It’s been years since we’ve seen each other, and this letter is long overdue. I’m living with no regrets, going back and filling in the blanks. So today, I want to thank you for all you did for me, my husband, and our baby boy.
I’m still grateful that our friends, your son and daughter-in-law, knew you had room to care for one more child in your home. They suggested you as an option when we announced we were looking for child care. When I brought our first born baby boy for a visit at your house just weeks after birth, I knew right away he’d be in good hands. From that moment on, I felt much more comfortable about this day care world with which I was completely unfamiliar.
Before I knew it, twelve weeks had passed, my maternity leave had come to an end. I was due back at a full-time job as a speech-language pathologist, and I’ll be honest, I had absolutely no idea what I was in for.
You see, my mom worked full-time my entire life. I know it was stressful for her to work and be a mom of three, but she definitely seemed to manage. So I spent a lifetime ASSUMING that I, too, would maintain a full-time career when I had kids. Working part-time or staying at home were not options I’d considered.
Little did I know, I’d experience a rude awakening when I went back to work after my first baby was born. I spent the first year and a half of my baby boy’s life working full-time. It didn’t take me long to realize I really didn’t want to work full-time, at all. Considering I’d spent a lifetime assuming I would work full-time like my mom, this revelation was a surprise, a bend in the road I definitely hadn’t expected. So I spent that year and a half more stressed out than not about my work-life balance, wishing I could cut back, but knowing it wasn’t financially feasible…yet.
I’ll never forget, after I had worked full-time for a year and a half, God blessed my husband with a raise that was exactly the amount of money we’d need for me to stay home 1 day/week. Believe it or not, his raise was exactly 1/5 of my income. So I took a .8 position (4 days/week) and have worked part-time ever since. I’ve worked the whole range of outside of the home employment. 1-2-3-4-5 days a week, I’ve tried it all except being a full-time stay at home mom.
I’ve gotten a little sidetracked with the back story, but I shared all of this with you for a reason, Patti.
I want you to know that your your love and care for our baby son that year and a half was incredibly appreciated. I’m sure there were days I left your house crying as I pulled away and our baby son was standing at your door. But when I think of you, when I think of the time our son spent at your house, all I think of is GOOD. You were loving, you were kind, and you kept our son safe and secure in your warm, comfortable, and always welcoming home. You provided age-appropriate stimulation of his development, were consistent about nap and bottle schedules, and always ensured he got plenty of fresh air. Your communication with us was just right. But most of all, it was your love, your heartfelt care for our son, that I appreciated so much. The truth is, it felt more like I was bringing him to “grandma’s house” than daycare.
So thank you for being a rock for our family that year and a half. I couldn’t have made it through those days without you. The comfort I experienced, knowing our baby son was in your loving care while I worked full-time, was tremendous. While I was battling this full-time gig, working and waiting for the day I could cut back, you were there. Steady, stable, ready to love, ready to care, always there. And for that, I’ll be eternally grateful.
Counting every day we had with you as a blessing,
*If you’d like to read more from my #31Days Letters to the Unthanked series, click here for the landing page where all the letters are listed and linked!