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Happy Mother’s Day, Elaine!
A Tribute to Yale’s Wife and Her Incredible Work-Life Balance
I think it’s fair to say being a working mom is very tough. Even tougher during a pandemic! But my wife, Elaine, has been an absolute champion through all of this, so I had to take a moment in my newsletter to give a small tribute to just how amazing she’s been through this process. From observing my own mother, I thought I had a pretty clear idea of what a working mom looked like. My mother, like Elaine, was incredibly dedicated to both her children and her career. She went back to law school when I was in elementary school. While she was almost always at home and available during the day, she’d take law classes at night. Later, she became self-employed and was able to be around even more often. I don’t know if she thought of her actions as sacrifices; it was something she wanted to do for us, to be with us always. My wife is also a working mom and lawyer, and it’s just reinforced to me how masterful they both are at work-life balance, while I feel clumsy by comparison. Elaine has shown me a new picture of what it means to be a working mom. Most importantly, this makes her happy. And I couldn’t be more proud. The first time I asked my wife Elaine on a date, she said no. That was back in law school, and we still stayed friends throughout our studies! I’m pretty persistent, or so I’m told, and we eventually ended up together. But celebrating our relationship and that we now have three beautiful children isn’t exactly why I’m writing about my wife for Mother’s Day. Elaine is a great mom and, despite the pandemic, she still does stellar work in her career and for her family every day. I know this Mother’s Day will look different for everybody. There’s nothing funny or lighthearted about our nation going through a health crisis, especially for the health care workers, patients, and all the families affected — but there’s a silver lining, at least for us. My wife doesn’t have to take her usual trips away from home anymore. She’s been with the family every day and has done awesome things to watch out for our kids and give them the regular social interaction every kid needs. Second, with some extra time on her hands, my wife took over all the cooking and she’s doing an amazing job. I don’t mind doing the dishes every night if it means I can eat all the delicious food she makes. And while I’m still getting my bearings, she seems to be in her element. In the past, she worked for firms that required her to spend a lot of time away
from the house, but she loves being involved with the family and doing things around the house. Despite the travel Elaine used to do, her position was already allowing her to work at home whenever possible, so now she gets to do more of that. I know how seriously she takes her career through, well, personal experience. There’s only one time that Elaine and I have ever gotten into a legal argument. While on vacation, we went on a run. I remember the timeline clearly because it was two nights before I planned to ask her to marry me. Now, I don’t remember what the argument was about, but I do remember that she won that argument. She’s a good advocate! Maybe it would’ve intimidated some attorneys, but I knew she was a keeper. Two days later, I proposed, and she said yes. Until now, I never thought about whether Elaine sees the time that she spends with our family as a sacrifice to her career; she’s balanced both so incredibly well. The New York Times recently reported that some moms feel as though they’re working “five jobs” as they work from home with all of their children at home as well. But my wife has never expressed dismay about that, and she has seemed even happier to be home more. I hope, even after the pandemic is over, that silver lining will stay around. Love you, Elaine! Thank you for all that you do, and happy Mother’s Day to mothers everywhere.
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