My predecessor, the phenomenally talented Emily Kestel, introduced me last week as the new Business Record journalist behind the Fearless e-newsletter. I wanted to tell you more about myself, beyond the degrees and achievements – beyond what I am proud of. This is the stuff I wouldn’t put on a resume.

I am one of the women who slipped during the pandemic. I was absent from the respected workforce, left behind, not contributing to a 401(k), wearing ratty pajamas too often. I had more than one person ask me, “So, you’re not working at all right now?”

When the pandemic started, mothers’ employment dipped more deeply than fathers’ and then recovered more slowly over the next two years, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. Experts say one thing mostly explains both time periods: difficulty finding quality, affordable child care.

I coached gymnastics on March 13, 2020, and never got to tell my gymnasts goodbye because the world shut down over spring break. I was freelancing for the Washington Post. I was teaching my daughter to read. (She was just 4 when the pandemic hit the U.S.) I was a full-time home-school teacher, despite never wanting to be a home-school teacher.

Yet I “wasn’t working.” For some reason, many Americans don’t believe women are working unless they have a desk. That is easy to see. That is tangible. That is valued labor. At one point, I considered getting work delivering the Des Moines Register, a publication I had once written and edited for, because I could do it while my daughter and husband slept. Then I would be available to home-school my daughter during the daylight hours.

I have a desk now. But I’m still trying to find my voice post-pandemic. It is my hope that Fearless will help the labor of all women be valued, appreciated and understood. I can’t do that without you. I want to hear your story ideas. I want to hear about your achievements and your struggles – are there some days you stay in your holey pajamas, too, readers? Tell me why. My email address is

I’m ready to listen.

Categories: Child Care