My Morning Keynote with a Toddler on My Hip

Amanda and MayaWhen the Chestnut Hill Rotary of Philadelphia asked me to keynote their membership meeting today, I thought they had said 7:30PM. Only two days ago did I learn the time was 7:30AM.

Panic stricken and bleary eyed from days of travel, I called a handful of fellow moms in the neighborhood yesterday afternoon.

“Hi. Any chance you can take my kids at 7AM tomorrow morning?” (grin)

While I was able to secure a very-early-morning playdate for my 4-year-old son, it’s not so easy to find help for a 2-year-old. They still require a lot of heavy lifting at this age, and I wasn’t  comfortable just depositing my daughter with another family so early in the morning, with such short notice.

Finally, I just decided to bring my 2 year-old daughter to the event.

I didn’t think this was a good idea, nor was I looking forward to the idea of delivering a coherent speech interspersed with repeated requests for “Mommy–up!” “Mommy, banana!” “Mommy, gablughahaga.”

Thanks to the intoxicating effect of Fruit Loops, and many sympathetic parents in the audience, I was able to share my DailyWorth story with this business community while carrying a 2-year-old on my hip. While I can’t say I hope to repeat this situation, I’m glad I was able to spend the extra time with her this morning.

No, it wasn’t exactly so-called quality time–the gold standard every parent aspires to give her kids. But as a working mother, I’ve decided that phrase needs an overhaul.

Quality doesn’t have to just mean home-baked cupcakes and reading many stories all the time. Quality can also mean sharing the stage with my daughter and letting her experience the excitement of being in front of an audience and knowing that her mom is passionate about her work.

Maybe I’m on my iPhone a lot (I am), maybe I shouldn’t text while cooking dinner, but I include my kids in all the parts of my life, whenever I can including a little overexposure to my hard-driving, newly funded, start-up entrepreneurial lifestyle. That’s OK. Sometimes quality is just being together.

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