Why do you do what you do?

Telling your coworkers that you need to miss the client meeting to handle your daughter’s case of lice is risky.

"This is unfair to those of us who don’t have kids!"

"Can she really handle this promotion?"

Or imagine if you let your nanny handle the lice situation.

"I wonder how she feels about someone else raising her kids."

"Why did she bother to have kids if she’s never going to see them!"

I have downplayed the seriousness of my career to avoid the (sometimes imagined) judgment of teachers, doctors, and stay-at-home moms. I have feigned illness to attend ballet recitals and locked myself in the closet to avoid the background noise of children while on conference calls.

I don’t do it anymore.

I run a branding agency in a New York City, and my children are 5 and 7. I started my own company above all for the freedom it allows me – to be a creative professional and to be the kind of mother I want to be.

I miss work to take my children to the doctor. I take client calls while at the playground. I want to send a message - parenting v. professionalism is not a zero-sum game.

— Susan Hamilton

Photography by Tim Leavitt