Skip to main content

On Being a Working Mom

I grew up in a household where both parents worked, albeit separate shifts until my sister and I were both in school. Mom worked nights and dad worked days - we would all meet in the parking lot of mom's work to switch cars and parents. From the outside looking in the setup may have appeared a bit strange, but it worked for us and this is how our parents choose the logistics in order to avoid daycare.

Now that I am back at work I have struggled with the reality of leaving my child with someone else everyday. It's not that I don't trust the caregivers, heck, they are family for goodness sake, its just the fact that I am not the one taking care of her. I miss our experiences together.

I keep coming back to something Karen Nyberg said before launching to the International Space Station in 2013, "But after going through it in my head for a long time, this is a dream I had since I was a young child myself. I don't think I would be setting a very good example for my son if I were to give up on my dream."

This is exactly how I feel about being Zara's mom. I want her to dream big. I want to help straighten paths towards her goals. I want her to know that she can do anything - that she can make a difference in the world. And I want to be her role model. I'm not saying being a working mom is the right choice for everyone, but it is for me - I have wanted to work at NASA since I was 6 years old, and now I do! I like to think that our relationship is mutually beneficial -


She is my anchor and I am working to be her wings!

Spread those arms baby, I can't wait to watch you fly!

Comments

  1. Being able to be a workinig Mom is never an easy decision. Eveyone has to be happy with their choice of working or not. Think about the shoe on the other foot... the dad.. working or staying at home with the children??!! I'm glad that you are happy with your decision. I just love the pics of Zara the little stinker!! Love, Aunt Vicki

    ReplyDelete
  2. We need women going on ALL different paths! I need my daughter and my sons to see women excelling as CEOs, doctors, ISS pilots!, welders, HVAC techs, etc. And we need moms and dads at home to be volunteers at the elementary school or to watch extra kids for the 2 hrs between the end of school and the end of work. We need them all and I hope you know that you are doing important work no matter what. The beauty is, we never have to stick to just one path either. I hope you can find full enjoyment in this season of life no matter where it takes you.

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Who has two thumbs and loves comments? Nerdy April!!! Type one out and hit publish!

Popular posts from this blog

The road to curing Type 1 Diabetes

From the moment of diagnosis, the road is rough, the learning curve is steep and the stakes are literally life or death. The map is less-than-helpful - paths originating from virtually every corner, coalescing at a center point (aka "diagnosis") and bursting back outwards - some paths cross and wrap around each other but others are isolated. And even with all of these roads, most of the territory is uncharted - how did we all get here and how will we all exit? Where are the obstacles we haven't found yet? Which passage holds the key to unlocking the solution?

On any given day I feel pretty isolated with this disease - I'm the only T1D in my group at work, the only one in mission control, the only one in my family. I go through the logistics of calling insurance companies, ordering supplies, changing sites and troubleshooting malfunctions mostly on my own. Even those pesky carbs really only get counted in my brain, no group think for a meal bolus here. But there is b…

Hot OJT

Last week I had the chance to mentor a newly certified ADCO trainee - the NASA process is called "Hot On-The-Job-Training", or Hot OJT. What makes it "hot" you ask? Well, essentially I am hands off - he is sitting at the console, working all the plan reviews and updates, making calls to other flight controllers and to the flight director, reacting to anomalies and preparing material for the shift handover. My job is to act as the fault tolerance - a backup ADCO of sorts.

Tuesday was his last official day and by Wednesday morning he was in the backroom sending commands to ISS in preparation for the docking of a three-person Soyuz.


The beauty of this system is the gradual buildup in responsibility. There is a subtle shift from student, to subject matter expert, to fresh operations trainee to advanced trainee and finally to certification and real-time operations flight controller - the process takes two years on average and is considered by many to be enough specializ…

International Travel with Type 1 Diabetes

Whew! Back from one international trip and on to another next week! I will admit my eyes roll every time I get the "we're gunna need to pat you down" talk at TSA, but international travel is a whole different animal. I thought it might be fun to see what goes through my brain and into my bags for these types of trips!


I wouldn't be a NASA Flight Controller if I wasn't good at planning, the key to international travel as a T1D is PLANNING!

3 months prior

Assess supplies. Mine come in 90-days supplies so I like to inventory at least 3 months prior and make a plan to order more early if the trip is going to coincide with the end of my 90-day stock. In my experience supply companies are usually pretty good about adjusting orders as needed if you tell them the reason for the early request - just mention you have an international trip coming up and want to make sure to have plenty of supplies (and backups!) in time. Request a loaner insulin pump. It's likely the comp…
01 09 10