Dispatches from working mom front | Rachel Goldenberg

By Rachel Goldenberg

Last Updated: Monday, January 30, 2023 @ 8:18 AM

Law360 Canada (January 30, 2023, 9:17 AM EST) --
Rachel Goldenberg
It has been almost three years since the world first shut down in abject terror of this new deadly virus, Coronavirus disease 2019. And yet, likely because of intense PTSD, it feels like just yesterday. I remember it all.

I remember being so stressed that the kids would be off school for two weeks — two weeks? Can you imagine? What am I supposed to do with them for two weeks?

I remember packing up my laptop and belongings from the office to relocate “temporarily” to remote working.

I remember running up and down the stairs to get my daughter a glue stick or get my son a snack.

I remember sitting at the head of my dining room table, with one kid on each side of me with a laptop and headphones (because I was tired of running up and down the stairs).

I remember being in the middle of a Zoom meeting when, suddenly, my son shot up out of his seat, took off his headphones, and started singing and dancing to GoNoodle’s “Banana, Banana, Meatball” for morning “body break”.

Thankfully, the children are back at school these days. That is, until someone sneezes. It seems like every other day now we hear of a new virus circulating through the class. Every time my phone rings and it says my kids’ school, or No Caller ID, my stomach turns as I think, Who’s sick now? There goes my day of meetings and actually getting work done.

Which begs the question, how do I actually get any work done? When I was working from home as a content lawyer at LexisNexis, it was much easier. I could fit a couple of hours in before the kids wake up or after dinner. I had 24-hour access to all my work equipment, so I could respond to emails or join meetings with little to no advance warning or preparation.

But when I switched careers into property management, my world changed. I go into an office every day. I need to get my work done during standard working hours. I need to consider things like weather and traffic in order to ensure that I am on time for meetings. And when I get the dreaded call from school, I need to call my husband desperately to go pick up our kid because I am busy or too far away. Worst of all, I have to wear pants that actually have a zipper, not just my stretchy yoga pants!

But I love it. Going back to work in an office, seeing people every day, is an experience that just cannot be replicated online in a Teams meeting. I am much happier, both as a mom and as an employee. I get my work done, and I get to be that version of me — the strong, independent working woman — not just the caretaking mom.  

Being a working mom is a gruelling, thankless job. I was in negotiations at one point to sell my kids, but unfortunately that deal fell through, so I still have them for now. And I will continue to work and to support them in their academics and future careers. And I know one day, when my kids call me to vent about their struggles as a working parent, I will smile and patiently say, “Yeah, but did you have to do it through a global pandemic? No? Then stop complaining and go to work!”

Rachel Goldenberg is executive property manager at Adams & Waks Construction and the author of A Deadly Truth.

The opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the author’s firm, its clients, 
The Lawyer’s Daily, LexisNexis Canada, or any of its or their respective affiliates. This article is for general information purposes and is not intended to be and should not be taken as legal advice.

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