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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. 

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