She’s a mother to two young boys running a new division of a hospital. Already overworked and exhausted given her day job alongside being a mom during the pandemic, her husband and one of her sons come down with Covid.
Her husband and three-year-old son move to the basement for two weeks where she makes them meals, doles out meds, and leaves items at the top of the stairs on a tray for a handoff. She calls out times for naps, baths, and bed, while nursing her otherwise oblivious baby.
A's Covid-positive husband plays with their baby through the glass door to the basement, where he's stuck quarantining.
I called her the other day to check in, and she picks up my Facetime looking a bit panicked, but still gorgeous, as she runs around the house for her family. You can see her large, dark brown eyes peering through the clear visor she’s sporting.
Her work turns into video visits. She hopes her 9-month old son won’t get into too much trouble while he crawls around underneath her computer. She’s now forced to split her time between patient care and keeping a watchful eye on her family.
“I’m trying to think of how my story relates to She’s Independent,” she says to me.
A is one of my best friends and wants to be supportive of our startup and community. She loves the mission.
I had asked a few besties from college to capture and share movement from their Thanksgiving day via our private FB group. We’re used to meeting locally for the annual Turkey Trot in downtown Ann Arbor followed by a hang at Starbucks to warm up from the cold-Michigan trot, catch up on life stories, and get our fill of caffeine in before returning to our respective households.
A quick memory is captured from the 2018 Turkey Trot.
Movement is medicine, as is community and our get togethers. I’m thankful to have these traditions in my life. Even when my family questioned my “need” to meet girlfriends downtown over a holiday. The girls are family too at this point.
I know these women love the concept of She’s Independent and want to support it, but as mothers to young kids and babies in quarantine, they’re just getting by.
In response to my earlier ask, A tells me that she’d be happy to post her shitty dinner later.
That’s just it. She’s authentic. She’s real. She struggles, yet keeps going, and says it how it is. And I love her for that. I reply that her running around for her family is a qualifying moment of movement and that anything she wants to contribute is awesome. But I won’t hold her to it. I know how busy she is.
We don’t show up with rainbows and unicorns every day. We talk about life, we get real, and we’re here for each other. She exercises her voice. She speaks with authority on politics, women’s issues, diversity and inclusion, and healthcare. I love hearing her opinionated, passionate, highly educated views around everything- including what makeup brand I should be purchasing for combined SPF protection and that dewy glow.
We’re not showing up as appropriate, small, feminine dolls. We are showing up as strong women. We are showing up as our authentic selves.
That’s right, A. You are the independent, opinionated, women we talk about all the time. You’re representing She’s Independent without even trying. You’re raising your boys as educated, well-rounded feminists, and we love everything you stand for.
Now please remember to take care of YOU and be thankful for what you’re bringing to the table. Shitty meal and all.
Now for that voice we love:
“I feel that this pandemic burden unfairly falls on women. We are asked to do more than we should without a general understanding that we are being asked to do this. We need to offer support to women who aren't fortunate enough to work from home, who have to take time off to care for their families, or who have to leave the workforce entirely.” - A
We love you, A.
NOTE. We fully acknowledge that many out there don’t have the same access to healthcare resourcing we and A’s family do. Many don’t have access to things like healthy food and others lack support from community and family members to help get through the toughest of times. We acknowledge and disagree with policy that further burdens those in tougher socioeconomic positions.
-- Please note that this article has not yet been reviewed by our editor. --
About Natalie Levy, Founder & Mentor, She's Independent
Passionate about pushing boundaries and being independent from a young age, she holds a BSE of Industrial Engineering and minor in Mathematics graduating Magna Cum Laude from the University of Michigan. She has held roles in derivatives trading at Citigroup, enterprise data sales and operations at numerous technology businesses including Bloomberg and early stage ventures. She led business development efforts for private equity investor Turn/River Capital which was focused around SaaS optimizations and has made a handful of angel investments. She currently resides in Denver with her loving rescue pup Bina. Through She's Independent, Natalie offers coaching and mentorship from professional confidence and salary negotiation to business strategy, including go-to-market and fundraising.