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More on Laurie Gray

August 10, 2012
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From Laurie Gray's letter to the editor on whether women can have it all.

I was raised in rural Indiana where good wives submit and obey and good children are seen and not heard. I went to college with the understanding that an educated good woman is a teacher or a nurse. So I became a high school teacher. Then I met and married a talk, dark and handsome Sikh from Malaysia who told me I should go to law school and get paid to argue all day so that I could come home in the evenings and perhaps be a little nicer. It was the best unsolicited advice I ever received, although it didn’t save the marriage. I went to law school and met my current husband, the senior litigator at the second law firm where I worked. He was 22 years older than I with two adult children. Marrying him would mean working hard, playing hard, and never having any children of my own. That’s what I decided to do. I left the private practice of law and became a deputy prosecuting attorney, working at our local child advocacy center, trying mostly rape and child molest cases along with the occasional aggravated assault and murder. And that’s what I was doing when we most unexpectedly found ourselves expecting. Our daughter was born a month before my 38th birthday, and two months after my husband’s 60th.
 
I worked right up through the day my water broke and scheduled a four-day child molest trial for eight weeks after her birth. I went back and tried that one case, but it was too crazy. I was operating on no sleep and it wasn’t the life my husband and I wanted for ourselves or our child. So I extended my maternity leave and eventually resigned, only to return when a newly elected prosecutor offered me the opportunity to work just a half day each week, any day, either half. My mom had just retired and agreed to watch our daughter, so I gradually went back to work almost full time. Although I worked 40+ hours a week, I maintained a “part-time” status that gave me more flexibility in scheduling. I left the prosecutor’s office two years ago when my first young adult novel was released. Summer Sanctuary (Luminis Books / 2010) has earned a Moonbeam Gold Medal as was named a 2011 Indiana Best Book Finalist. I have two more young adult novels slated for release in 2013 and 2014. I’ve formed my own writing, speaking and consulting company called Socratic Parenting LLC (www.SocraticParenting.com). I also work as a bilingual forensic interviewer at the Bill Lewis Center for Children and an adjunct professor of criminal sciences at Indiana Tech. I’ve served on the faculty at the National Symposium on Child Abuse every spring since 2009 and am building my platform and cultivating recognition on a national level.
 
In 2020 my daughter will graduate from high school, my husband will be 79 and I will be 57. At that point, I will be free to work as much as I like doing whatever I like. I could go back to private practice, return to prosecuting crimes, become a full-time professor, or devote myself to writing, speaking and consulting full time. It helps that I established myself as a professional prior to becoming a mom. I doubt I would have the passion, vision or balance I’ve created for myself if I’d not had a daughter of my own. I may never achieve the full earning potential displayed back when I was earning a six-figure salary in the private practice of law, but I’ve enjoyed the same financial security through my marriage. I know that my husband often measures his self-worth through dollars earned, but I can’t allow myself to be defined by dollars. I think of Maslow’s hierarchy: all of my basic needs (food, shelter, clothing) are met and I have the luxury of devoting my energies to self-actualization through creativity and service. I do plan to have it all, but even if I died tomorrow or everything I currently have were lost, I would still feel as though I’ve had it all and I could have it all again — just not all at once.

 

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  1. Ah yes... Echoes of 1963 as a ghostly George Wallace makes his stand at the Schoolhouse door. We now know about the stand of personal belief over service to all constituents at the Carter County Clerk door. The results are the same, bigotry unable to follow the directions of the courts and the courts win. Interesting to watch the personal belief take a back seat rather than resign from a perception of local power to make the statement.

  2. An oath of office, does it override the conscience? That is the defense of overall soldier who violates higher laws, isnt it? "I was just following orders" and "I swore an oath of loyalty to der Fuhrer" etc. So this is an interesting case of swearing a false oath and then knowing that it was wrong and doing the right thing. Maybe they should chop her head off too like the "king's good servant-- but God's first" like St Thomas More. ...... We wont hold our breath waiting for the aclu or other "civil liberterians" to come to her defense since they are all arrayed on the gay side, to a man or should I say to a man and womyn?

  3. Perhaps we should also convene a panel of independent anthropological experts to study the issues surrounding this little-known branch of human sacrifice?

  4. I'm going to court the beginning of Oct. 2015 to establish visitation and request my daughters visits while she is in jail. I raised my grandchild for the first two and half years. She was born out of wedlock and the father and his adopted mother wantwd her aborted, they went as far as sueing my daughter for abortion money back 5mo. After my grandchild was born. Now because of depression and drug abuse my daughter lost custody 2 and a half years ago. Everyting went wrong in court when i went for custody my lawyer was thrown out and a replacment could only stay 45 min. The judge would not allow a postponement. So the father won. Now he is aleinating me and my daughter. No matter the amount of time spent getting help for my daughter and her doing better he runs her in the ground to the point of suicide because he wants her to be in a relationship with him. It is a sick game of using my grandchild as a pawn to make my daughter suffer for not wanting to be with him. I became the intervener in the case when my daughter first got into trouble. Because of this they gave me her visitation. Im hoping to get it again there is questions of abuse on his part and I want to make sure my grandchild is doing alright. I really dont understand how the parents have rights to walk in and do whatever they want when the refuse to stand up and raise the child at first . Why should it take two and a half years to decide you want to raise your child.The father used me so he could finish college get a job and stop paying support by getting custody. Support he was paying my daughter that I never saw.

  5. Pence said when he ordered the investigation that Indiana residents should be troubled by the allegations after the video went viral. Planned Parenthood has asked the government s top health scientists at the National Institutes of Health to convene a panel of independent experts to study the issues surrounding the little-known branch of medicine.

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