Des Moines Parent Spotlight: Tim Paluch
Tim Paluch and I have never formally met, but have worked together on a few things for Des Moines Parent. Recently, another parent reach out to me and recommended Tim Paluch to be a spotlight. I was so excited to have a dad tell their story on our series. Learn more about Tim’s role at the Des Moines Public Library, his triplets, and some of his Des Moines favorites.
Give us a little background of your family and personal life! How many kids do you have? Have you lived in Des Moines all your life?
I was born and raised on the south side of Chicago, moved to Ames for college when I was 18, met my wife, Gretchen, shortly after that, and never moved out of Iowa.
We spent a few tough years trying to have children. Finally, it happened, in the form of a one-in-a-million pregnancy: Triplets, with two mono-mono duplicates at a 50-50 risk of death in the womb.
After half a year of anxiety and panic, 10 days after Father’s Day in 2013, Gretchen gave birth to three girls. Evelyn, Eloise, and Dorothy spent some time in the Mercy NICU, but all were home by that August. It’s been a wild ride since.
What is your business, and what do you do?
I am the Community Engagement Supervisor for the Des Moines Public Library. I manage the marketing and communications team for the DMPL system and its six branches. I’ve been with the library since late August 2018.
My background is print journalism – I spent about a decade with The Des Moines Register after college, doing everything from a night police reporter to editing lifestyle magazines to running the features department for the newsroom.
I left the Register after my daughters came home from the NICU, and was a stay-at-home father for five years until they went to kindergarten last fall. During that time, I also worked as a freelance writer and editor on the nights and weekends. I was very, very tired for five years.
Where is your favorite place to take your children to play indoors?
Any of the Des Moines Public Library locations (plug!), where the girls can engage with their absolute love of reading. It’s been amazing to see up close the breadth and depth of children’s programming at the library the past few months.
Also, the Science Center of Iowa is a family favorite. We try to take advantage of our membership whenever we can.
Where is your favorite place to take your children to play outdoors?
My kids are happy at any place on earth with a swing, a slide and some monkey bars. In Ankeny, where we now live, parks are absolutely everywhere so it’s easy and convenient to spend an hour or two wearing the triplets out outdoors.
The girls just started their soccer careers, and softball starts soon too, so we’ve all been training and practicing sports in the yard of late.
Parent’s day/night out. Describe your perfect parent only day/night out in Des Moines.
These are few and far between, but Gretchen and I will take whatever we can get. No need to get fancy. Wine and a meal on a patio somewhere is about all it takes for a satisfying respite from Triplet Madness. We spent a recent evening at Eatery A, and it’s become a favorite in our home.
What are some tips on juggling parenthood, working, and personal life?
I don’t think anyone is perfect at this. And I know I’m definitely not. It’s pretty easy to get sucked into the parenthood and working part of the equation and forget about the personal life part. My wife and I try to make an effort to make sure we do some of the things that brought us joy pre-children – even little things like gardening and exercising – so we don’t lose those parts of ourselves amidst all the parenting and work chaos.
What is your number one parenting tip?
You’re gonna fail, a lot. You’re gonna suck at it, probably a lot (or maybe that’s just me). Once I realized that was just the way it is, I was able to start truly enjoying all the little moments of being a dad. Because at the end of the day, having triplet daughters can be a whole hell of a lot of fun.