Summer in the City

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As the Summer continues to fly by and everyone continues to share photos of their weekends “down the shore,” I thought I would share my favorite things about Summer in the city. Sure the city heat can be oppressive and it is nearly impossible to find a place to build a sandcastle or fling your body across a slip n’ slide, but it does have its own perks. In no particular order, my favorite parts about Summer in Philadelphia:

1. Pop-up Parks– the city keeps reinventing itself each Summer with new places to visit. We fell in love with some of these attractions last year and they returned this year with even more creative features.

- Spruce Street Harbor Park: come for the roller skating, fall asleep in a hammock, and stay for the Garces food.

- The Oval: a rotating schedule of events for adults and families, including a parade of food trucks.

- Philadelphia Horticultural Society Pop Up Garden: transforming a vacant lot into a flowering beer garden with gourmet food? Yes, please!

2. Public Pools and Spraygrounds– there are so many fun and free options for water play that you’ll forget you are in a city.

- Herron Park Sprayground: a block from Federal Donuts, enough said.

- Sister Cities park

- Public City Pools: 71 different pools!

- A listing of spraygrounds by neighborhood can be found here.

3. Cheap Eats– citywide happy hours and restaurant weeks offer great opportunities to try out new restaurants at less of the cost.

- Center City Sips

- University City Dining Days

- Center City Restaurant Week

4. Block parties and street fairs– neighbors come together all over the city to barbecue, jump in bounce houses, and bond. If your block isn’t hosting a formal party, the city is likely hosting a fair nearby.

- 2nd Street Festival

- 40th Street Summer Festival

- East Passyunk Car Show and Street Festival

- Franklin Flea: find a vintage keepsake while strolling outside, and with food trucks!

5. Ice cream and water ice everywhere– not only are there ice cream trucks zig zagging the city, but there are some delicious scoops from brick and mortar shops as well.

- John’s Water Ice: good enough for Obama!

- Franklin Fountain

- Capogiro

Enjoy exploring Philadelphia this Summer!

[I have no affiliation with any of the organizations above and I am not responsible for the content of any external websites.]

Setting Incremental Goals

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One of the best parts about my job is the other working moms in my office who serve as daily sounding boards for my working motherhood journey. We frequently ask each other questions, share resources, and offer support. It is truly one of the keys to my success. Outside of work though, I had not found a supportive, helpful community of working moms until Dr. Portia Jackson found me and introduced me to her Working Motherhood site. A self-described rocket scientist turned financial planner and success coach, she interviews working moms about the secrets to their success and shares them as podcasts with the Working Motherhood community. So when she approached me about taping a podcast, I was excited to participate and take the conversations that I have with colleagues at work to the Working Motherhood community at large.

During my chat with Dr. Portia Jackson, we covered some of my favorite topics: maternity leave, breastfeeding, and immunizations. She assured me that the podcast would be 30-minutes of the “Katie show” and I will admit that as uncomfortable as this concept made me, talking about these topics was something I could have done for hours!

One of the take-home messages that Portia extracted from our interview was setting incremental goals. I discussed this in the context of breastfeeding, but I think it works with whatever goals you have set for yourself this year. When I started breastfeeding each of my kids, I had hoped to make it last for a year, but I set smaller goals along the way to help motivate and reward myself. Each small step was celebrated and moved us ahead to my ultimate goal. This technique not only applies to breastfeeding, but many other aspects of parenting and career development.

So please check out my Working Motherhood podcast and let me know what you think!

Podcast on the Working Motherhood site:

http://www.workingmotherhood.com/podcasts/katie-lockwood/

Direct Download Link

http://www.workingmotherhood.com/329th

iTunes and Stitcher Links

www.workingmotherhood.com/itunes

www.workingmotherhood.com/stitcher

[All opinions are my own and do not necessarily reflect those of my employer. I have no affiliation with Working Motherhood and I was not compensated for this post or podcast.]

The Pediatrician at the Party

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Being a pediatrician at a children’s birthday party or baby shower is like being a mall Santa. People are practically lining up with a list of questions. Ok, so maybe they don’t line up, but they do have a way of finding me. I have been asked general questions (“how do you feel about juice?”), specific questions (“is his head size too big?”), and physical exam questions (“can you look at his finger?”). Parents drag their children over to me, push clothing aside, and ask my opinion of a variety of physical findings. I have had mothers strip their children near naked in the middle of a party so that I can get a better look at whatever is worrying her.

I’ve heard other professionals get asked advice at parties, but since I now hang around a lot of children’s birthday parties my expertise seems to be in particularly hot demand. At a recent party, another mother asked what I do and when I told her I was a pediatrician, she replied, “oh really?  You probably shouldn’t say that too loudly.”  I looked around at the forty parents and thirty children around me and nodded in agreement.

Whether parents are asking me questions or not though, my profession sometimes still gets in my way. I can not help but worry at a trampoline party about someone breaking an ankle. Or cringe at the amount of juice consumed. Or worry about the child with the food allergy getting the wrong dessert. It is hard to separate the pediatrician from the parent, so I understand when others have the same difficulty when talking with me.

July 4th in the City

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After spending much of the Winter cooped up indoors, we could not be more excited about our Summer in the city. While many are talking about where they are going on vacation this Summer, we are excited to enjoy all of the parks, festivals, pop-up venues, and spraygrounds that the city has to offer.

As some friends head “down the shore” for the Fourth of July, I will be working, so we will be enjoying the local festivities instead. With all of the celebrations in the city though, this hardly feels like a sacrifice. There is so much going on that narrowing down our options is the hardest task!

Here are a few local guides to your July 4th in Philadelphia:

uwishunu.com: Hour-By-Hour Guide– a guide that plans every hour of your day for you

MommyPoppins: July GoList– a day-by-day events calendar for your extended weekend with your kids

WelcomeAmerica.com– your guide to getting a free WaWa hoagie and seeing The Roots

VisitPhilly.com: Where to Watch Fireworks– I recommend your roof deck and if you don’t have one, find a friend who does!

Philly.com: Kids Day at Fette Sau and Frankford Hall– free kids food, adult happy hour, The Lara and Joe Show, face-painting, balloon animals, and arts and crafts with Smith Playground!

We are looking forward to having a BBQ, running through a sprinkler, and watching fireworks– not much different from the July Fourths of my beachfront childhood. In addition though, we will be attending some of the special events the city has to offer and look forward to seeing friends there!

Happy 4th of July!

[Disclaimer: I was not compensated for this post. I have no affiliation with the events or websites described above and I am not responsible for the content of these sites.]

The Dad Behind the Working Mom

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As a working mom, I could not do all of the things I want to accomplish as a mother or career woman without the support of my husband. Beyond offering me encouragement along the way, he is an equitable partner in our home. I am grateful that my children will not only have memories of their father as the one who provides adventures, like sledding, biking, and being thrown in the air, but a model for active participation in the household, from changing diapers to washing dishes. Their father takes them to the grocery store and picks out their clothes in the morning. Our children grow up seeing household duties as family duties rather than specific to either mom or dad. While there are plenty of chores that each of us excel at and prefer, such as his cooking and my story reading, they have learned that we both can and should do a bit of everything.

After our first child was born, I returned to work six weeks later and my husband stayed home to care for him over the next three months. At my son’s first few pediatrician appointments, my husband provided the details of his day, such as his feeding schedule and developmental milestones, as the primary caregiver. It was initially off-putting as his mother to be the non-dominant parent, but I eventually came to appreciate the beauty of having his father embrace this role so that I could maintain my career trajectory. Rather than have to put our newborn in daycare, our son developed a strong bond with his father, who remains a strong attachment figure in his life.

My husband is an amazing partner and allows me to be the best person that I can be. He is a role model for our children and I am proud of the ways in which I see elements of him blossoming in them. He challenges me to push myself when I need to be pushed and reminds me to slow down when I need to ease up. I probably do not applaud him enough, but I am thankful that Father’s Day reminds me each year to recognize how lucky I am to have a father like him in my and my children’s life.

[This post is being republished from the Today Parenting Team site from 6/2/15.]

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