Friday, February 4, 2022

The Next Generations


Meet baby Jude, the newest little explorer of our family

Introducing my fourth child, space baby Jude Angelo, who launched into this world late Wednesday night, 2/2/22.

After the birth of my second child, an acquaintance advised me not to post personal updates on professional platforms such as LinkedIn, not even life-changing events such as the birth of a child. I didn’t fully understand at the time why that advice bothered me so much that I deliberately chose to do the opposite.

My third child was born early enough into the pandemic that it was still novel to get a peak into the personal lives of our colleagues working from home. I’d been working from home since 2014 and always felt the need to hide the fact that I had babies and young children as office companions over the years.

The rise of coronavirus-times work-at-home normality changed how we collectively perceive the office environment. While I still do my best to minimize noise and take calls away from the kids, I no longer feel hesitant to mention their existence in this home we share.

When my third baby was still young in late 2020 and early 2021, I held her during video calls and conference talks when I needed to, sometimes off camera but usually within view. I had taken my previous two babies to in-person conferences and business events in “the before times.” Holding a baby during a video meeting or talk was a natural extension of that willingness to be public about my working motherhood.

I’ve tried to keep this open mentality moving forward in my public/private life of inviting the world to view a sliver of my home office. I was giving a conference video talk a couple of weeks ago when my 6-year-old calmly walked into the office during the last 5 minutes of my talk and sat on the floor beside me off-camera. It was a sweet moment I treasured. It reminded me of all the times I’d hang out in my mom’s law office or when she was at court, observing her in a professional environment that no doubt influenced me.

I did not enter the space sector with a focus on the next generation. But bringing children into this world has naturally shifted my perspective to become more forward-focused. I want to progress humanity to the stars for the current generations but even more so for the next ones. I want to open the opportunities for everyone who comes after me.

With two, possibly three of my children being similarly disabled, I’m newly motivated to work toward a more inclusive world that won’t limit my children’s passions by their physical challenges. I want my kids, and all who feel called to look up, to be able to reach for the stars.

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