Professor Meryl Perlson is one of Lasell College’s Associate Professors of Communication, and is also the Head of the Communications Department. Not only does Perlson serve as an inspiration to her students, but also to her two children. She shares with us the ups and down of her trajectory as a professional, working mother.
Perlson is the mother to Simon, an 18 year old college freshman, and Noa, her 13 year old daughter, who has a rare form of autism. The journey of her being a mother and a professor first began in California, where she was teaching as an assistant professor right before having her son. Perlson shares the sacrifices that she had to make in her professional career to be a good mother, once she had her first born.
Soon after having Simon, Perlson, originally from New Jersey, decided it would be best to relocate back to her home state where her family would be able to participate in her child’s life. When having her second child, Perlson then became a stay-at-home mom for seven years. Although she would never trade being a mother with any profession, Perlson admits that her colleagues from past employment have had more success then she has, as she has given up opportunities to tend to the needs of her children.
However, Perlson continues to excel in her career, and with that comes the challenge of wanting to be in two places at once. Not being able to do this has led to the challenge of not doing a sufficient job as both a mother and professor.
“I can’t imagine having to choose between being a mom or having a professional career,” says Perlson about her role as a working mom. “Both are part of my identity.”
Having the ability to be a stay-at-home mother for a couple of years allowed her to develop a deeper connection with her kids due to the small day-to-day interactions. While as a professor, she is able to contribute to society in a meaningful way by reaching the minds of young adults.
Perlson leaves us in hope that she has demonstrated to her children to not fall into gender lines, and to be satisfied and fulfilled with whatever you may do in life. She has effectively portrayed this to her children, as well as her students, who she has inspired as a working mother.
*Pictures provided by Perlson.