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DiMickele '95 Shares Advice on Work-Life Balance
Although she might not easily admit it, Susan DiMickele ’95 may prove that you can do it all. DiMickele, a trial lawyer and mother of three, has successfully published her first book.
She wrote Chasing Superwoman: A Working Mom’s Adventures in Life and Faith (David C. Cook Publishing, 2010) over a span of two years. Whenever she could find time on an airplane, on vacation, or when her kids were sleeping, DiMickele wrote what she calls “journal” entries that eventually became the book.
Her goal was to write about working moms and raising children with faith. “I couldn’t find many books in which the two intersected,” she said. “I think that’s something a lot of woman could relate to, and it’s something that I’m passionate about.”
DiMickele, a partner in the Columbus office of Squire, Sanders & Dempsey, said she primarily used writing as a way to release stress.
“I love to write. Actually, I think it has been an outlet for me,” she said. “A lot of times, when people think of doing something for themselves they think of getting a pedicure or going shopping, but to me it’s more valuable to have time to spend however I want to. For me, a lot of that time has been spent writing and connecting with other women.”
Last December, she started a blog devoted to the themes of her book: life, faith, and work-life balance. “Blogging is something that I really enjoy,” DiMickele said.
The book opens by posing a question: “Can a mother of young children be at the top of her profession without sacrificing her family or her faith? Will society and the Christian community allow her to try?” Throughout the book - in chapters with titles like "Superwoman Goes to Church" and "It Takes Children to Make a Mommy" - DiMickele uses her own experiences to help ease the minds of other working mothers asking the same questions.
Publishing the book was another activity added to DiMickele’s already hectic schedule. She practices full-time at Squire Sanders in the areas of labor and employment, contracts, dispute resolution, and education. With three children – ages 9, 7, and 4 -- she spends her evenings helping with homework and their activities; the three are involved in everything from gymnastics to cello to golf.
After work, she always strives for her family to have dinner together, she said. When her children are finally asleep, DiMickele turns to writing.
“She believes in her message and is passionate to get it out to women who need it,” said Rachelle Gardner, DiMickele’s publishing agent.
DiMickele truly cares about the women whom her book touches. “Just when I’m having those feelings like maybe I’m trying to do too much, I’ll get an e-mail like I did a few weeks ago,” DiMickele said.
She recently received an e-mail from a Californian woman she did not know. The woman told DiMickele that she is a lawyer with a 2-year-old son and was getting ready to go into trial. “She said that she had just read my book and that she was inspired because she felt like she was reading her own story.” The woman also mentioned how scary the similarity was between their stories, and that she had struggled as a working mom to keep everything together.
“Those kind of moments are priceless for me,” DiMickele said. “That’s when I step aside and say to myself ‘I’m doing this for a reason; it’s not just about me.’”