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Let me first say I've had a girl crush on Lara Logan for sometime now. As a fellow correspondent, I have long admired her stellar reporting, her fearlessness and her incredible ability to communicate on television.
I briefly met Logan, who is down to earth and yes -- beautiful -- when I worked for CBS News, so when I heard of the brutal attack she sustained while reporting in Cairo, it hit home on several levels.
When Logan had her first child back in 2009, I was still at CBS and remember thinking, “Would she still be able to cover war zones -- something that seemed to be in her blood –- now that she has a child?” I thought to myself then that there was no way I could go anywhere dangerous once I had children. Children who would depend on me to be around a very long time.
I was never a war correspondent but I did report from the Mideast for CNN from 2002 through 2003, and covered some tense scenes in Gaza between Israeli soldiers and Palestinians. I felt fearless then and didn’t give my work a second thought, but should someone ask me to cover a similar situation now, with two little girls at home, I wouldn’t even consider it.
For Logan, she couldn’t consider not continuing to travel to Iraq, Afghanistan and other hotspots like Egypt after her first -- and then her second -- child was born. That said, in a revealing interview on CBSNews.com, she talked about how much harder those decisions were now that she had a family. “Would I go back now that I am a wife and a mother? I have,” she said. “Is it much harder? Yes. Do I feel terribly guilty? Yes, I do but I have a sense of responsibility and a sense of duty and I believe that this is something that I was meant to do.”
I have to say Logan’s decisions make me admire her even more. The easier path, really, would be to give up the war zone reporting, get a comfortable Washington, D.C. beat and remove the perils associated with being a chief foreign affairs correspondent. But as Logan said, war reporting is what she feels she was born to do. Should she give it up now that she is a mother? She really is no different from any working mom who loves her kids and her job and feels torn between the pull of her children and the dedication to her career.
All working mothers make choices and face consequences for those choices. The consequences are no doubt starkest for the women whose jobs involve risks to their own well being like Logan and working moms who choose to serve in the military and become police officers and astronauts, to name just a few dangerous occupations. These are individual decisions but I believe our country and our world are better off if some working moms -- like Lara Logan -- make the decisions they make.
We still don’t know the extent of the horror that Logan experienced and we can’t imagine it, but iVillage’s emotional wellness expert, psychiatrist Dr. Gail Saltz, told the Today show getting back to work could help Lara on the her road to recovery.
Like many other women, I haven’t stopped thinking about Logan since I heard the news and am sending her the best wishes for the speediest of recoveries. And should she choose to go back to the fabulous work she did before this horrendous attack, I’ll be cheering her on even more loudly, knowing she is making the toughest decision a working mom can make but how great for her -- and for us -- she’s doing what she loves to do.