March 28, 2015 SIGN IN | REGISTER

Lawmakers Learn to Juggle Family, Office Duty

Tom Williams/Roll Call
Rep. Buck McKeon displays a picture of his family, including children and grandchildren, in his office in the Rayburn House Office Building.

I get a lot more advice on issues than most people do, he said, laughing. When we have family meetings, I get a lot of input.

In addition to legislative advice, children have a lot to give their parents, the Members said. 

You learn so much from having six kids, Rep. Ann Marie Buerkle (R-N.Y.) said. You learn how to deal with different personalities, different needs, how to budget your time and multitask.

Congressional parents have a lot to offer their children, too. With tickets to swearing-in ceremonies and countless Capitol events, Members children receive a front-row seat to learn the ins and outs of government. Many find their children and grandchildren internships and jobs in Washington. Six of Rep. Buck McKeons (R-Calif.) 31 grandchildren have served as pages, and one is serving this summer in the Capitol. 

Herger and Akin mentioned bringing their daughters to the White House Christmas Ball. Very close to her 16th birthday, Akins daughter Abigail got a coveted ticket to the ball and while there, a kiss from the president. 

Akins sons were even luckier. Perry, his second oldest, met his wife when she was working as a staff assistant in Akins office. Ezra, his youngest son, realized Perrys wife had a younger sister working in Akins campaign office and the two married earlier this year. 

Whatever the perks for child or parent, every Member said politics and lawmaking took a backseat to the most important aspect of their lives: their children. 

I really have accomplished an awful lot of things in my life, and Im proud of what Ive done, Buerkle said. But my six kids are my greatest accomplishment. Im so proud of them.

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