Parent You Should Know: Kate Eckert
Free Library supervisor balances parenthood and career
Kate Eckert is a library supervisor at the Free Library of Philadelphia. She lives in South Philly with her 6-year-old son Sidney and 13-year-old cat Yuki.
What’s the hardest part about juggling parenthood and your career?
The hardest thing about being a parent and having a career is being present, patient and engaged with my child after a long day when my spoons are very low.
What makes trying to balance both easier?
The only way I have learned to make both work is to leave work at work. During the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown of 2020, when I was working from home, it was incredibly difficult to separate work from parenting, and I felt that I wasn’t doing either very well.
I love nurturing my son, encouraging his growth as a human, teaching him about emotional awareness and conflict resolution. I enjoy helping to give him the tools he needs to navigate the world.
What’s your biggest parenting fail?
I’m not sure if it’s a “fail” per se, but I do regret assigning a gender to my child. I wish I had raised him as gender neutral until he was old enough to choose what gender resonated with him.
What do you enjoy the most about working with children and families in your job?
I love the rush I get when performing and reading stories to and for children. I love their feedback, wonderment and enthusiasm during storytelling.
What’s the one thing you hope your child learns from you and your career?
I hope my child learns to do what gives him life and energy as far as a career, and to shift priorities if the career and job begin to feel draining.
Dessert: Cook’s Illustrated Pumpkin Pie
Way to spend a weekend with your family: Hanging out at the playground or hiking through Fairmount Park during the day, staying in and watching movies at night in our South Philly home.
Vacation Spot: Iceland