We are the Polzin family from Anthem Arizona, USA. I love cooking, reading, playing golf and travel. I am a mom to rambunctious twin boys who are 2.5 years old. As a family, we love experiencing new things and that includes a lot of travels.
What kind of toys do your kids like to play with?
Magnatiles, flash cards, large legos, books. The lovely part of having twins is they can entertain themselves often without toys. The kids manage to find a paper towel tube fun to play with or an empty box.
What are the local snacks for kids?
Pepperidge farm fish, Cheerios, Graham crackers, Veggie Straws, applesauce packets.
Do you cook for children?
Absolutely! The kiddos love food with flavor and all sorts of different foods. We try to immerse the kids in different flavors, which is hit-and-miss sometimes. Luckily, my kids don’t like bland food. They always try a bite and if they don’t like it they don’t have to eat it, but one bite is required.
How do the kids spend free time?
We love being outdoors and exploring. During the summer we spend time at the splash pad and pool. Since it’s so hot in Arizona, we often visit the Childrens Museum, Science Discovery Center and other indoor venues. We try to go for adventures to find new things to see and explore. When we are at home they play with toys and do other learning activites. Every evening for a ½ hour we watch tv cuddled up on the couch. That’s their tv time for the day. We try not to give them ipads or other electronic devices at home. We sometimes give them ipads if we go out to eat because at 2.5 their attention spans are still pretty small. It is a rare occurrance though. The boys prefer to have books or color, but do enjoy watching a movie every now and again.
What are the roles of parents in your country? What duties do belong to mother and to father?
It is not the same in other households. Some women do more or all of the child rearing and house work, which others may have a dad that does that. We both work full time. In our household we share duties. My husband handles all of the pick up and surface cleaning. He also does the laundry and takes out the garbage, as well as yard work. I do all of the cooking (he does the dishes), meal prep, bill paying and deep cleaning. I get the boys ready in the mornings and take them to daycare. My husband picks them up from daycare in the evenings on his way home from work. He also prepares them for bed and we both read to them before tucking them into bed.
Can you explain how maternity leave works? How long is it? Can you get back to work after it without any obstacles?
My company gives 6 weeks of maternity leave for a vaginal delivery and 8 weeks for a c-section paid. We can take up to 12 weeks of leave – using either vacation time or unpaid. It is covered under FMLA (Federal Medical Leave of Absence) which means that the time away is protected and you cannot lose your job. In an odd turn, my husband can take 4 months of paternity leave paid at 100% and 2 months of unpaid time off for paternity leave. It is not usual for men to have paternity leave in the USA. His company is very generous with time off.
Does the country help families with kids? (for example contributes to the kindergarden…)
Kindergarten is free in public schools. There are programs available for familites in need. Government subsidies such as WIC and welfare. This is for low income families. Daycare is very expensive here.
Do you vaccinate your children? If so, against what? Is it mandatory to vaccinate kids?
Yes we vaccinate based on the recommended CDC guidelines. It is not mandatory to vaccinate, however many public daycares require vaccinations in order to attend.
Is it safe to travel with a child in the US? What to watch out for? Do you think your country is friendly for families with kids?
Yes it is safe to travel in the US. Arizona is very busy with tourists that visit during the winter. There are many wonderful things to see here such as the Grand Canyon. The scenery in Arizona is beautiful and the sunsets are remarkable. Back