A Big Thanks to Caregivers this Holiday Season
Last year, the holidays were our first real ventures out of the house with our little guy and it was a learning experience at that. We loved bringing our newborn to see family for the first time but we were still sleep-deprived and learning the ropes. It was a blur but one where I remember family holding my baby while I could eat a hot meal, and at the time, that felt like everything.
This year, while I am still learning, I had some time to think about why we could enjoy the holidays this year a bit more. Last year’s Thanksgiving and Christmas were enjoyed in the newborn survival mode. Did we pack all the diapers? What was his feeding schedule like? Would he be able to nap? These questions were always in the back of my mind at each family party.
This year, we felt a bit more settled leading up to the holidays, and I think that one year of parenthood under our belts has made the difference. Also, I realized that the weekly support from our network of caregivers has made our lives easier. That routine support actually has made a huge difference in allowing us to really cherish any extra time off with our now one-year-old.
Taking care of a baby is no joke and we have not done it alone! We have a unique set of caregivers who have helped us to raise our son over the last year and we owe our holiday joy to their help throughout the year.
We are fortunate that we live close to our parents who help us during the week so that we can go to work while our son is in his glory at his grandparents. When my husband or I go to pick him up on these days, he has been known to wave goodbye to us instead of the grandparents because he is having too much fun. He has two homes away from home and we are so lucky. Our parents have been known to invite us to stay for dinner as well when picking up, which is another incredible bonus.
This year, our son started attending one of our early education centers for a portion of the week and the caregivers have helped us in countless ways. They have been a wonderful group of experts when we run into new questions. Is it normal that he tosses his sippy cup like a football? Should we be moving to one nap? Does he calm down after we drop him off for the day? It also helps that they can send us photos and updates throughout the day to ease any concerns.
The other amazing part of having these teachers in our lives is that they have been a great back-up plan when grandparents are not around. I am beyond fortunate to have back up care days from work, and so we have a familiar place to bring our son when schedules change. This has given us invaluable peace of mind that he is content in his normal school setting when typical plans change. He does not even notice a difference, and so that has been a game-changer this last year.
The holidays can definitely be chaotic and there is no doubt that stress crept in as it does for us all. However, this second time around, there has been a new calm and it is all thanks to the village that has helped us to care for our little boy throughout the last year.