Easter Reminded Me of the Miracles That Are My Children

Greetings from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania! Things have been busy. I am still a working mom of three, working full time who is trying to make a difference. I do a lot of things and try to be present so that I can learn from them. I share them on this blog so that we can learn together. Below are some thoughts, hacks, and/or lessons that I have learned from navigating my world. Below is a tale of my road to becoming the mother of three. It was a road filled with joys and disappointments. However, I wouldn't giving nothing for my journey now. Here's to embracing every step of the journey, even the painful ones, and embracing the lessons learned along the way.

One Secret to Working Mom Success: Create Your Own Tribe

Some members of my tribe... #WomensHistoryMonth


(I love finding drafts of articles I never posted. In an effort to do better at sharing this amazing content, here you go!)
Being a working mom is fraught with challenges and compromises. However, sometimes it does create opportunities for me that are pretty cool. One of those is the opportunity to participate in the local United Way Women's Leadership Council.
The women who form the United Way Women's Leadership Council are united by our commitment to philanthropic giving, our commitment to service and our commitment to other women. Once a year they convene us all at a breakfast and bring in a national speaker. The speaker is a woman who has a compelling story to share. A few years ago, it was Lee Woodruff, an author, a wife, and inspiring woman. Another year it was Becky Aikman who told a tale of devastation and triumph that really touched me.
Some member of my tribe

Lesson Learned: If You Don't Fit In, Create Your Own Tribe 

Becky Aikman was a working woman who found herself in an impossible situation. After being married for 20 years, her husband died. and she became a widow in her 40's. To her credit, she has turned her tragedy into a testimony that she share to uplift and inspire others.  

She shared tips about how to find hope in the middle of crisis and how to re-invent yourself. Apparently, after her husband died she attended a widows support group meeting. However, the group was more interested in bonding over heartache instead of trying to identify ways to start over. After suggesting that the group change its focus, she was kicked out of the group because she "didn't fit in". She was convinced that she was some, "inappropriate misfit widow." Instead of trying to fit the mold, she started her own group of widows called, "The Saturday Night Widows" filled with women who shared her interests and her outlook.


Grateful to Have Found My Own Tribe

Hearing her story reminded me about all of the times that I have been criticized for not quite "fitting the image of a serious attorney". I never understood what that meant except I think it meant that I wasn't boring enough. It didn't have anything to do with my success as an attorney. And, the criticism never came from a client. It always came from boring, visibly unhappy attorneys, who struggled to figure out how I could manage to do the job and be happy. I had a choice to make, conform to an image that didn't feel right or continue being me. I chose the second option and have never looked back.
The interesting thing is, once I decided to stay true to myself, I started enjoying my job better and I found my people. It turns out I am not alone. There are lots of other smart, fun loving attorneys who are committed to their jobs and to having a good time. I never would have found them if I didn't have the courage to be myself. And, I wouldn't have had their love and support throughout the years. 

So, here I am, grateful that I had the courage to be myself and was lucky enough to find my tribe.