Meena and Maya Harris Inadvertently Gave Me an Hourlong TED Talk on Parenting: Here’s What I Learned
Ditch the mom guilt. Like, all of it.
No, the Harris woman aren’t magically immune to the worries that beset all parents. The first time then-2-year-old Amara picked up a pair of AirPods and declared that she was on a conference call, “My initial reaction was like, ‘Oh, s–t, what am I doing to my kids?'” Meena acknowledged.
But then she remembered what she gleaned all those years ago watching her mom attend law school lectures and tagging along to her office. “It was very important for me to see my mom working,” she noted. “And it was really formative for me in being a hard worker, in having work ethic and seeing women being leaders.”
So when her eldest complained that she didn’t want Mommy to have to work, “instead of saying, ‘Oh, I know, work sucks,'” Meena recalled, “I was very careful in that moment to say, ‘Well, you know, I actually really like working. I know why you don’t like it because it’s taking me away from you,’ so acknowledging her feelings and where that was probably coming from, but turning it into hopefully a positive and showing her that I love working.”
With business trips, Meena makes it a point to bring home not just souvenirs from her travels, but stories about what she accomplished while she was gone. As such, her 4-year-old understand that she designs clothes (like Phenomenal’s Mother’s Day collection) and writes books, like Ambitious Girl and her debut, Kamala and Maya’s Big Idea, “and she said, ‘Can I write the next one with you?'”