SPECIAL EDITION: Fireside Chat with Mory Di Yuan
April 30, 2023
“Qué será, será
Whatever will be, will be
The future's not ours to see
Qué será, será
What will be, will be”
Have you ever pondered what is the meaning of life and what the future holds for you and your loved ones? Now that I have children of my own, I find myself couldn’t help but wonder at times what lies ahead of us – especially in this ever-changing world with unprecedented events happening around us that are beyond reason, societal norms, or our control. Before my thoughts and worries have gone astray, the soothing voice of Doris Day pops in my mind and sings “whatever will be, will be” which instantly brings me back to the present with a sense of comfort and peacefulness. Doris to the rescue!
In addition to being Zen when we face our future full of unknown and uncertainties, our next SPECIAL EDITION Fireside Chat guest who is living, breathing, and thriving at the Dual 10 challenges has offered her words of wisdom for working parents, especially parents who are also legal professionals, to be resilient, courageous, and optimistic, and to remind us the importance of teamwork and self-care!
I am extremely honored and excited to introduce you to our next guest, Mory Di Yuan! Mory is one of my good friends from law school and I am super proud of her for achieving so much both professionally and personally since law school. If you are one of the lucky ones who is currently living the Dual 10 phase, you would understand the magnitude of someone who is in the same shoes to bravely speak up and willing to share altruistically the ups and downs of this exhilarating ride! I am confident that you would enjoy Mory’s heartfelt and authentic sharing, and I dare you to share this Fireside Chat (and other amazing chats in the series) with someone you know who may need a boost of support and encouragement as a working parent at this very moment!
Without further ado, let’s get started!
Part 1 - Introduction
Hi, my name is... "Mory" Di Yuan.
Year of call to the Bar: 2016.
Type of practice, your role, and where: I do mostly fertility law - drafting agreements for surrogacy, egg donation, sperm donation, and embryo donation. I also have an in-house job working for a company that supports intended parents, egg donors, and surrogates throughout their journeys.
How many children do you have? 2 daughters: 4-year-old and 2-year-old.
What do you do for self-care or stress relief? I play video games, hang out with my best friend (which is my wife), and just nerd out in general.
What would you do for work if you weren’t in the legal profession? I haven't given it much thought, but I will probably be in the government. If I won the lottery I may go back to school and become a veterinarian or learn script writing, fingers crossed.
Part 2 - The first “Dual 10” Challenge: within the first 10 years post-license
Equilawbrium: Do you have a master plan for your career path? What is the driving force behind your career decisions? What are the important things to consider as you are figuring out your career path?
Mory: My master plan since starting my own practice is to "complete my family" and "not quit law". Doing good so far. I know very early on that for me to have a fulfilling career I need to have a happy family life. It was 50% looking outward to see what is out there, and 50% to looking inward and understanding what truly drives me. I try to focus on the long game.
Equilawbrium: Please list one soft skill that contributed to where are you now and suggestions on how to cultivate it.
Mory: Resilience, and the ability to rely on others. I know as lawyers, we can be the worst critic of ourselves. We struggle to live with our perceived "imperfections". Sometimes you just have to allow yourself to "let that one client walk away" so to speak.
Equilawbrium: Please list one hard skill that contributed to where are you now and suggestions on how to cultivate it.
Mory: Law skills: issue-spotting, ability to follow research methodology, the ability to read, write, and think quickly and on your feet.
Basic skills in business, accounting, tax and document processing are also surprisingly vital for a sole practitioner such as myself.
Part 3 - The second “Dual 10” Challenge: have kids in their first 10 formative years
Equilawbrium: How do you juggle work/life responsibilities? Is it possible to have a family life and a work life simultaneously and harmoniously?
Mory: I rely on "the village" when it comes to childcare. My wife and I are grateful for the contributions of our mothers. We support each other and at worst times, remind ourselves that we are on the same team. Sometimes it is hard - stress and sleeplessness bring out the worst in everyone, and that's where we have to stay strong and remind ourselves that the challenges are temporary.
Equilawbrium: What is the one parenting tip or trick that you must share?
Mory: Allow your child to lead. We, as adults, always like to "help". Sometimes it is best to give your child space to make miracles (or messes) on their own.
Equilawbrium: What do you find most rewarding having kid(s) ≤10 years of age?
Mory: During my upbringing, I was fixated on being self-sufficient and not relying on anyone else. However, I failed to realize how fulfilling it is to need someone and be needed in return. It wasn't until my children came into my life that I discovered a side of myself that I had never experienced before - it's both exhilarating and unnerving, yet so incredibly rewarding. Parenthood has brought chaos, liveliness, and beauty into my world, and I'm grateful for the opportunity to embrace this new chapter of my life.
Part 4 - Achieving Equilawbrium: how to survive & rise from the “Dual 10” Challenges
"You need to be aware that the challenges you face may be greater than before, you may feel more tired than before, and you may feel more stressed than before. Pay attention to your body and your spirit, and when you need to, talk to someone about what troubles you, see a friend, see a counsellor, see a doctor. Don't let it get out of hand, burn out is real." – Mory Di Yuan
Equilawbrium: What is your biggest challenge going through the Dual 10 phase? Any advice for our readers who are living and breathing this phase and trying to survive and excel?
Mory: My advice to everyone living this scary and wonderful journey is to pay more attention to yourself. Sometimes you neglect yourself when faced with the many needs of clients and nursing a baby on a crazy nap schedule. You need to be aware that the challenges you face may be greater than before, you may feel more tired than before, and you may feel more stressed than before. Pay attention to your body and your spirit, and when you need to, talk to someone about what troubles you, see a friend, see a counsellor, see a doctor. Don't let it get out of hand, burn out is real.
Equilawbrium: What is your take-home message for our readers who are trying to find their “equilawbrium”?
Mory: Stay on the positive, and remember it is only temporary.
Equilawbrium: What is the one-word encouragement/support that you would want us to remember?
<<End of Fireside Chat with Mory Di Yuan>>
**A MILLION THANKS TO MORY!!!**
Di Yuan is a bilingual (English and Mandarin) lawyer and notary based in Toronto, Canada, with expertise in fertility law (egg, sperm donation, surrogacy) contracts, wills, powers of attorney, and notary public services. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology with Honours from Carleton University and a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Ottawa, with a focus on administrative law, family law, and third-party reproduction law. Prior to becoming a licensed lawyer, she worked in the field of reproductive medicine for seven years, giving her a deep understanding of this rapidly evolving medical field. Since obtaining her license, she has specialized in third-party reproductive contracts, providing services to clients seeking sperm donation, egg donation, and surrogacy. With her expertise, passion, and dedication, she has become a trusted advisor to many clients in Toronto's significant Chinese community, helping them navigate complex legal processes while protecting their legal rights.
Disclaimer: Any views, information, and personal opinions expressed by the authors or guests are entirely their own and do not reflect or represent those of their employers or clients.