Monday, July 28, 2014

Amen, Michelle (or how to make a speech with a baby)

Michelle Obama, obviously not at a loss for childcare and resources right now, was not always in the White House.

At a conference on families she describes her days as a working mother trying to juggle a job and childcare with two little kids. Been there, done that!!!

When I was working full-time and had two little boys to care for, I was blessed with a babysitter whom I met at a church function. She was newly retired at the time and looking for something part-time since her kids were grown. My work hours required me to be in the newsroom at 5 a.m. so everyday at 4 a.m. Bobbie would come to my house, to care for the boys so I could get to work. She got them up at 6 a.m. or 7 a.m. and took them to their daycare center. She was also on-call when I had to work late or got called-in on a story, ( remember the day Big Blue fell at Miller Park? It was "all- hands- on- deck" until 10p.m. ) since the day care closed at 6 p.m.

She saved my career and my sanity.

But before Bobbie, and when I had just one baby J-B, I would bring him to work in his car seat and plop him down next to my desk. The daycare center opened at 6:30 a.m. and I had to be on the air at 7 a.m.
Luckily, the center was just across the street from the station, so at exactly 6:25 a.m. I would swoop my baby up and drive him across the street. Give him a hug and a kiss and blast back across the street to get on the set.

Then there was the afternoon when I had to make a speech to a women's group. I picked up my son and took him along. He was not happy that he had to sit in his car seat at a table with a bunch of people that he did not know, so he started to cry.  Now, when an audience member's baby starts to cry in the middle of the event, the best thing to do is take the baby out of the room.  But when the SPEAKER'S baby starts to cry in the middle of the speech, what do you do?

I apologized for the interruption, picked him up from his seat and held him in my arms for the rest of the speech. Luckily, I was talking about my career and how I had gotten to this point so he became an illustration of the challenges that working mothers face.

The speech went over pretty well, and J-B was a hit!

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