I launched Mommy’s Gap Year in 2017 to explore why women take a break from their careers and how they relaunch after such a break. Mommy’s Gap Year is intended to be a lighthearted look at American family life and its struggles, but also a resource for women and organizations who seek to empower women and families.
I am a mom of 3, wife, lawyer, cook and runner. I have a BS in Biopsychology from the University of Michigan and a law degree from the Santa Clara University School of Law. I began my career as a litigator with a large Silicon Valley law firm, specializing in Intellectual Property litigation. In 2003, my husband’s job took us (and our dog) to North Carolina, where I spent most of the next twelve years advocating for the rights of people with disabilities, after a post as the Assistant Dean of Career Services at the UNC School of Law. In late 2015, my husband’s job took us (now with 3 kiddos and a dog) back across the country to Portland, Oregon.
When the opportunity in Portland first popped up, we discussed how the timing would work with my work in North Carolina – I was a contract lobbyist for several nonprofits, and the timing between sessions would allow my clients to transition to new representation well in advance of the next session. We would move to Portland (where we actually have family!) over the winter break from school and I would take some time to get the kids settled into their new schools before looking for a new job. Maybe I would even wait until the fall, as our youngest would start kindergarten then. But then, two opportunities arose, and it seemed crazy to turn down not one but two offers, so I spent my first year in Portland doing public policy work for a healthcare nonprofit. Then, for all sorts of reasons that I will explore ad nauseam in this blog, I just could not continue . . . And I quit.
Taking a break from a career that has been central to your identity for almost 20 years is hard y’all. It is especially hard when you have only recently moved all the way across the country and don’t know a whole lot of people. There are tons of mom groups for stay at home moms with babies, but I have yet to find a group for moms of school age children who just up and quit their career once all of said children finally got to be school age. I started looking around for resources and support for people like me and couldn’t find anything that I could relate to. So, I started this blog to give me an outlet. I love to write and I am passionate about work life balance and family friendly work policies. I also hope that it can eventually serve as resource for advocacy organizations.