids, you know, shows because we want to be more involved with their schools and the community. And so but the reality is these studies, I mean, it’s like hard data, I’m not making it up. But these studies are showing that it is affecting our growth in our professional careers. You know, it’s, it’s, it’s a lot of different factors. I think a lot of it has to do with law firms and sort of the nastiness that comes with law firms sometimes, and the way law firms are structured with, you know, billable hour requirements and things like that. So it’s interesting, it’s interesting. I mean, I’m fascinated by all that, and appalled at the same time, right? Because I’m like, what, we should have the same opportunities, you know, like, just because I couldn’t make it to your boys lunch for two hours or the happy hour every single night, you know, it doesn’t mean I shouldn’t be left out of these opportunities to work on the bigger cases and to make partner and things like that. So you know,
Suzi: yeah, I wish I had the answer for all of this. And I am talking with a lot of women who are very similarly situated to you, right, where they had to make those decisions where they’ve had to make those decisions in their career, right? Do I go to ballet practice tonight, or the recital? Or do I go to this networking event? Right, and moms, they do what they have to do, right? And they they go to, they do what they want to do at the end of the day. They go to ballet recital. And you know, we’re often the ones who are cooking dinner at home at night. Right. And we have the children clean and ready. Have the dinner ready for the husbands when they come home? Yeah, right. Yeah. Sometimes I’m like, have we really stepped out of 1950s? I don’t know. And I think that we have worked so hard. And feminists have worked so hard to
Melissa: you know, help pave the way for us. Yes. Absolutely. Great. For us to then get there get to that, you know, open door and be like, actually, nevermind, had to kind of make dinner.
Suzi: A big dinner.
Melissa: And listen, I always I call myself a feminist all day every day. I read Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg I highly recommend it for every like professional mom. It is a working mom dilemma. It is a lawyer mom’s dilemma for sure. And I obviously because I’m a lawyer and I’m a mom, I focus on lawyer moms more than other you know professions and that’s why I started the objectionable mom during the pandemic because I was like there is a serious problem here and I just started seeing it so much in this pattern of every single woman lawyer mom that I would meet whether online through objectionable mom or even before that and you know my wife Work Life, personal life, everyone was going through the same issues that their male counterparts are not experiencing, you know? And it’s like, why do we have to give up on our dreams of owning our big law firm, and also being able to be with the kids, and, you know, or excelling in that big law, structure environment, right, and become partner there. And then also be able to have my weekends with my kids, you know, because I don’t have to Bill 3000 hours a month, or whatever they have to do, you know, it’s insane. I mean, it’s, there’s so much demanded of them. And then, with a pandemic, there was forget, like, you know, giving grace to families or parents working parents, you know, it was like, know exactly what you need to bill at the office, you have the bill at home. It’s I mean, so to me, it is a very much sort of systematic problem in law offices, and the law office culture. And that’s what I think needs to change, you know, because I don’t know if I would have gone to law school if I had known how it is in real life. And I think a lot of people hate that. I think a lot of lawyer women can agree with that. I mean, you know, so it’s, um, it’s interesting, but we can’t stop having these conversations, right. And talking about it and, and making sure that we are recognizing it, you know, because so many times we’re part of the, the problem, right? By just being like, Oh, well, it’s the way it is, it’s always been that way, and it’s never gonna change. And it’s like, what? So that’s it, you know, so we’re just gonna keep letting all these super talented, bright, hard working women leave these law firms, you know, and then the representation goes down for women. You know, all you see at the top, it’s the same thing. It’s like the white male partners, white male partners, white male partners, that’s all it is. Maybe one woman?
Suzi: Yeah, like 75%. You know, our our Mel is like, when when I graduated from law school, it was the first year that it was 51% Women in 49% of men, and this was in 2003. So that’s pretty awesome, right? But it’s nothing has changed, like, nothing has changed. I haven’t seen a lot of changes at the law firm level when it comes to.
Melissa: Exactly so these studies at the American Bar Association have done I think they did one and 2019. I don’t think they’ve done since the pandemic. So I’m sure with a pandemic, it’s even worse. But in 2019, they did a study and that’s the thing, I think more women are actually going to law school and graduated from law school than men. But then when you compare that, you know, let’s say 15 years out and see the disparity in the partners at law firms. It’s nothing to do because somewhere along the way, the women are like, You know what, nevermind.
Suzi: I’m just gonna, never, nevermind, I’m out of here switch careers completely.
Melissa: And you know, and again, that, you know, the feminists and me is like, No, we have to be like, honor, what are the generations before us did for us? You know, but at the same time, why sacrifice so much for a profession, or a law office or a work environment that doesn’t recognize your value?
Suzi: Oh, yeah. I think family is so important, you know, and I, I, it saddens me to see you know, women who, like, kind of give up on that dream, like the dream also of having a family because it’s almost impossible. It’s, it’s very difficult. I’m not gonna say it’s impossible, right? Because women do it. But it’s so hard to have that balance. So let me ask you, I’m curious. When you’re at his you’re at your you’re at a law firm for how many years?
Melissa: Um, it was, I was practicing at different law firms for about, I mean, really, like, two, three years. I was at a law firm for two years. And then I had I got pregnant had my first son.
Suzi: Okay. And then you started your own practice? Correct? Yeah. I’m curious, like, what did you take? Like, what did you learn from working in a law firm? Like, what did you take to your solo practice? I’ll call it your solo practice. I guess you’re working with your husband, but like, what, like, what did you learn from there? And how, what kind of changes did you implement in your solo practice? So um,
Melissa: as, as an associate, right? Because I was very young still, I was, you know, had only been practicing for about three years when I started my firm. It’s really more. Yeah, it was just the legal stuff. So because I was an associate Now the benefit was that it was a small law firm. So it was literally just me and my boss was the other attorney. And I’m bilingual. I speak Spanish my Boston not so a lot of the cases the case law was entirely on me. So exactly. So it was i and that also means that when things went great, it was like yay, I you know, I did receive recognition but when things went really bad or anyone made a mistake and sort of was always my fault, you know. So you learn things like that like how to be accountable for yourself and how to make sure you’re crossing your T’s dotting your eyes on everything that’s legally related. But going on your own, I mean, the end, that’s something that I wish law firm law schools did more to cure and to offer the students is how to actually manage and operate a business because you have no idea how to do that until you’re doing it. So the accounting how to open up a trust account how to manage a trust account. Like those things, which is terrifying, which when you’re in law school, they’re like, everyone’s license gets taken away, because they mismanaged funds or commingled funds like that is super scary when you’re actually handing your clients money. Oh, my God, oh, my God, oh, my God, today is the day that I’m gonna lose my life, you know, so you break out always so, you know, I don’t know, I feel like working for law firms, they try they, they take care of all that of all the administrative stuff. But you learn so much and grow so much as a person and as a professional, when you have to do it. And when you really have to manage your accounts and do things like bookkeeping, following up with your clients when they don’t pay your invoices, things like marketing. You know, I love the marketing aspect of marketing our law firm and stuff. And it’s still very small, it’s still just me and my husband, you know, we had helped but of course, pandemic, you know, we’ve had to downsize a little bit, but it’s been, it’s amazing to work with him too. And bring him in, I sort of begged him to quit his study law firm job, and I’m like, please come help me. And so, but and then, like, three months later, I got pregnant with our third baby. And so that was a nice curveball for us. Because I was like, Oh,
Suzi: Because I was like, Oh, I mean, you’re still having sex with him. So that’s great.
Melissa: Yes. I mean, to be honest, I would have gone for four if he hadn’t shut it down. But he was like, I’m turning 40. And I don’t want to have another baby after 40. I’m like, Oh, come on. But we make such cute kids. But also, I would like to like sleep again, at some point. So I, so we’re good. With three. It’s a lot the whole house.
Suzi: Well, I’m sure yeah. And having them all at home, right during the pandemic. So do you have any? I’ve talked to you a few other women who have husbands who are lawyers, and that they actually work with their husbands? So that’s kind of interesting. Do you have any advice for women who are working with their husbands who happen to be lawyers as well? Let’s take a quick pause for message from my sponsor, prominent practice.
Ad: Are you thinking about a career transition from big law or partnership to a solo practice selling your practice or maybe you’re launching a project unrelated to law, whatever the reason for your transition, you’ll need support along the way. Enter prominent practice and executive consulting and marketing firm specializing in branding, positioning and reputation management for transitioning attorneys founded by a female entrepreneur who spent a decade building smart digital platforms for thought leaders before pivoting to focus on high end service providers who were preparing for successions, mergers and acquisition events in their businesses. If you’re thinking about making a big business move, don’t risk losing the ability to leverage the reputation you’ve spent your career building, let prominent practice be your guide, visit prominent practice.com/bliss for an exclusive introduction.
Melissa: Yeah, I think um, there’s the traditional I guess piece of advice is always try to leave work at the office Don’t you know, once you get home, it’s like about the kids and about you guys, personally, we always we do a lot together. Like we watch shows together. I know not every couple does that but we love watching like TV shows at night, like once the kids are asleep or like, at least like an episode of something together and then just decompress together. Yes. And then we also do that we make time to I’m very fortunate that I have my mom here locally. So she will like last like this past weekend we went to like a food and wine festival like just me and him and like adults and had a great time. And it was like our date night adults night out and it was perfect. And so I think and we’re trying to plan a trip to go away together without the kids you know, like, and my mom will thankfully like she’ll stay with them and take care of them. So that is so important. I know, people hire babysitters and stuff but honestly, like you have to reconnect with each other as a couple. And that goes the same for one year parenting together and when you’re working together, you know because otherwise you’re just managing each other pointing out each other’s mistakes. I mean, trust me it gets difficult sometimes I won’t lie, you know, because he won’t do something in the style that I want it or you know, I’m Like, he tells me to do something 15 times, and I forget, because I get distracted, and I go do 20 Other things, you know? And I’m like, oh, yeah, you know, and so, but it’s, it’s the best setup for us, because our kids are a little and because it gives us the most flexibility to be able to, you know, divide up the tasks of the kids, and who picks up one one day, and who gets to stay at the office late another day, and like that, so and we’re, at the end of the day, we’re working for the same thing, you know, for the benefit of our family and, and growing our business. Yeah, exactly. And together, we’ve, it’s given us an opportunity to also like, brainstorm more that we want to do together, like other side ventures and things like that. So it just makes you realize how powerful you can be as a team. So if you have that kind of relationship with your partner, I think, absolutely explore that.
Suzi: Yeah, that’s, that’s huge. I love that. And I love just that, like you said, I mean, it’s it is pretty popular advice, you know, to try to leave that at home. Do you notice yourself though, like ever wanting to talk legal?
Melissa: I got 100% on your record, I’m like, oh, so and so paid this invoice? And what do you think we should do about this? And then how do you feel about this, but again, we have very different styles to he is much more calm and chill and passive. I guess I’m not I’m not aggressive, but I’m a little bit more like, okay, let’s find this out. And then what are we gonna do? And then let’s, let’s write it down. And then let’s do it. And let’s start right now. And, and so he sort of rein me in, yes, he rains me in. So that helps a lot. So it’s a really good balance, it’s a good counter to, to me, and, and I feel like I calm him down when he starts stressing out about things and vice versa. So that’s good. What areas
Suzi: of law do you all practice?
Melissa: So my background is is like the commercial litigation stuff, which I’m, I’m winding down, I have a few cases. And then that’s it, I don’t plan on taking that anymore. And then his background, he comes from the transactional side. So he does all the business contracts and stuff like that, which is great, because that’s what we’re now focusing on is trying to do corporate documents, contract drafting, reviewing, and get into trademarks, and things like that, too.
Suzi: So yeah, those are, you can control that a lot more, right? If you get as opposed to like litigation, where you’re kind of at the whim of so many other factors. When you’re doing more of the corporate transaction stuff. You can, you know, if you know that you’re going to be gone for a week, it’s so much easier to just go ahead and handle everything the week before it’s right.
Melissa: No emergency motions, nothing is dependent on the judges mood that day, or how vicious the other side is, things like that. I’m like I said, I’m, I’m completely burnt out, I am done with the litigation side, and I just, I’m ready for a change so
Suzi: so you have the objectionable Mom, your Instagram page, and you have a website as well. And again, whoever’s listening, please go follow her on Instagram it like I feel like, if like, life is so serious, it can be so serious. But the thing that I love about your Instagram page, it is you’re taking kind of like these this seriousness of like pandemic and balancing motherhood and children and you’re making it, you’re making it a little more lighthearted. And I think that’s amazing, because there’s so many people who can relate to that, right? Like, they can look at that, like, oh, my gosh, I’m not the only person who is like, you know, drafting a motion and went home, you know, with one hand and like, trying to change the baby with another right, like, so. I think that it makes you so relatable.
Melissa: You definitely have a goal. Yeah.
Suzi: Do you have like, any type of goal or vision with kind of this brand that you’re developing with the objectionable mom?
Melissa: Yes, I mean, so when I started it, it was a creative outlet for me, because I found myself very feeling very lonely, which I feel like a lot of moms did, especially in the beginning of pandemic because it felt like everything came to a halt and owning a business, which is a law firm, and then also having to teach the kids at school at home virtual learning, keeping the kids from killing each other here, because, you know, there’s three of them, and two of us, and then each other. Exactly, exactly. I’m like, oh my god, you guys and then keeping them entertained and also sane and fed and bathed and clean. And, you know, just everything that because when you’re used to working outside of your home, and when you’re used to taking the kids to daycare or preschool wherever it is that they’re going, you fall into this pattern where okay, you get your A time when you’re driving to the office when you’re at the office where you get to be your own person. And the pandemic really took that away, and you just became everybody else’s, and you belonged to everyone else, to your kids, to your husband, to your house, to your work to whatever it was, you didn’t have any time for yourself. And so what helped me was just getting outside, walking, being in the sunshine, and, and just thinking and having time, and then I realized, you know, I was like, I’m sure I’m not the only one that feels like this. So that was really the goal of the objectionable mom was to create this space for other specifically lawyer moms to come and be like, Wow, I feel seen, like, I’m not the only one like she’s going through this too. That happened to me the other day. And, you know, that happened to me during a hearing. And that’s right, I had a horrible experience with an opposing counsel that treated me like, you know, a jerk, whatever it was. So that’s really, that’s basically because I didn’t see lawyer moms identified in that way online, right on social media. And so with that, I also created a Facebook group, which the link is in my bio on my Instagram page for any lawyer moms that want to join. And that is also a place for recommendations, whether you’re looking for locally for a recommendation for a sitter, or you need to refer a case to an attorney in a different state, or you just want to vent about going back to work after being on maternity leave for three months with your newborn was born during the pandemic. All of that can be discussed there. And everyone’s a lawyer, Mom, I mean, there’s judges on their their judge mom’s you know, I mean, everything. So it’s just, it’s a really great place to exchange ideas and just feel like you’re not alone. Or at least remind yourself like, Hey, you’re not going through this by herself. So the goal is to continue growing objectionable mom and continue providing that. And hopefully, with the conversation going and continuing in that way, we can help more lawyer moms see themselves in what everyone’s going through when and find that space.
Suzi: Who do you think Melissa has influenced you the most? Like, I feel like you have such an inspirational story on your own. So I’m just curious, like who? Who’s inspired you?
Melissa: Oh, my can I say Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Anyway? Like, I mean, yeah, I love her story. And I love that she bought so much for something beautiful. It goes back to what we’re talking about prior generation by fighting for our rights for us to just be like, No, I’m just gonna sit in my loungewear. And a year, I know exactly.
Suzi: Sounds so bad sometimes. And make reels on
Suzi: right all day.
Melissa: I mean, I was very fortunate to grow up with a sort of non conventional mom, my mom, you know, she wasn’t a single mom, I can’t say she was a single mom, because my her my dad split when I was like six years old. But my dad has always been in the picture. So my dad was also not a conventional dad, in the sense that he always like cooked himself clean for himself, do his own laundry. So I had an example of a very self sufficient, like, feminist, right, Dad, if you will. And then my mom was always like, I’m not taking crap from anybody, I don’t care if I don’t speak English, I’m gonna get to the highest position I can in this company and work every single day and just, you know, do what I want to do and what I think is right, and so I was very fortunate to have them both sort of present these great role models for me. And you know, as an only child, it was just, they’re immigrants from Cuba. So it’s just it’s inspiring to think about how far they came, you know, with what little they had. So I feel like the least I can do is do the same and just go as far as I can, you know, with what I have.
Suzi: Sure, sure of the goal. So if you look back at young little Melissa, growing up she grew up in in Florida. Probably had cute like little pigtails. If you could, like give her a piece of advice, knowing what you know, now what would you tell her?
Melissa: You know, it’s funny because I have a daughter and I have two boys and my youngest is the girl. And everyone’s like, of course, she’s like a fireball because she’s the youngest of three and she has two older brothers, but like, that doesn’t even that doesn’t even do a justice of how wild she is. Like she is just like, will scream and kick and like do whatever she needs to to get what she wants. And I don’t know if I’m just so tired at this point. Because it’s, you know, she’s a third one. So I’m just like, whatever. Just give her whatever you want. She’s two and a half. So I know she’s not even like exactly like a teenager or anything. It’s just tiny just like this tyrant but um, I I think of her and, and I just always think I’m like, never, ever lose that spirit. Like, I hope that the world doesn’t like, Crusher, or make her insecure, or give her doubts and things like that. And that’s probably the same advice I give myself, you know, because you go through experiences as, as women, especially that, you know, make you insecure, and somehow define or change the way you think about certain things. And, and I hope for my daughter, and what I would tell myself is the same thing, just keep that spirit and just keep going and do what you think is right and fight for what you want. You know, whether it’s women’s equality or, or you know, a family that is safe and bed and you know, you can provide for them doing what you love. The I that’s what I would tell them. And so I would tell her,
Suzi: what, okay, so let me ask you this, this is I’ve been playing around with this a little bit in my head, I don’t have children. I am an auntie of three. I love children, but don’t know if I love the idea of parenting. I commend you. But I’m still I’m still playing with this. What if your daughter came to you? And she’s like, 22. And she’s like, Mom went to college. I want to get married. And I want to have a family. And I don’t want to work. Like I want to I want to be a stay at Eriko stay at home mom, right? Like, I’m sitting here. I just want people to understand that. Like, that’s one of the hardest jobs around, right? And oh my god 100% most fun thankless jobs the most? Yeah, you know, it shouldn’t be the highest paid job. But it is what it is like, what if she came up to you and said that when she when when she’s like, 22, right? And 20 years from now. I don’t want to further my education anymore. Like, I want to marry Billy, you know, he’s proposed to me, and he wants me to stay at home and take care of the children. And we want like this lifestyle that’s like very, very traditional, like, you know, let’s harken back to like, before, you know, the 60s in the 70s and 80s, that we went through, what would you say to her?
Melissa: You know, I would make sure she understands what a privilege it is to be able to do that. You know, because if she’s under the circumstance, because so many women have to work because we have to, because our partners don’t make enough to, you know, it’s supply for everyone right don’t make enough for for us to be able to stay at home and not work and not contribute to the household. Or they’re single moms, or, you know, widowed. I mean, God forbid, whatever it is, right. So I would make sure she understands the privilege of being able to do that. So she doesn’t take it for granted. But I would also try to ingrain in her the understanding that happiness does not come from being a mom, or being a wife, or staying home or working in an office or working for yourself or working for a company happiness, in my opinion, it comes from doing what you love and what makes you you. So if she identifies with that about staying at home and raising a family, there’s nothing wrong with that. But I would still remind her to make time for having a hobby for doing something that she can grow something that she can learn from right. Gardening, writing, journaling, podcasting, like whatever it is, that makes her happy. Because someday those kids are gonna be gone. Someday, those kids are no longer gonna live with you, they grow up and they go out and they live their own lives. That’s how you know that you’ve succeeded as a mom, because you’ve made independent children that have their own lives, right? That’s my opinion of what makes, you know, mothering successful, right being a parent successful. So one day she’s not going to have that seems so far away. But you know, 18 years flies by in the blink of an eye. So I would make sure she understands that. So she also keeps a part of herself, nourished and continues growing and developing her own sort of mental emotional state in that way. Like I said, whether it’s through a hobby like gardening or writing or, you know, running whatever it is, that makes her feel like it’s she’s doing something for herself.
Suzi: I think that that is a beautiful piece of advice that could go for any woman, right?
Melissa: Like I just really, yeah, yeah, that’s why because it’s about like, Well, you never listen. I mean, I don’t know if I know myself better now than I did five years ago. 10 years ago, 20 years ago. I feel like every day I’m learning something new about myself about the world about my family, and I think that’s a beautiful thing. But I also don’t stop I’m always you know, just covering something and trying new things, and I think that’s really where the magic happens. And it’s not necessarily a part of being a lawyer or being a mom or being a wife, you know, sometimes it’s things completely on my own. My husband hates running and is not like a person to exercise, but I love it. So I try to you know, I run a few times a week, and I write, and I like doing all these things that are only for me, you know, because I know that some point my kids are gonna be grown, and they’re gonna be gone from here. And then that’s great. That’s what I want. Right? I mean, my husband, I will hopefully be able to travel the world. But I want to know that I also developed myself in that time.
Suzi: Yeah, yeah. Parenting, I guess, you know, it is about helping your children grow those wings, right. So they can ultimately, ultimately, ultimately fly on their own. And, like, it’s scary to think about that. But like you said, that’s that that’s success story, you know?
Melissa: Exactly. Exactly. I think I think that’s the goal, you know, is to know that you created a, a nice, kind person who’s independent,
Suzi: we’ve kind of touched on this. I, I know that you’re transitioning out of litigation into more corporate work, and you’re wanting to grow the objection. Well, mom, first of all, like, what what do you see like next for you and your career? And, um, want people to be able to find you on on social media.
Melissa: Yeah, so for my career with our law firm, I mean, I, I want to grow beyond just me and my husband, because I want to be able to not be on call all the time. Right now. We’re sort of in a weird space, where it’s me doing all the marketing, and then also bringing all the clients and, and billing and doing everything. So I, you know, I want to grow the law firm in that sense in the traditional sense of a law firm of hiring staff and whatnot. So we can disconnect and do more of these other things that we have going on, like the objectionable mom, and we’d be objectionable mom, I, my goal is to write a book that will hopefully resonate with other lawyer moms that you know, see themselves in the stories and sort of snippets and things that have happened to me that I think they can really relate. And not just things that have happened to me as a lawyer, mom, but just as a new associate, as you know, starting my business and all that. So that is the goal for Lauren mom. So I’ll definitely keep you posted on that. And yeah, for now, I mean, it’s really just following and supporting the abdominal mom on Instagram. That’s where I’m usually hanging out. But then if there’s any lawyer moms that want to join the Facebook group, absolutely. Like I said, there’s a link in the bio page of at the obsessional mom on Instagram.
Suzi: This has been so much fun. Melissa, thank you so much for hanging out with me. I’ve had such a great time learning more about you, and about your journey and your your goals. I think it sounds amazing.
Melissa: Thank you. Thank you so much for having me. And I think this is totally valuable work what you’re doing so thank you for connecting the legal community like this. Thank you, my friend.
Suzi: Thank you so much for hanging out with us today on legally bliss conversations. If you love this episode, and you want to hang out with other inspiring and light gold female attorneys, be sure to join the legally bliss community at legally blissed.com And be sure to follow me on Instagram at Suzan Hixon. See you next time.
Leading a Lawyer-Mom Movement with Melissa Caballero Alton