Don't Be Afraid to Ask
I finally decided that my village would not suffer if I requested full travel reimbursement. In fact, my village would suffer if I didn't. Driving to the conference had cost my family money (as well as a fair amount of sanity). Wasting travel funds would make my department look bad. And setting a precedent of treating a nursing mother's unique expenses as her "personal" problem would be a disservice to every future mother at my institution. I owed it to all of these people to set false selflessness aside and be just a tiny bit importunate. I had to ask.
Elesha Coffman is assistant professor of church history at the University of Dubuque Theological Seminary.
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