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This summer the Barry family embarked on an exciting adventure that saw us move from Dallas to Austin.


Well, to be exact, we are still in the process of moving to Austin. You see, my better half Vanessa is still in the process of finding a job in Austin. Since we are not in a position to live off of one income and Vanessa loves her job, she has been commuting back and forth to Dallas for work during the week. So for the better part of three months our daughter Caroline and I have been in Austin… trying to survive on our own.

At first you might think we are crazy; Dad is taking care of the kid during the week while Mom is off working. Well, we would probably agree…. this is CRAZY! But, we came to this short term arrangement in hopes of long term happiness in Austin.

But, this isn’t a blog about how we got here. This is a blog about the amazing experience this summer has been. This is about the quality time I’ve been able to spend with the most amazing little girl.

Under normal circumstances there is no way I would have spent so much time with Caroline. Would I have woken her up every morning and fed her breakfast? Would I have helped her pick out her clothes and dressed her every morning (big bows included?)

Would I have driven her to school and picked her up every afternoon? Would I have cooked her dinner and rocked her to sleep every night?

Would I have gotten up with her all those nights when she was teething? Would I have had to leave work to pick her up because she wasn’t feeling well? And, would I have memorized every word to every nursery rhyme known to man?

I probably would have done many of those things, but not all of them. Why? Mostly because Caroline has an amazing mom who would have handled all of those things with ease had our situation allowed her to be at home.

The thing is that I am so grateful to have spent the quality time with her this summer. We’ve watched baseball games and football games. We’ve read books and learned to color. We’ve learned to walk and talk.

As our family reunites, I probably won’t get the extended one on one time with her in future. I know I will remember the fun we have had this summer and I hope she will too.

I hope everyone, moms and dads alike, get to spend this kind of quality time with their kids… especially when they are so young and there is so much for them (and you) to learn. It may not always be easy or convenient, but the experience is well worth it.

And don’t get me wrong, we can’t wait to have mom back at home full time. She means more to our family than she knows. None of this would have happened if she wasn’t so amazing.


Vanessa Barry
Vanessa is the co-founder of Austin Moms Blog. She is also the Director of Communications for IDEA Public Schools, a nationally recognized network of K-12 public charter schools serving more than 15,000 students. She has a blast learning, loving and laughing with her four-year-old little lady, Caroline Grace.


  1. Hats off to you, Matt, for rising to the occasion and being a great daddy to Caroline! I think it’s AMAZING that you’ve made the transition work so well for your family!

  2. Matt, Good job at being Mr. Mom. I know your life is crazy, but I am sure everything will work out soon. We are so proud of you!


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