Submitted by Zoe Withers
I had so many plans, but they all went by the wayside when I got sick (and I mean really sick) recently. As a co-founder at ThinkBaby.org, I regularily devote time to writing and cultivating articles for our readers on a wide variety of topics related to children including baby gear, feeding babies, and recipes. Readers appreciate that we provide thoughts about a lot of things which you can see when you scan some of our most recent stories which included thoughts on things like healthy toddler sleep habits, toddler play, and comparing free-style vs. forced parenting.
Being sick was no fun, and I hope I'm never that sick again, but some unexpected good did come from it.
It turned out to be a good opportunity for our kids to bond and interact with both sets of grandparents who were nice enough to swoop in and take care of them whilst I was completely out of action, and my husband was working. I'm grateful that they were willing to keep our house together and our kids fed, bathed, nurtured and loved during the last weeks.
Thankfully I'm feeling great again and am back at it; managing the kids, the house, the web site, and the work. Check out my latest story: Infertility & TTC: Why Self-Love is the Most Important Thing.
Submitted by Jessica Duff
As a working parent, few things are as discouraging as not being able to leave work to take your sick child to the doctor!
Recently I ran into this situation while trying to schedule a doctor’s appointment for my 8-month-old son for a possible ear infection. As a busy working mom with two kiddos, finding the time to step away to take my son to the doctor seemed impossible. Then a friend helped me realize that I shouldn't complain or feel bad about the situation. She pointed out the silver lining: I am able to provide medical care for my child because I am a working parent. It really doesn't matter who takes him to the doctor.
My husband and I both have busy work schedules, but we make time for our kids whenever possible. Luckily, we have amazing family in town who can help out at a moment's notice. I have a great family, supportive (and insightful) friends, and a baby on the mend.
Who could ask for more?
Submitted by Jay Rooney
I was newly-married and knee-deep in my career when my wife found out she was pregnant with Josie. Like most expectant parents, we were excited, nervous, and bursting with anticipation to welcome the newest member of our family.
Then, just 24 hours after she was born, Josie was diagnosed with an ultra-rare heart condition called Tetralogy of Fallot with Pulmonary Atresia. (Jimmy Kimmel spoke about his son, who had the same illness, right around the same time.) She was whisked away to the cardiovascular ICU at Stanford University Medical Center, where she had open-heart surgery at just 3-days-old. For the next three months, we stood by her side as she recovered. Seeing your child sedated, scarred, and hooked up to so many wires is among the most horrifying sights for a parent. And being immersed in the chaos and isolation of the ICU for such a prolonged time took a huge toll on my wife's and my physical and emotional health, and severely tested our relationship.
Pointer to an inspiring blog post by Mary-Claire King on the Huffington Post UK
Read Dr. Mary-Claire King's blog post titled "The Week My Husband Left and My House was Burgled I Secured a Grant to Begin the Project that Became BRCA1" published on Sep 14, 2017.
Submitted by Laurie Steele
My boys were born when "working mothers" were sort of a new trend. Back then I felt grateful to get six weeks of maternity leave, and there was no concept of paternity leave. My mother-in-law brought me home from the hospital after our first son was born because my husband needed to go back to work the next day. There were no cell phones or Internet communications back then. And ... the thing I am most bitter about: there were no drink holders in strollers.
My husband worked in the field. Literally. He was on an outdoor construction crew and worked from sun-up to sun-down for nine months of the year. So when it was time for me to go back to work, he was leaving home at 6:00 am each morning. That meant that before I went to work, I was on my own in terms of getting the boys ready for and delivered to daycare every morning. After my full day of work, I also had to pick them up. My husband got home between 5:00 and 8:00 pm every night, but there was no way of knowing exactly when he would pull into the driveway on any given evening.
Fast forward to the day when our youngest was a toddler. He came down with a violent 24-hour barfing bug, and I had a serious deadline. I begged my husband to call in sick because I really needed to be at work that day. He acquiesced, and I left him with a barfing, pooping toddler, and a honey-do list that included installing a kid-lock on the knife drawer.
Submitted by Jim Haselmaier
When our first child was about six months old and we were in the throes of being new parents, I started feeling weird. I didn't exactly feel sick, it was more like I was feeling really stressed out and anxious. I was pretty worried that there was something seriously wrong, so I went to see a doctor.
Based on the doctor's questions, it became apparent that my "illness" was stress; we had a new baby and my job was intense. The doctor also helped me recognize that my coffee consumption had gone way up. His suggested remedy: Cut down on the coffee; Try to get more sleep; And take a stress management class.
So a couple of weeks later, I'm in a large conference room at the local hospital attending my first stress management class. As I'm contemplating the info the instructor is sharing, the phone on the wall rings. (There were no cell phones back then.) The instructor stops instructing the class, answers the phone, and the room quiets as everyone listens to her end of the conversation. Then she turns to the class and asks, "Is Jim Haselmaier here?" I raised my hand. She says "Your wife and daughter are in the emergency room downstairs."
Submitted by Andy McKennan
So there was this time that my wife was on an extended business trip. She was out of the country and gone for a full week. During that time my eldest daughter, who was 7 or 8 at the time, was playing at a friend’s house. The phone rang, and it was the friend’s mom. The mom was very upset, and clearly trying not to panic.
Our journey as parents and professionals can be exhilarating, hilarious, fulfilling, frustrating ... you name it, right? How do we, all of us, 'keep it together' while managing the everyday trials and chaos of a growing family?
Especially when, for some families, random fate strikes, and we may be faced with a parent's worst fear ... a life-threatening event that impacts one of our precious, dear young children.
A Family Crisis
We were a chaotic, active, happy, motivated young family. Linda and I were taking on life ... and fast! ... 6 kids, a successful and fulfilling career at HP, a wonderful network of friends and family ... and then, one evening, everything turned on a dime.
Work and Life: Inseparable From the Start
Copied with permission from the Preface to the book Running for Office, Getting yourself elected to the career you really want by Mary Anne Gale with Shelley Cowan
I graduated from Michigan State University in 1971, and moved to Washington D.C., where I found a job working for the U.S. Selective Service. This was a period in American history when the country was still torn apart by the war in Vietnam. The President had decided to end mandatory service in favor of an all-volunteer military; the Selective Service, an independent federal agency within the executive branch of the U.S. government, was responsible for implementing the change. I was hired to serve as a youth advisor liaison, helping the states and the federal government hammer out the details of the new system. I reported to the agency director, who reported to President Nixon. It was an exciting time, an exiting job, and I felt like I was making a contribution.
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