Allow me to introduce Claire, a modern working mother and attorney in Seattle. She’s this month’s working mother and I’m excited to have her featured on The Cabro.
I met Claire via PEPs, a parenting group here in Seattle. Six weeks before her son was born, her husband Brian died of cancer. He never met their son. While I never knew Brian, I learned over time how incredible he was as a human, a husband, and a father. Claire is open about the death of her husband and being a widowed mother in ways that are raw, humorous, gut wrenching, and real. Thank you, Claire for sharing your story with The Cabro followers.
- Public interest lawyer
- Seattle Washington
- B.A. History, Tufts University
- J.D. Georgetown University
- Married for almost 3 years & together for 10 years
- 2 year old son
- Enjoys traveling, reading, theater, hiking, skiing, running, cooking & baking
How does your partner support your career?
I’m so glad you asked me this, even though Brian is dead, because his support of my career is something I mentioned both in our wedding vows and in his eulogy. He celebrated and championed my work as a public defender as if it was his own – even when the job was hard, and when it took an emotional toll on me – and despite the fact that a public interest career has far less earning potential than a job in the private sector. I know that if he were alive, he’d be so proud of me in my new role. Having said all of that: I deeply miss the logistical and emotional support that comes from having a partner, which would doubtless make working as a single mother easier.
Brian was an incredible partner. He was loving, kind, funny, generous, and unbelievably smart. Nothing I can say will do him justice, so I’ll turn to one of my favorite quotes from a former colleague of his – a White House speechwriter – who wrote to him shortly before he died, “Exceptionally kind people aren’t always funny. Exceptionally funny people aren’t always kind. But you are in the center of that Venn diagram, and you have stayed with me. What a blessed inheritance for your son.” He loved hot dogs, comedy, and the Houston Astros – and me, and he made sure I knew it every day.
How much do you outsource?
Sam is in daycare during the week. My parents help with pickup/drop-off and take him several afternoons a week or for a weekend sleepover. They do a lot for us and I’m so grateful. I pay a landscaper to come once a season. Two friends gifted me cleaning services twice a month. I do most of my own shopping & cooking, and appreciate friends who have sent me takeout via a Meal Train or dropped off homemade food. I have a lot of help – I’m very lucky, and I know it.
Describe your mornings
6:30 – Either my alarm or Sam wake me up. If he’s asleep, I have a leisurely few minutes to check my work email, do my morning skincare routine, lay out Sam’s breakfast, and make a cup of tea If he’s awake, I get his breakfast out quickly and then go into his room to bring him out.
7:00 – Breakfast, clean diaper and clothes, books on the couch, clean-up, and out the door.
8:00 – Daycare drop off
8:15 – I’m back home and depending on the day, either jump straight into work, or try and get in a quick Peloton workout.
Describe your evenings
Sam goes to sleep at 7 every night thanks to sleep training. I’m a huge fan; it worked wonders for us. I know once I put him down, I’ve got a solid 12 hours ahead of me. If I didn’t eat dinner with him, I’ll make myself something. But let’s be honest, cooking for one at the end of the day isn’t super inspiring, so I usually eat something quick. I tidy up the million toys strewn everywhere, make Sam’s lunch for the next day, and then sit on the couch to read, write, or FaceTime with a friend. Nights can be lonely as a single parent, but I’ve started to date, and I also enjoy having uninterrupted time to myself.
I read a piece of advice somewhere and I love it: never do a task while the baby is sleeping that you could do while the baby is awake. For example, I can’t ride the Peloton while Sam is awake, but I can fold a mountain of laundry. I can’t have a long, uninterrupted catch-up with my best friend while Sam is awake, but I can make muffins. He loves to “help” mix the batter. Prioritize your self-care while your kid is sleeping, and leave the other stuff for while he’s awake. It might take longer to vacuum while my toddler insists on helping, but he loves it and I get more time to myself while he’s napping.
Be sure to check out my other Featured on The Cabro bios.