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Parent juggling act

Parent juggling act

For the past two weeks, I had to perfect my juggling skills.

My parents, who care for my son every day while my husband and I are at work, were on a well-deserved two-week vacation. That leaves me to keep several childcare balls in the air.

My son, David Michael, spent the first three days with a stay-at-home mom neighbor and the next two days at home with my husband, who is taking a couple personal days. The following week, he spent three days with another stay-at-home mom friend and the next two days with his paternal grandparents. I needed a nap just thinking about it.

Fortunately, David Michael is an easygoing, low-maintenance kid. My neighbor texted that he got upset about 45 minutes after I dropped him off, when he apparently realized I wasn’t returning soon. He calmed down in time for his first nap.

It was hard not to count down the hours until I saw him again, but fortunately, my work kept me busy and fulfilled. Compounding my mommy guilt was the fact that I barely saw him over that weekend.

His paternal grandparents watched him Thursday through Sunday morning as my husband and I extended a work conference into a weekend date in downtown Chicago.

As I stole glances at my cell phone to see his little face on my screen wallpaper, what I looked forward to most was my husband and I getting David Michael ready for bed.

Those little moments fuel my day and make it all worthwhile – all the driving around, dropping off, picking up, calling for favors and juggling that fill my calendar.

That’s what I hope to share in this blog. Thanks for reading and, please, submit your comments. I want to create a conversation in this space.

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  1. Angela Hedworth May 21, 2013 at 10:33 am · Reply

    I envy you. I have two girls: 1 and 3 years old. My husband works six days a week; I work full time as well. The difference? We have no support network. His parents live in NC and are very elderly and in poor health. My parents are dead. He is an only child. I have one brother who lives in a group home in Central IL. We don’t get weekend dates in Chicago. We don’t get any breaks at all. I so wish my girls had maternal and paternal grandparents to be actively involved in their lives and yes, to help us out on occassion.

    I feel guilty because I want a Mommy break!

  2. I was excited to see this article, however I can hardly feel sorry for you. An “extended work conference with a weekend date in Chicago”? I haven’t had a get away date with my husband since our daughter was born almost four years ago. While I don’t mean to start a debate of “which mommy does more”- this article is just totally unrelatable for me.

  3. As said by the others before me, I couldn’t wait to see if there were some good ideas in this article. My children are grown up now. Try juggling 4 children all about 3 years apart, baby sitters, work, different schools. This article should be entitled “First time parents”.

  4. Lisa Parro

    Thanks, Angela and Casey, for your comments. I realize I am indeed blessed to have a support network of friends and family eager and able to help.

    Sorry, Casey, that you couldn’t relate to it and I hope you and your husband do find a chance to get away. I don’t want anyone to feel sorry for me but I appreciate your feedback.

  5. Angela Hacke

    I am glad I am not the only one with anxiety about child care. My nanny of six years just resigned two days ago. I am not left with finding care for my 6-year-old son and 3-year-old daughter. It is very stressful. While there are a lot of options out there, finding one that works for your family can be difficult.

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About the Author

Lisa Parro
Lisa Parro

Lisa Parro, health enews contributor, is a content manager for Advocate Health Care and Aurora Health Care. A former journalist, Lisa has been in health care public relations since 2008 and has a master’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University. She and her family live in Chicago’s western suburbs.