Skip to main content

MCM - Certified Mom

This morning I woke up early, the baby monitor was chirping just a few minutes before my alarm was set to go off. Chris graciously rolled out of bed and set out to re-insert Otto's paci. Meanwhile, I pressed my clothes, curled my hair and brewed some coffee - my standard pre-console routine. After a quick breakfast Zara peeped her head over the railing and I heard a gentle "mama" echo down the stairs. It was still dark, but this little one was ready for her daily breakfast of oatmeal and milk in preparation for a fun day at swim lessons and school. As she sat, eating her "oatsss" (as she calls them), I whirled around the kitchen prepping bottles, gathering outfits for school, and ensuring all the swim lesson supplies were set out. It's hard leaving Chris to take care of both kids in the morning (#momguilt) so I try my best to complete as many get-ahead tasks as possible, in hopes his morning goes smoothly. 

This morning schedule description may seem mundane and trivial, especially when it's Monday and you're expecting a post about Mission Control (#MissionControlMonday). But, it turns out, these tasks are anything but mundane. 

mun·dane
ˌmənˈdān/
adjective
  1. 1. common; ordinary; banal; unimaginative.



You see, I am the only currently certified ISS Attitude Determination and Control Officer who is also a MOM. The funny part is I never even realized this statistic until a tangent conversation during handover in mission control this morning, and, to be honest, it sort of hit me like a ton of bricks. A 2.5-year-old personal descriptor that I have always thought of as "common" and even "ordinary" suddenly became exceptional. 

Flying the space station is so easy a baby could do it. Throwback to Baby Zara!

You can say what you want about 'STEM' overload - but the truth is, there is still very much a gender discrepancy in my field. And when you add 'mom' to the already-narrowed-down categories of 'female' and 'engineer' and 'NASA' it dwindles down significantly.

I love my kids and I love my job, and I love that I am fortunate enough to have them both, simultaneously. I feel so fulfilled in both roles and couldn't  imagine one without the other. There are definitely sacrifices, a strong partnership with Chris and strained schedules at times, but I want these two little people to know they can do anything, even if, and maybe ESPECIALLY if, it makes you one of a kind. 

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Critical Space Item: Handle With Extreme Care

Someday I want to open a box. The box will be neatly wrapped up with an excessive amount of packaging. Its contents will have been years in the making, and even though it won't weigh much, this small box will represent a huge step forward.


As most flight hardware begins, the space-rated closed-loop insulin delivery and monitoring device inside the box will be sterile and stark. But as the batteries whir to life and insulin is placed within, it will become an extra appendage, an external pancreas, for this Type 1 astro-hopeful. Bluetooth connections will be made and doctors, hungry for telemetry from my bionic body, will be at the ready. We will rely on each other - he on I for his very existence, and I on him for my continued existence. Together we will make up one whole, completely functioning, Type 1 Diabetic astronaut.

Admittedly, this dream feels further and further from reality. I have lived with this disease just under 20 years now, and the cure has always been "just 5 …

On 20 years with Type 1 Diabetes

I think it's finally time to hit 'publish' on this post, considering it's been sitting here for, oh you know, like 2 weeks now ;-) Sometimes I "April" about things too much (this is Chris's term), and with my dad here for Christmas I realized that it's definitely a trait passed down, haha, love you dad!


To be honest, I never thought the day would come when I would say, "I've had Type 1 Diabetes for 20 years."

20 years ago a cure was 'just on the horizon' and as an 11 year old kid I took that phrase to heart - I had to. My continued existence was based solely on whatever the endocrinologist said - pancreas, insulin, autoimmune, blood sugar, islet cells, shots. I didn't know what I didn't know at that point. I had never heard of an insulin pump or glucose meter. Ketones and hyperglycemia were just big, meaningless words. Carb ratios and counting might as well have been formulas for travelling at light speed. I wasn't ov…
01 09 10