That Kind Of Mother

When my daughter was born and I was presented with an opportunity to go back to work, I knew there was no way I could turn it down.  I was suddenly compelled to set an example for my daughter as a successful working mother in a way I had not been while I was home with my son for two years.  I wanted to be “that kind of mother” who gives her the freedom to make her own choices, while continuing to break glass ceilings and forge work-life balance to make her path just a little bit easier (as previous generations have done for me).

I’ve since realized that “successful working mother” is a loaded goal.  I am successful at work, yes.  I am a professional, working at a reputable national law firm.  I have a salary that allows me to take home six-figures even after egregious federal, state and New York City taxes.  I have awesome family health insurance paid for by my employer — and it even includes dental.  The “successful working” part rings true.

As does the “working mother” part.  I am grateful to have a job that respects my priorities as a mother.  I have not missed a phase-in session, orientation or smallest event at my children’s school and none of the partners I work for have blinked an eye.  They trust that I have a handle on the work that needs to get done and they leave me to do just that (my associate co-workers are another story, but I’m ignoring them).

But “successful working mother” implies that I’ve got it all under control.  That, while I wish I spent more time with my kids, I have negotiated drop-offs and pick-ups around conference calls and late night loan document distribution.  But this simply isn’t the case.  Every single day is a negotiation.  If I have deals closing, Ian needs to do more at home.  If he has an important client meeting, I offer to take the kids on the morning he’s supposed to do it.  For the most part our schedule is utter chaos. Continue reading

In The Catfish Era And Lack-Of-Fact-Check Era, I No Longer Believe Anything I See On Facebook

This morning I received a message from a friend alerting me that her words had been lifted by a well-known site.  I read her piece about rage and the dark side of yoga weeks ago and it was so personal and intimate, yet universal and powerful that it stayed with me for days.  Then there it was today — so many of her original ideas — but this time with someone else’s byline.  Plagiarism is not a new concept, but with information as accessible as it is online, opportunity is greater than ever. Continue reading