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My mother worked, and I turned out okay. In fact, my mother worked a lot. She was a teacher until I was born, then she added a Ph.D. in psychology, followed by a law degree and a legal career that would have made her father proud. Eventually she entered the international insurance business. No, I don't understand what an international insurance expert does any more than I understand what an international lawyer does, but it certainly gets her lots of frequent-flier miles.
My mother worked, and I turned out okay. I recited this like a mantra through nine months of pregnancy. Not only did she work, but she loved working, and yet ... we had dinner each night as a family (takeout, usually, but let's not quibble). I never came home to an empty house after school. There was always someone to help with my homework (or bring it to school when I forgot it) or pick me up and tuck me in when I was sick.
My mother worked, and I turned out okay. Within days after Evan was born, I knew he would be okay, too. One afternoon I loaded him into his stroller intending to sit in the broiling sun in the courtyard of our Houston apartment building and edit a manuscript while he slept. The elevator was broken. I had to bounce the stroller down the stairs. He woke up on the very last step, and his screams were accompanied by the unmistakable sound of a diaper being dirtied. I carried the stroller back up the stairs, changed the diaper, nursed him back to sleep, then collapsed in a miserable, sweaty heap on the couch.