My name is Heidi Kronenberg, and I am so happy to be your ESME Caregiving Resource Guide! My caregiving experiences began when I was 12 and my mother suggested that I spend the summer with her friend’s family taking care of their toddler—I never looked back! After 38 years of caregiving—which have included several nanny gigs, two kids by assisted reproductive technology, and starting an agency that provides case-management services to people of all ages with disabilities—I find myself thrilled to be part of ESME and available to you!
My responsibilities have varied from caring for ill and aging parents to getting my kids raised and into college. I never thought that I would be able to figure out how to have everyone cared for and not forget someone somewhere. I have found that caregiving needs are just another piece of the puzzle.
Here are a few things that have worked for me:
- Sharing care with friends and family. Reach out to other moms you know, and see if you can split child-care time with them. Maybe alternate days so that you can work, hit the gym, get to the grocery store, etc. Everyone needs her own needs met, too, so ask other moms for child-care swaps.
- Never passing up on local summer, school vacation, or holiday camps. Park districts often have inexpensive programs for most days that your kids are off from school. Look them up in advance and schedule away. This helps alleviate the stress of days off from school and provides your child with a fulfilling experience.
- Making use of after-school care. My kids were hesitant to stay at school after most of their friends had gone home but soon found that playing or getting their homework finished was always a bonus. It was also helpful to me because it lowered the stress when I picked them up, and we could just enjoy our evenings together.
- Taking in some of your friends’ kids for care. Always check with local ordinances; sometimes you can make a bit of money while at home with your kids.
Also be sure to check out our various Tribes for additional support.
I look forward to connecting.