Classic day in the life of a working mother

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I had a big meeting at work today. I was facilitating a process with a group of faculty to help them come to a common understanding around some urgent decisions. I was a bit stressed. It was a challenging decision and a group of intelligent, engaged people. It had the possibility to go very poorly.

In fact, it went very well. Not perfectly; I can definitely see things I would like to do better next time. But overall, we basically did what I said we could and should do. The group got through discussions to get to common, united understandings of potentially contentious issues. They actually now have (or will, once I format the details in the morning) a working template for their upcoming work. I am thrilled, particularly as it was the first time going through that process for me, and as of a month or so ago, I had only the vaguest theoretical notion of what it meant to do what we did today.

They were also thrilled. Or at least, most of them, happy with the outcome. They thanked me, commented repeatedly on my skills in communication, and said how valuable they found the entire process. It’s so rewarding when that happens, and particularly as it can open up future work possibilities and enable my office to engage more fully with the campus.

I went to pick up my girl at the end of the day. She didn’t mind seeing me, though she was thoroughly engaged with putting magnetic letters on the fridge. Then it was time to leave. It did not go well. She cried. Wailed. Was completely miserable. Didn’t want to leave, didn’t want to come with her mama. Eventually, with many hugs, some walking about, and nursing + a bottle + talking about the fun of home + her new noisy “Eh-mo” book, she settled contentedly into the car seat. In fact, she was perfectly happy on the ride home, laughing, talking, playing with “Eh-mo.” Home was also good: yard play with dad, great dinner eating, fun bath, stories, nursed easily to bed. Delightful!

I want to work. I need to work. I want more time with my girl. She’s doing okay. Being a working mom is a roller-coaster, and it’s what I’m doing.

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