I recently had the pleasure of talking with author Michelle Cove about my working mom experience for her latest project. I think it’s going to be a great book (even if I don’t end up in it!), so I offered Michelle the chance to post about it here as our guest. Check out her story and, if you want to, complete her questionnaire to be considered for inclusion in her book. Also, look for her upcoming book coming out this fall: Seeking Happily Ever After: Navigating the ups and downs of being single without losing your mind (and finding lasting love along the way) — Susan

I am a journalist and national bestselling author writing a parenting book for moms who like their job, love their kids, and are forever dividing their attention between the two. We moms are so lucky to have work we enjoy that we don’t feel we have any right to complain. So instead we keep our guilt, frustrations and other issues bottled up or confess them only to our closest friends. We also swap strategies with one another, noting which ones succeeded and which tanked miserably. Wouldn’t it be great to have all these strategies and personal anecdotes in one book?

That’s what I’m trying to create, and I need your help. If this projects sounds like something you’d be a good fit for, please take a few minutes and fill out my questionnaire. You don’t have to use your full name (first name only is fine). Thank you in advance for your thoughts and (precious) time!

In the name of fairness, I will share my own personal story that highlights a moment when work and family called at the same time.

I was just beginning to make my first documentary when my daughter was three. I didn’t know anyone in the “business” at the time and my brother helped set up a phone call for me with a big-time film editor. This guy agreed to answer my questions but had only one time slot he could offer because he was leaving for Japan for several weeks. So I said “no problem” and prayed my daughter would be napping at that time.

On the day of his call, I was so excited, counting down the hours. Thirty minutes before his call I put my daughter down for her nap. Phew! He called bang on time and just when we were getting to the good stuff (the tips I needed), I heard my daughter yelling for me. I tried to ignore it but her calls were getting louder and louder. So I excused myself and went up to her room.

When I opened her door, I couldn’t believe it. She was covered head to toe in diaper cream, which she painted her body  with. She didn’t seem to be in any discomfort; in fact she seemed pretty delighted with herself. What was I supposed to do? The editor was waiting for me on the line. She needed by help getting cleaned up. So I made a split second decision and threw crayons and paper on her floor, closed her door, and finished the call. In the end (luckily), my daughter was just fine and I got the info I needed.

I can’t say I’m proud of my actions but nor can I say I’d do it differently to do over again. It was the best I could think to do in the moment. (Sigh.)

–Michelle Cove

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