If not for our own newsletter editor, Lily Herman, I would have missed this gem last week while I was traveling. The headline says it all: “Serena Williams missed her daughter’s first steps because she was training for Wimbledon: ‘I cried.’”
Ohhhhhhhh, we all feel you, Serena.
It’s not just about working or not working. Kids will have all kinds of firsts. Unless you are going to be glued to them at every moment, you’re going to miss some of them. She could have easily missed those first steps by taking a shower or running to the grocery store or taking care of another child in another room.
And if you are going to be glued to them at every moment…that’s gonna create some issues for everyone later in life when they need to go out into the world.
But because it was while she was working…There’s the guilt, the judgement. It’s oxygen for mommy wars. The world is suddenly invited to judge Serena, the mom. (Though thankfully, this time around a lot of mama bears had her back…)
Gayle King is one of many mothers who can likely relate. Just before I went on CBS This Morning a few months ago to promote Chairman Mom, she and I were talking about working motherhood, how both of us felt like we drew more strength and power from becoming a mother. She said people always asked her if she felt bad missing her kids’ first steps while she was out working, which she didn’t. It wasn’t the first or last milestones they’d have, she said. “And you were there for the first steps they took out of your body and into the world…” I added. Another rejoinder could have been, “Has anyone ever asked their dad that question?”
Our questions for today…
- Ideas for how to navigate business and friendship partnership agreements
- How do you weigh the trade-offs between what’s best for the family and your own interests?
– Sarah Lacy