Hello fellow COS mamas! I’m Paras Askari Longanecker, a mother of two wild young boys, wife to an adventurous guy, and practicing pediatrician learning to navigate the challenging yet rewarding world of being a working mom. Since moving to the Springs, I have treasured connecting with other parents and learning about this wonderful city through COSMC. I am thrilled and honored to be a part of the team now as a contributing writer!
Across an Ocean
When I think about writing an intro “About Me” I can’t help but think “About Them,” my parents. My folks moved to the states from Iran to attend graduate school in the 70s. After earning their degrees and polishing their English, they moved back to Tehran confident they could build a fruitful life together with their shiny new American diplomas in hand.
Things did not go as planned.
Instead they found themselves in the midst of the Iranian Revolution not long after their return and my birth. Thankfully, after years of challenges impossible to summarize in a few sentences, we were all able to return and set roots in the US, safe and sound. They often reminisce about the relief they felt knowing they could raise their children in what they grew up believing was the land of opportunity. Their grit and love for this country has shaped me into who I am, and I am eternally grateful.
Marriage & Babies
Fast forward to adulthood. I met my husband while we were in medical school at the University of North Texas Health Science Center. We started dating shortly before I moved away to San Antonio, Texas, for residency training. After three years of long-distance (brutal!), we tied the knot. Not long after, we started considering expanding our little family. Me and my type A personality expected that when I was ready to have a baby, it would happen effortlessly and fall nicely into my meticulously planned timeline.
Oh, how I was wrong.
Like so many couples, we found ourselves in the midst of fertility struggles. Two years later, with the help of our great doctors, amazing technology, supportive family and a little luck we were able to welcome our son into the world. About ten months after baby #1 arrived, we learned we were pregnant with baby #2. A truly unexpected and welcomed surprise!
Parenthood & Community
During residency, my bookshelf was filled with every major pediatric text and popular parenting book you could imagine. I made my way through training kid-free and was certain my studies had taught me everything I needed to know about raising little ones. After our son arrived, I very quickly realized that real-life parenting is not nearly as straightforward as the literature implied! Humbling, to say the least.
As I journeyed into motherhood, I came to discover the incredibly vast world of online parenting resources first hand. “What baby equipment would we absolutely need?” “Which breast milk storage system is the best?” “What kid-friendly options do we have in town?!” I learned to value those spaces where I could gather valid information and connect with other parents in a nonjudgmental way. This is exactly what I have found in COSMC and why I am so grateful for this Collective! Thank you…. sending all of you a virtual hug.
Let’s continue to educate, entertain and encourage one another with love and acceptance. I look forward to enjoying this wild journey we call parenting together in this amazing city we are lucky to call home.