Answers to the Burning Questions of the Week

Please allow me to answer the burning questions of the week as posed to me by near everyone with whom I’ve spoken.

1. Yes, I’m still pregnant.
I’m due Saturday, as in this Saturday, August 29th, 2009. That’s 2 days & counting, anxiously! And yes, it’s no beach day being hugely pregnant, about 40 lbs. over normal weight, in late August! But the beach does help – a lot.

2. No, I’m not “going on maternity leave.”
The thing about being one’s own boss, germinating one’s own law practice from a tiny seedling, based on a brave new world vision (instead of just copying the old way of doing business), is that it takes an inordinate amount of time, energy, and effort. I have spent the past 10 months (the actual amount of time it takes to grow a human baby) nesting and nurturing my law practice with much love and care, and as its loving mother I can’t neglect it.

Besides, I’ve been very fortunate over the last five years to have had the experience of being a “full time stay-at-home mom,” a “part time work-at-home mom,” and a “full time work-at-home mom,” and I can honestly say that sitting in my office chair at my desk is *much* easier than chasing after active toddlers and preschoolers all day, especially while pregnant! Having “been there, done that” twice before, and knocking wood and hoping karma will be good to me this time, I think that having a newborn will be manageable.

While the first baby definitely rocks one’s world and forever changes one’s own life, the second just kicks it up a few notches (especially after the sibling rivalry kicks in!), and I’ve heard that the third tends to seem easy in comparison. I’ll take 12-16 daily diaper changes and round the clock wakings/feedings over an almost five-year-old freak out or three-year-old stubborn tantrum any day! And while you might hear some sweet little baby sounds or that adorable newborn cry from time to time if you call me in the next couple months to discuss your estate planning or residential real estate legal needs, it’s still nothing compared to the amount of noise and demand for attention you would otherwise hear from my 3 & almost-five-year-olds (who, for those very reasons, will be at school while I’m working).

So no, no maternity leave for me to speak of, though I do anticipate taking a little longer to complete my clients’ work as I allow myself to rest and recover and spend time with my family. And I am so grateful that my wonderful clients have all been incredibly supportive of this. I am also grateful for the hard-earned privileges of working for myself, at my own pace, from the privacy and comfort of my own home, doing work that I find extremely gratifying, for people with whom I truly enjoy working. So I will likely be working odd hours (as if that were something new!), often in my pajamas, with a newborn on a Boppy Pillow on my lap, as I type over her sweet, little, sleeping head (just as I did with both of her big sisters before her). I’m smiling at the thought!


About Danielle G. Van Ess

Danielle G. Van Ess is a Massachusetts (born and raised), experienced estate planning and small business attorney who helps her clients protect and preserve what matters most to them. To learn more, please visit: or call: 781-740-0848

2 thoughts on “Answers to the Burning Questions of the Week

  1. Hope that baby doesn't make you wait too much longer!! I have to say, I found the third baby very easy and very hard all at the same time. The baby himself was easy, I was much more laid back and diaper changes aren't exactly unusual anymore. But I felt (feel) so outnumbered by three and the demands are constant – still was able to work though, so it's not too bad!


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