First of all, I want to thank Stephanie for stepping in for me last week when I was overwhelmed at work and unable to even think about the blog. Not only was her blog interesting, but it came at a time where I needed just one little thing in my life to let up. Thank you, Stephanie, for making that happen. I hope we hear more from you.
Every working mom needs a network of friends including people like Stephanie - friends with older kids who can tell you tips like how to get your kid in morning kindergarten or whether you should be on the standard or premium insurance plan if you plan to have another baby. Friends who tell you the truth about whether a part-time plan will work, or whether generic diapers will actually save you money. Friends who will drop off a Laurie Berkner dvd for your kids so that you can have 30 minutes to make dinner without wearing one of them in the Baby Bjorn or stopping repeatedly to end World War III.
Working mom friends are the friends who truly get what it is like to walk in your shoes. Who know what it feels like to be responsible for both bringing home the bacon and frying it up in a pan. Who understand when you take a vacation day to go through your kids' clothes or catch up on baby books. They are the moms who know what it is like to not see your child for days at a time. Whose hearts have also broken when their sick child called out for Daddy instead of them. They know the impact a profession can have on a marriage. They are the friends who will never call you up to see if you want to go shopping or see a movie. They know that in the world of working mom there is no time for anything other than those two things: working or being mom.
Our networks of working mom friends are basically networks of people who have been there, done that and are willing to share. And through some Stockholm-syndrome type thing, these working moms become the friends we lean on and learn from the most.
In the legal world, this is astounding. Law is a profession that is known for competition and backstabbing. As a woman nears or enters partnership, the importance of being awarded origination or responsibility credit often takes precedent over being a mentor or friend. So the fact that there are women lawyers anywhere willing to take an hour of their time to help make the path for another woman a little easier is amazing, and deserves recognition.
I certainly have been lucky to have such women in my life. I have friends like Stephanie, who write emergency blogs. Lisa, who left me the dvd. The JD Moms, whose emails pulled me through KJ's second day of day care. Laura, who understood my decision to exchange money for the promise of time. Jen, who put her kid in daycare so I was no longer the freak who didn't have a nanny (ok, so that's not why she chose daycare, but it certainly was nice having someone who understood how daycare kids are sick all the time that first year).
In honor of these women, and the million more out there who support us all each day, I encourage all of you to post a piece of advice or insight or story about something another working mom did or said to you that made your path a little easier. And I invite each of you to do something today to reach out to your fellow working mom. Something that may seem trivial to you, could mean the world to that overworked, under-rested, slightly sick working mom down the hall.