The Strus Family
What is your favorite family tradition?
A high school friend's mom did this for her girls growing up and through college. When I saw it my freshman year of high school, I told myself I'd adopt this tradition and couldn't wait to do it for my kids one day.
My favorite family tradition is each year on our daughter Margot's first day of school, we make her a cake, and it says whatever grade is "a piece of cake." So this year, when she started daycare, we made a cake that said "Daycare is a piece of cake."
This year mom and dad got to enjoy it. But, we will think it will be fun for years to come and take any nerves out of starting a new grade. It's also a way to celebrate a fun new milestone as a family. And, who doesn't want a piece of cake for breakfast!
Tell us about your favorite family story.
We were new parents, about 3 weeks in for our first Christmas, with our daughter. We had spent a few days at my parents before coming back to Chicago where we live. Not really thinking it through too much we came back the city on Christmas Eve with an infant and basically no food in our fridge to eat a nice meal for the holiday.
We ended up putting Margot in a baby carrier and walking around our neighborhood to find dinner. We ducked into a diner down the block and had a cozy family dinner. It was a very non traditional Christmas Eve, but it was great to spend it together.
What is your family's motto?
Work hard. Be nice.
Is there anything else you'd like us to know about your family story?
In the midst of the pandemic, we've tried to find the silver lining. We're both working full time and doing so with the our baby and puppy at home as well since daycare is closed for the foreseeable future. As new parents we don't have it all figured out and we are juggling a lot, but it's been really cool that we have gotten so much more time in these early months to be with our daughter and bond with her.
Share Your Parenting Wisdom
What's your number one tip for new parents?
If you pack a spare outfit for the baby, you probably need one for yourself too. The spit up doesn't just get on them.
What has been the most surprising thing you've learned as a parent?
They grow a lot faster than you think. You'll think their still your little 6 point newborn who sleeps 90% of the day, then all of a sudden they've doubled in weight and have such their own personality. It's amazing to watch and you love it, but you want time to slow down.
Tell us about your funniest parenting story (we all have them!)
In the first 4 weeks, we were completely sleep deprived as most new parents are. She didn't want to go to bed until around 1am and only slept about 2 hours at a time. We were both exhausted.
One night, I finally dozed off when Margot was sleeping. Mike has already fallen asleep. Margot started to cry about an hour later. I was just rolling over but my husband shot straight up in bed (probably still asleep), hearing her cry, and declared "Alexa off!" as if our daughter's cries were actually our Amazon Alexa making noise. In the midst of this hard part, it was definitely a needed laugh.
You can find the Strus Family on Instagram at @Sal_fisch.