Working Moms: Latesha Fussell

Latesha Fussell is from Brooklyn, New York and is currently the Director of Campus Life for Diversity and Inclusion at Wells College. Not only is she a staff member on campus, but is also a mentor, adviser, and inspiration for many Wells students of color! Latesha is a new mother to Zion Brown, and I sat down with her to speak about what it’s like to be a working mom!

How long has it been now since you’ve been a mom?

It’s been four months and five days. Counting down until he’s 18!

How do you balance being a mother and working a full-time job?

I get a lot of help from the staff that I’m  a part of. Originally, when I became pregnant I got really worried about being able to manage this job, and it was actually the Dean of Students that was like, “Oh so you’re bringing the baby to work right?” Because the first thing I thought was, “Am I going to have daycare?” There is no daycare around here. And he’s so small, so could I trust someone [to babysit]? She told me to bring him to work, so between Emily [Burt], Angela [Guzman], Hailey [Uribe], Meg [Flaherty], Dean Michael, and some of the librarians watching Zion for me, that's when I knew that this was going to work.Even some of the students volunteered to help out!

What’s it like for you now that you have a son, and you’re surrounded by co-workers obviously, but also Wells College students?

It’s a good and a bad thing. Obviously there are certain things that makes me question things that I want him to be exposed to, but it’s also a good thing because I feel like I always have help. I have a stronger connection with some students over other students, so a lot of the students that I don’t have a strong connection with will ask me if they can hold him and sometimes I have to say no because I'm not familiar with them. I still have to be comfortable as his mom. Still, being on a college campus and being exposed to so many different people, even though some of them might be from similar areas as me, is really cool to see. And I feel like he’s a lot more verbal because of the exposure! Being around so many people is helping with his development.

How has your son changed you as a person?

It’s made me a little bit more afraid. I didn’t tell a lot of people this, but I didn’t plan on getting pregnant. When I did find out that I was pregnant, I prayed that it wasn’t going to be a boy, because I knew he was going to be black and one day he would be a black man. Even though people find him very cute now, I hope people are going to find him cute when he’s 18 years old. I’m living my biggest fear, and I know things happen for a reason, but just knowing that right now he’s safe I still worry about when he’s older. So having a boy, a black boy, is causing me to live through my fear.

What else do you have to say to all of the working moms out there?

Don’t take things too seriously, and allow people to help you. I never thought that I was too serious anyway, but I needed to learn how to ask for help. Like today, I had meetings from 9:00 AM until 1:00 PM, and I had to ask everyone, “Hey! Who can watch him?” Just be willing to ask for help, and don’t take things too seriously!