What it’s like to be a Single Associate Attorney

Lawyering, singleness, Work

I’m tired.

I’ve said this before on this exact same topic, and it holds true two years later.

A lot of times people say that it would be nice to be single and have so much free time on your hands. What I’d like to know is: exactly WHERE is the free time? Do we get more secret hours in a day? Do we have a special club no one told me about where they keep the singles’ time machine?

As far as I know, we all have the same amount of time. Maybe a mom spends more hours taking care of little ones, or a wife spends more time washing dishes, but I can tell you this – sometimes it is exhausting to be a single associate attorney.

Here’s the key reason why: There is NO help. None.

No one else can go grocery shopping for me. No one else can run a load of laundry. No one else can grab the dishes before they go to work that morning. No one else can prep the coffee pot, help make my lunch or make a quick trip to the store when your bag full of pasta sauce and salsa shatters 30 minutes before girl’s night starts.

I worked 61 hours last week over 6 days, and Saturday was *only* for four hours. I’m tired.

I understand that I chose this career (lately I’m wondering what the hell I was thinking). And this chaos comes in waves. There ARE times I’m home at 6 PM in my pajamas with a clean house. But that’s rare.

Thankfully I now work for a firm where my bosses are very gracious and have given me a few days off this month. No one here has told me I have to take a crappy task or travel out of town due to an emergency because I don’t have a family.I definitely appreciate the change in attitude from my bosses. Firm atmosphere really does make a difference. But unfortunately, there are still only 24 hours a day, I’m the only source of income, the only possible driver for unexpected shopping emergencies, and the only one who can start and finish a load of laundry (as long as I remember to pick up the quarters from the bank).

All I want right now is a little bit of help, apparently the exact same kind of help I wanted in 2011.
…And some sleep.

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  • Reply
    August 27, 2013 at 2:31 pm

    If we ever live near each other I’d totally go grocery shopping for you. I love it. You might even be able to do your laundry. I’d take payment in chocolate and wine :)

    In seriousness, I don’t think people are thinking when they suggest you have more time. It’s the grass is always greener kind of thing.

    • Reply
      August 27, 2013 at 4:03 pm

      This made me a little teary eyed. You are so sweet!

      I think it is a “grass is greener.” It’s just never an encouraging thing to hear, “What do you do with ALL your free time!?” or even better “What do you do with all your money?” uh….

      I really appreciate your support, and am totally down for some chocolate and wine :).

  • Reply
    August 27, 2013 at 4:19 pm

    I can kind of relate. I am not single, but since we don’t have children it is assumed that we have unlimited time. Since W and I don’t have children people always assume that we have TONS of free time and that we can work 100 hours per week because we have nothing better to do. AHHH!!!

    • Reply
      September 5, 2013 at 9:42 am

      Oh my gosh. Your schedule is so out of control. I can’t imagine anyone thinking you have free time!! You guys HUSTLE hard!

  • Reply
    August 28, 2013 at 6:14 am

    I feel you 100%. It’s hard. I struggle to find time to enjoy life but that’s often in limited quantity and then I feel guilty and think I shouldve used that time to make money and not relax. It’s even worse for my single girl friends who have their own practices because most of them fill the void of being single with even more work. I just pray that things get better for all of us.

    • Reply
      September 5, 2013 at 9:42 am

      I’m definitely guilty of filling the void with work. Sometimes it’s easier to work and work and work than go home and be lonely.

  • Reply
    September 2, 2013 at 10:57 pm

    Yes! This! My boss is constantly telling me how I should take the time to stay late and work harder since I’m “not married and don’t have kids yet” but his freaking wife does EVERYTHING for him. Its HARD being a gal on her own, especially since I decided to buy a house with a yard (what was I thinking ?!)

    • Reply
      September 5, 2013 at 9:37 am

      Oh man! I have heard that about yards! They’re exhausting!

      I wonder if they realize that if they work us to death we’ll never be able to meet someone to one day have kids!

  • Reply
    September 2, 2013 at 11:05 pm

    I’m on your side when it comes to this to be sure.

    • Reply
      September 5, 2013 at 9:36 am

      I figured you would understand :). I can’t complain at all when I hear about your schedule!

  • Reply
    Lauren Nelson
    September 7, 2013 at 2:45 pm

    These words are so true, because most underestimate how hard it is to be single! It would be nice to have a hand sometimes, but it is also quite empowering to know you can do it on your own!

  • Reply
    When God Answers Your Prayers for Help - Where My Soul Belongs
    September 17, 2013 at 5:37 pm

    […] couple of weeks ago (or something. life is rough right now) I wrote a post about being a single associate attorney – and how all I want is a little help. Help taking out the trash, washing the dishes, going to the grocery store, doing the […]

  • Reply
    Kelsey Eaton (@storiesofkel)
    April 15, 2014 at 3:57 pm

    You make a good point! It is really nice to have a husband to help out when I just can’t multitask so I definitely hear ya there.

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