One Secret to Working Mom Success: Be Resilient

Remembering that the road can take me anywhere I'd like to go. 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. This Spring was challenging. The Spring was a bit of a dumpster fire. There were the regular life things like the end of the school year, the change of seasons, and trying to figure out what I want to be when I grow up. And, there were more complicated, intense, personal things that were unexpected, unwanted and completely disruptive. Managing it all while raising my kids, working full time and maintaining my sanity was challenging. But to my credit, while I may have stumbled, I did not fall down. That said, the beginning of July has always repres

Celebrating Black History Month, Today

Me and my sister, the lovely, Jeryn Turner

 

As Black History month comes to an end, I am reflective about what it means historically and what it means now.

Historically, Black History month was created to be a national celebration to recognize and celebrate the contributions of Black Americans. One of the goals was to help Americans, as a whole, understand Black customs and history--thereby challenging negative stereotypes. Those who are “woke” or even just aware of things beyond their own experience know about the accomplishments of Martin Luther King Jr., and Rosa Parks. Those who are better informed may know about all that A. Phillip Randolph, Fannie Lou Hamer, and Julian Bond did to advance the rights of Black people. And those who are lovers of the arts have been moved by Langston Hughes, Zora Neal Hurston and Nina Simone.

Their stories and their accomplishments were informed by allies and opponents to the advancement of the rights of Black people. Indeed, there were non-Black people on both sides of the issue. To think that the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was passed just 60 years ago tells us that those who are alive today participated in many of the events that we refer to as "Black History". 

But Black History is more than the noteworthy accomplishments of celebrities. 

Black History is the embodiment of daily life and the choices we make. For those who are Black, we are building that history in how we raise our families, interact with our communities and live our lives. After all, our ancestors created our rich history by being intentional about their choices. And, we can too.

Me and my line sister

There is more to life than work and family

Years ago, I participated in the inaugural class of the Bar Leadership Institute in Charlotte, North Carolina. One of the participants emphasized this, "there is more to life than work and family." At that point in my life, I didn't yet have children and so her sentiment was a bit lost on me. Later on, I began to get it. I think her point was that lawyers have a myriad of skills and talents and should use them to benefit society more broadly and not only our own interests. I also learned that choosing to contribute to the world in a broader way helps you maintain a positive self image, outlook and hope when work and family may be complicated. 

I say all of that to say, one way I am living "Black History" is by doing more than working and caring for my family. I am living Black History by serving my community. I do that in the a number of ways. Here are a few: I was recently appointed by the governor to serve on the Pennsylvania Early Learning Investment Commission. I will be working with the other commissioners to improve the quality of early childhood education in the Commonwealth. I serve as Vice President of the FISA Foundation and help to improve the lives of women, girls and people with disabilities through grant making. I try to find time to mentor youth when I can. I am trying to raise productive citizens. And, on a very small level, I make an effort to smile at every one I see. (for more smiles, click here.)

Lord knows that I am not perfect. And, if you asked my husband, he would likely confirm that and provide examples. That said, Black History is not about perfection, despite the idealized versions of the leaders of the "movement" that are often described. Instead, Black History is about the ordinary. How do we live our lives, help our neighbors and raise our children--every single day. In truth,Black History is about you.


Comments