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About a month ago, when I started back at Family
Tree Magazine from maternity leave, I
asked you all how you squeeze in genealogy with parenting (my cute little guy,
Leo, is just over three months old now). I wanted to share the great advice I got—which
also will be useful for researchers busy with grandparenting and life in general:
You have to do other things when he is sleeping or have him in one of those swings
that you can put him in. They grow fast and you will miss a lot if you don’t keep
him with you as much as you can. —Irma
I fit research in in tiny little increments. My children are ages 3 and 5, and I’m
home with them full-time. It’s hard. If I get to the library, it’s on a Saturday (after
intense negotiations with my husband as to who will cover the kids when). My online
research takes place before 6 a.m. (when the first one gets up) or during naptime.
Mostly, I try to remind myself that this is the period in life where you’re supposed
to focus on the family tree in your own house, not the one in your file cabinet. You
will be amazed how quickly they grow up, and those dead people aren’t going anywhere.
They’ll still be there in a few years when he just wants you to leave him alone so
he can play video games. —Kerry Scott (who blogs at Clue
Genealogy is something we never stop doing even if it is only going over details in
our head while rocking, feeding or holding a baby in the middle of the night. Find
a good place to sit with Leo and in the same area put an art easel (use the cheap
ones children use) and put items you need to contemplate, then get yourself a recorder.
Record ideas or thoughts about genealogy or day-to-day items. Replay when you have
time. Enjoy the time he is awake. My baby turns 45 this year and I still can remember
those times. —Patricia Nemeth
My children grew up underneath the tables at the Family History Center in Salt Lake
City, back in the day (1985-1990). They made a little fort and basically hung out
and behaved because they knew Chuck E. Cheese was the last stop before heading home.
Concentrate on the descendant right now—the ancestors will wait. Get a recorder to
remember what Leo does and says as he grows. He’ll appreciate knowing about that when
he has descendants, as much as he’ll appreciate knowing about his ancestors. And you’ll
have plenty of time between the ages of 50 and 90 to research genealogy—believe me,
I know. —Gene Kuechmann
When my daughter was that young, I decided to focus more on making history and memories,
instead of looking at records. Those will wait for me, although I did do some research
from time to time when I got a moment. This is the time to take pictures—maybe a scrapbook
or slideshow—to record your ongoing family history.
Oh, and while all those relatives are over to ogle the baby, don’t forget
to ask them about the family history. Somehow people are more inclined to talk when
they know it is for someone who definitely doesn’t know the story.
When we finished a cemetery trip or a library trip (yeah, I did make her sit through
those—she helped by drawing pictures I would publish in the family book), there was
always a trip to Taco Bell as a reward. —Shasta
It seems like just yesterday when I was trying to research and raise little ones.
Naptime and late at night were the best times to do genealogy (and an occasional Saturday
when Dad was home). But there were long stretches of time when I didn’t do any, simply
because we were too busy making our own family history. Or I was too tired! —Michelle
I squeeze in small moments of searches whenever I can—while making dinner, etc. I
stay super-organized so I know exactly where I left off. —Elyse Doerflinger (who
blogs at Elyse’s Genealogy