Here at now what?, we are thankful for the amazing resources in the Quad Cities. (Check out a few of them here.) And we are also thankful for all the amazing caregivers in the area.
That's why we want to spotlight real-life caregivers right here. To celebrate you and support you in your journey. For many of us, connecting with other caregivers normalizes the ups and downs we all experience.
Meet the Klipsch family of Davenport.
Mom Leslie says this family embraces what's "weird." But this family just celebrates what makes them unique (and awesome).
Jake is a school principal and loves reading, learning, and listening to comedy podcasts.
Leslie is a freelance writer and editor. She loves getting creative, reading, and learning about social justice issues.
10-year-old Oliver is a 4th grader who loves reading, drawing, and hanging out with friends.
Elihu is 8 years old and a 2nd grader who loves singing, karate, and baseball caps.
5-year-old Sintayehu is in preschool and loves to laugh, dance and listen to stories.
Why we believe in embracing the weird ...
We allow our unique personalities to dictate what we do and believe rather than what our society deems “normal” or “cool."
Also, we don’t all look alike. One of our children was born in Ethiopia, East Africa.
Eat adventurous food together.
Travel to new places near and far.
Solve many of life's issues with family dance parties.
How I parent ...
I am a fairly laidback parent. I try to roll with the punches and appreciate the small moments of joy.
I want to give my kids a childhood where they learn to work hard, treat those around them with kindness, and enjoy the time that they are young.
On my best day, I am creative and silly and quick with a hug.
(Want to become the best parent you can be? Check out a few of our resolutions for ideas.)
When I've really felt like I've done something right ...
The times I feel at my best as a mom are when I slow down, eliminate all other distraction, and really look into the eyes of my children.
I love slow days with my kids where we carve out time to simply be together.
The most challenging part of parenting is ...
As a parent of three children, I am constantly challenged by meeting each kid where he/she is. Children are unique. They are not simply miniatures of you or your spouse.
Because of that, I am constantly seeking creative solutions to problems and individual ways to connect with each of my three children. What worked for one kid may be the totally wrong approach for the other.
(If you struggle with this, too, check out our post about being curious about your child.)
On a lighter note, getting out the door has been a constant source of struggle for me for the past decade. (Please contact me with your best strategies to make this happen with less frustration.)
What I wish I had known before becoming a parent ...
From the outside looking in, social media would have you believe that parenting is one big trip to the park on a perpetually sunny day.
This is not reality.
I wasn’t prepared for the challenges of parenthood—both big and small. What I know now is that there is no perfect parent and no perfect family and expectations should be kept in check.
Good parenting is messy and imperfect and hard, which is why it’s so fulfilling.
(We totally agree. Facebook lies.)
Raising kids isn't always easy, but knowing that others are experiencing some of the same ups and downs can help.
Connect with your own tribe (or make new connections). It can really help in your parenting journey.