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WUKY StoryCorps: Couple Learns to Balance Work and Family

Kristian Klaene (left) and Mary Ann Miranda

By Audio edited by Brenna Angel


LEXINGTON, Ky. – Six years ago, Kristian Klaene and his wife Mary Ann Miranda became parents with the birth of their daughter Elsa.

They were living and working in Nashville, Kristian as a teacher and Mary Ann as an attorney in a law firm. Because Kristian's work schedule was more flexible, he was often responsible for taking care of Elsa.

"We were never quite sure when [Mary Ann] was coming home. Was it going to be 5:30? Was it going to be 6:00? Was it going to be 7:30? And with that unknown a lot of times we would just come up with something that we wanted to do."

Kristian and Elsa's main activity was going to the grocery store. Sometimes they went every day.

"I know you all went to the grocery store a lot because I used to go on the weekends and people knew Elsa, but not me," laughs Mary Ann.

Even though he was still working, Kristian says he felt like a stay-at-home dad. That could be challenging at times, especially when Elsa struggled to get in her car seat.

"I did lock her in the car one time," says Kristian. "I clearly was really frustrated with myself."

The engine was running and the air conditioning was on, but Elsa was locked in the car in the middle of a Nashville summer. Mary Ann was at work when she got the call.

"In that moment I felt so guilty because I wasn't there. And I guess that's why I left the job I had in Nashville because now we have more time together as a family."

The family eventually moved to Lexington and they welcomed another person into the household: a son named Will. Kristian and Mary Ann's recording will be archived at the Library of Congress.

Listen for other local StoryCorps recording's Tuesday's at 8:35 a.m. and 5:45 p.m. on WUKY.