Motherhood Unites Us

Our country lost a legend yesterday. The 2nd woman to serve on the supreme court, Ruth Bader Ginsburg inspired generations of women, young and old alike. She paved the way for women to have careers, showed us what being in an equal partnerships with our spouses looks like, and inspired us with her totally bad mama workout...that she did until she was in her 80s no less.

As a 34 year old mother of three who has never had a conventional job and certainly doesn't have the smarts of RBG, I have always assumed that the two of us wouldn't share anything in common. Since she was a Supreme Court Justice almost my entire life, I've only ever known her as that.

I recently was surprised to learn that RBG and I share one special thing in common. We were both mothers while attending college.

From wikipedia: "After the birth of their daughter, Ginsburg's husband was diagnosed with testicular cancer. During this period, Ginsburg attended class and took notes for both of them, typing her husband's dictated papers and caring for their daughter and her sick husband—all while making the Harvard Law Review." I'm sorry, did I read that right? Ginsburg was not only attending law school (a feat alone in the 1950s) but also caring for her young daughter and sick husband?! #originalbossmom

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Ruth Bader Ginsburg with her husband and young daughter

My story is not nearly as exciting or impressive as that, but I did become pregnant with my first child while completing my coursework for an associate's degree. I took as many classes as I could during my pregnancy. I barely fit in the desks as I neared the end! She was due early December, three weeks before final exams. I had her, then a week and half later, sat for two exams, one in English and one in Psychology. In the spring semester when she was a couple of months old, I signed up for a 4:45am Math class so that I could be home in time for my husband to leave for work. One day I slept in and didn't have time to nurse her before my class. Half way through algebra 2, my breasts were going to explode and I had to explain to my professor why I just had to leave. I'm thankful that he was understanding and let me leave (or maybe the sheer mention of breastfeeding freaked him out!)

Now, I don't know if Justice Ginsburg ever had this exact same experience. I'm guessing she probably didn't. But I think it's cool that we have the shared experience of being mothers while in college. It just goes to show you, that even when you think you have nothing in common with someone, motherhood can be the thing to unite you.

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My graduation lunch when my daughter was 6 months old