Women in the Law

IT Professional at Latham Is One of the 'Midnight Moms'

Working supermoms who can’t find the time to get everything done are particularly sleep-deprived around Christmas time.

The Washington Post chronicles the phenomenon of “midnight moms” and includes an information technology professional at Latham & Watkins as an example. “While visions of sugarplums dance in everyone else’s heads, these moms knock out the dishes, memos, emails, bills, baking, permission slips, holiday show costumes and even the gardening,” the Post column says.

Staci Temple Otto of Latham found herself up late doing housework, answering lawyer work calls and talking to other mothers who were also burning the midnight oil, the story says. Otto taught a swim class for infants, and the moms “wanted to talk at midnight,” Otto told the Post. “They were all keeping the same hours as I was.”

Recently Otto has tried to cut back on her late-night workathons. “I realized that no matter how much I stayed up at night, there was never enough time to get it all done,” she said.

The story notes a study (PDF) by sociology professor Sarah Burgard of the University of Michigan, who found moms are more likely to interrupt their sleep for caregiving, even when both parents work. She suggests inequalities in responsibilities for the “night shift” at home could contribute to unequal career advancement or pay.

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