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Letters to Cooper: Dear Pumpkin


The Ups, Downs and Sideways of Working Motherhood

Letters to Cooper: Dear Pumpkin

Alex Steinman

I've been crazy busy at work and in life lately. It's hard missing pick-up, drop-off, dinner time and bedtime, but we've all been there. Thank God for a partner who parents, parents who help, and mama friends who support. It takes a village. I spent the last half of the week in Orlando at the Diversity Woman Business Leadership Conference. An inspiring event (more on that later), I learned a lot about myself. Like going to Epcot alone is super depressing.

While late-night texting with my insomniac mama friends in a Disney resort hotel room, a dear one (shout out to Mack) suggested setting up an email account for Cooper and sending him "letters" to read when he's older. The idea made me cry because Mack's the kind of person who tells you things that make you cry, and also because I work in advertising, and if Dear Sophie doesn't make you cry, you're made of stone.

So hot on the heels of day filled with lessons from amazing lady bosses of color, I wrote this letter:

Dear Pumpkin,

I'm in the hotel room near Epcot. I always loved business travel until I didn't anymore, and then I just wanted to spend all my time with you. I've shown everyone here pictures of you- walking, smiling, eating. I'm so proud of you.

Know that everything I do is with intention and purpose. I'm away to better myself as a woman of color and in turn better my industry. It is my wish to leave a world for you and your children where gender and race are not factors in their profession. Where you feel uplifted by those who came before you and where you can advocate for those who come after you. I believe in the, "you can do whatever you put your mind to" bullshit they teach you in school. But putting your mind to it requires hustle and hunger and the relentless pursuit of learning.

If you have a sister (God willing), treat her kindly as your equal. Be a feminist and push for equality wherever you are, for your future daughters depend on it. It is your responsibility, as it is mine. I hope you are proud of your mama.