Re: [Recentattendees] IETF 100, Singapore -- proposed path forward and request for input

<nalini.elkins@insidethestack.com> Sun, 22 May 2016 15:26 UTC

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Date: Sun, 22 May 2016 15:25:51 +0000 (UTC)
From: <nalini.elkins@insidethestack.com>
To: Ted Hardie <ted.ietf@gmail.com>, Paul Wouters <paul@nohats.ca>
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Subject: Re: [Recentattendees] IETF 100, Singapore -- proposed path forward and request for input
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>I am sorry that this was not clear, but it is about participation.  If a child is of an age or in circumstances where both parents are needed, then holding a meeting where both parents cannot >be present or cannot be recognized as parents excludes the IETFer(s) in the group from participating.

>This has been the circumstance for me in the past, and it is the reason I missed one of the meetings when I was an AD.
You are indeed fortunate if only one meeting is what you have missed.
I speak as the mother of a 21 year old who has fortunately graduated from college and is off and running.  (And, soon to be off the payroll!)
Children need their parents.   I was the technical co-founder, CTO, and chief developer at a startup when my child was born.  I stayed home with her for 18 years.   I ran two start-ups remotely and continued my development work.   I wrote code with 4 year olds running around my feet and negotiated contracts from the playground.   I made the choice to be a brownie troop leader and to have the option to take my teenager to lunch when she was having a melt-down at school, rather than to expand my startup (or participate in IETF work) and spend 3 out of 4 weeks at airports.
I considered myself to be very fortunate to have the option to continue my work.  I have absolutely no regrets for the opportunities for career advancement that I gave up as well as not growing my startup aggressively or writing more Internet Drafts. (And, some of you who know me, can attest to how much I love technology and how much drive I have.)   My family, including my child, my mother, etc. has always come first.   
I do not know how old your child is but I can tell you from brutal experience that a 14-year old needs you in many ways much more than a 4 month old or a 14-month old child.  Again, children need their parents.  A strong and supportive family provides the roots so that a child can grow wings.  I am proud to say that I am the mother of a delightful, kind and intelligent young woman.
I traveled as little as I possibly could during those years.   I am not suggesting that anyone else emulate what I did.  I made the choices that I did and I have no regrets.  Many women, many people, LGBT or otherwise, do not have the options that I had.    We sometimes traveled as a family on business trips but this becomes much more problematic when the child is in school.   I was fortunate to have the money to take my family at times.  Not everyone does.
There are trade-offs in life.  No one can have it all.   Many of us are very fortunate to have a great deal.
This is a different discussion but the lack of women in technology and many other areas is often because they choose to take care of their children at the cost of their careers.   For me, an understandable choice.
Nalini