I have a confession. Before I had children of my own, I wasn’t very kind to working moms. I dove straight into a corporate career after college, full of confidence and ambition. As I grew familiar with office life and my various colleagues, I regarded many of the working mothers as boring, frazzled, or woefully outdated. I rolled my eyes at stories of parental mishaps, feigned interest in baby pictures, and checked my watch when women dashed off early to attend to a child. What I lacked in experience, I made up with hours logged at my desk – a competition I could always win as a single twentysomething. More than anything, I was absorbed in my own bubble, which rarely involved anyone under the age of 21. Of course, karma had a solution to that problem – three of them, to be exact. Now it’s my turn to explain why a 7 am meeting doesn’t work with the school bus schedule, or why my sick child is watching Ninjago in the conference room. I know that happy hours and daycare hours are mutually exclusive, and bleary-eyed mornings are the result of fussy toddlers with the “wrong” blanket in the middle of the night. Sometimes I wonder how I must appear to my younger co-workers. Am I now boring, frazzled, and outdated? Do they appreciate that what I lack in availability, I make up in experience and leadership? Are they indifferent to my presence, or does it reassure them to see a woman with a fulfilling career and a family? Maybe it doesn’t matter what they think right now as long as I leave a trail for them to follow. Many thankless women did the same for me.