Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

Parenting requires help – and a bit of luck

For years, I would joke every St. Patrick’s Day that I was “everything but” Irish. When my girls came along, I dressed them in cute green, shamrock-laden outfits to get them as close to being Irish as I thought they could get. 

A couple years ago, my sister sent off her DNA for analysis and surprise! A bit of Irish blood showed up, after all. A little more digging through the family genealogy and she discovered that our fifth great-grandmother – in the German bloodline, no less – was from the Emerald Isle. 

But that little bit of Irishness wasn’t making me feel very lucky this St. Patrick’s Day. I took my youngest to the park while my oldest, Sophie, had an after-school club. When we got back to the car, however, I couldn’t get the car unlocked. Somewhere in the 30 minutes we were at the playground, the key fob stopped working.  

Panic ensued. Not only did I need to pick up Sophie, I had to get home, cook dinner, eat and turn around and drive back to school by 6:30 for a meeting, and it was already 3:55. While I normally could call my husband, who is still working from home, and he could hop in our other car and deliver another set of keys, it was also the worst time in his workday for interruption. 

I started making calls. First, to my sister, who I hoped was still at work just five minutes away from school. She didn’t answer. Next, to my dad, who is the family car guy, in case my problem might not simply be a dead fob.  

Dad said he’d throw his jump pack in his car and meet me in the park, and also stop by my house (only seven minutes from his, but in the opposite direction) and get the other set of keys. Next, to my husband, so he could have the keys ready – and it’s a good thing I had reached Dad, because Joe was on a call that ended up running long. I did catch my sister, so she ran over to school to get Sophie. And I called the school to let them know someone was on the way to get her, even if it wasn’t me.  

And hey, my phone battery didn’t die. 

Dad got to the park with the keys, which unlocked and started the car with no problems, and my sister dropped off Sophie a few minutes later. By the time I got home, it was too late to make the chili I planned, but Joe was finished with work for the day and threw together a much faster meal so my frazzled self could eat and get to my meeting on time. 

What if this had all happened and I didn’t have anyone nearby to help me? For all that the situation stressed me out, the pieces of the puzzle did fall together nicely. What if I didn’t have my dad to help with car problems? What if my sister didn’t work close enough to school or have the flexibility to run out and pick up my daughters? My mom wasn’t involved in this crisis, but she is definitely another piece of my functioning puzzle, which helps me juggle my coaching schedule and other responsibilities. What if my husband wasn’t at home to whip up a meal (grabbing fast food isn’t an option because of my low-sodium diet)? A lot of parents talk about finding your tribe, and I really couldn’t be a “Jen of all trades” without mine around me. 

I guess I have the luck of the Irish after all. 

Jen Deinlein
Jen Deinlein is a self-professed “Jen of all trades and master of none.” She’s a SAHM to 8- and 5-year-old daughters, a freelance writer (you can also see her work in CPBJ) and head cheerleading coach at Penn State Mont Alto. She and her family live in Guilford Township, Franklin County, with a golf course in the backyard where they frequently rescue lost golf balls. You can reach Jen on Instagram: @groovypq; Twitter: @jlbd77 or by email: [email protected].

Business Events

Health Care Update Webinar

Wednesday, May 25, 2022
Health Care Update Webinar

Highmark Webinar

Wednesday, June 08, 2022
Highmark Webinar

Women of Influence

Thursday, June 30, 2022
Women of Influence