I take my children to work and my work comes home, to my children. I made the decision to incorporate my professional and family life several years ago. I choose clients with family friendly policies, who are flexible and who allow me to balance work with raising children. I often bring my kids to meetings, interviews and other work-related assignments. This course of action has created a few memorable moments.
The Day My Mind Went Blank
I do freelance business articles for the Alaska Journal of Commerce and took an assignment to write an article about Tasty Tweets, a fundraiser for Ryan Stanley who is from Juneau, Alaska. Valette McLay was an organizer for the event and agreed to meet me for an interview. It was my first time meeting Valette and the story was my first news assignment since having my second child. I was still in a postpartum fog. During the interview, my mind went blank. I completely forgot what I was doing. I forgot the story. I forgot my name. It is quite awkward to go blank, particularly in an interview situation. Valette was very kind about it.
Kaladi Brothers Coffee is one of my clients. I am at their headquarters on Brayton often. Luckily, I live near Brayton, so I usually load the kids into the stroller and walk over to the cafe for meetings. I bring tons of snacks, juice boxes and other things to occupy the kids. I find that graham crackers keep them occupied the longest. After a recent meeting, I got this text a few days later from Chief Operating Officer Dale Tran: I just stepped on a graham cracker in my office. It crunched under my foot.
Confusion Over The Red Purse
Speaking of Dale, he is the man behind the Kaladi Brothers Twitter account. I tweet for Kaladi Brothers on occasion, as well. I also have a personal Twitter account and often tweet about my kids. The Kaladi account and my personal one were loaded onto Tweet Deck at the time. My daughter grabbed my red purse and was carrying it around her neck. I thought it was pretty cute and decided it was tweet worthy. I uploaded a photo of my daughter and tweeted something like: My daughter loves to carry her mama’s red purse. Moments later the phone rang. It was Dale wanting to know why the local (and confused) Twitter community was sending him direct messages. Dale then had to explain to many followers that he does not have a daughter or a red purse.
Hot Chocolate Bath
I often team up with former coworker Sandra Yi-Fuller on projects and decided to bring my toddler to a meeting with Sandra. I bought my daughter a hot chocolate and set her up with a movie. This strategy usually works very well. Not that day. My daughter decided to instead, spray her hot chocolate onto the table next to us. Fortunately, no one was at the other table. Unfortunately, Sandra was caught in the crossfire.
The Flying Shoe
A client asked me to do an on camera news interview for the company. Interviews are hard to plan for because they often pop up at the last minute. My husband was working and there was no time to find a sitter, so I brought the kids. Both were in the double stroller off to the side of the camera. In the middle of the interview, my daughter took her shoe off and tossed it onto the sidewalk. Without missing a beat, Channel 2 Reporter Jackie Bartz kneeled down, grabbed the shoe, handed it back to my daughter and continued with the interview. Very impressive, Jackie.
Doing The Cabbage Patch
My favorite memorable moment takes me back to my first year when I was still working at the office full-time. I brought my daughter to work during her first year of life. I shared an office with my coworker, Emily Ford. We had a lot of fun with the baby. As an example, while listening to OutKast on the radio, Emily put the baby on her lap and proceeded to assist my daughter in doing The Cabbage Patch. It was a fantastic moment.
Incorporating my children into my professional life is rewarding, frustrating, challenging and exhilarating. I love it. More memorable moments are sure to come. I’ll be sure to share them with all of you.