Life as a first-time parent can be like playing house


Playing House on the USA Network

We are delighted by the response to our partnership with the USA Network to raise awareness of child developmental milestones. In anticipation for the season finale of PLAYING HOUSE airing tonight at 10/9c on the USA Network, it is a pleasure to introduce Loren Hynes, vice president of Corporate Social Responsibility at NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment.

Life as a first-time parent can be like playing house

by Loren Hynes

Being a mother is no easy task; and you’re never fully prepared for motherhood.  At the hospital when they hand you your screaming, naked, reddish bundle of joy, you half expect them to take the baby back because they’ve found out you’re not qualified for the job. Alas, they actually let you leave with a tiny human being (and, unfortunately, an instruction manual is not provided).

Raising my two-year-old is so much harder than I ever thought it would be, but I love it and wouldn’t trade it for the world.  As a first-time parent, I often feel like I have no idea what I am doing.  I try to do all the right things, read all the right books, ask the pediatrician all the right questions – but it’s tough to stay on top of it all.  Experiencing the ups and downs of new parenthood with my own family has allowed me to empathize with the characters on USA Network’s PLAYING HOUSE, in which two best friends, Maggie Caruso (Lennon Parham) and Emma Crawford (Jessica St. Clair), unexpectedly have to raise a baby together.  Throughout the show, they navigate their way through life as co-parents to Maggie’s daughter, Charlotte.

In addition to my role as mother of a toddler, I am the Vice President of Corporate Social Responsibility at NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment, a job I also love dearly.   In my position, I’ve had the exciting opportunity of working with Easter Seals on a partnership with USA’s PLAYING HOUSE to raise awareness of the importance of monitoring early childhood development and to provide critical information, resources and support to families.  (USA is a program service of NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment, a division of NBCUniversal.)  Our season-long partnership has included PSAs with co-stars Lennon Parham and Jessica St. Clair and special in-show story integration so that viewers at home would be inspired to monitor their own children’s development.  We are proud to partner with Easter Seals to use our platforms to inform and support our viewers, and, as a mother, I can say that I am personally grateful for their services.

As I’ve seen from watching my own child develop and change, kids grow up so fast that it’s easy to miss important childhood development milestones.  Every year more than one million children will enter kindergarten with an undiagnosed developmental delay. I’m glad there are programs like Make the First Five Count so that parents can track and monitor their child’s development before they enter the school system. Easter Seals’ Make the First Five Count program has developed a free online screening tool for tracking childhood development during the first five years of your child’s life. I would encourage any parent to have this screening on your checklist for your child. It’s free and it’s vital, as the first five years of your child’s life lay the foundation for their long-term well-being and overall success.

Tune into PLAYING HOUSE’s second season finale tonight at 10/9c and you’ll laugh along with Maggie and Emma as they raise baby Charlotte. Follow Easter Seals on Twitter (@Easter_Seals) and Facebook for updates about tracking your child’s developmental milestones!
For more information about PLAYING HOUSE and the integration of Easter Seals’ Make the First Five Count program please visit .


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  1. Heather Babcock Says:

    I am a mom of an 8 year old little girl who has global developmental delays. She can not walk,talk, or do any of daily functions on her own& I am trying to create her her own living space with a needed walk in shower. I have all the rest of living area covered just however just need help with bathroom & any therapy equipment. Does the Easter seals help with this type of need or know where I might get some assistance? Thank you for your time.