Once upon a time… in the Pre-Kids era, there was a single chick who loved life and thought having kids was for other people; definitely not for her. At one point, this girl thought that maybe kids one day… but no way would her life really be that different. Then one day this girl married a nice young man… and man oh man did things change!
Fast forward seven years, house number three, kid number two, and the one and only husband number one. I look back at all of the things I believed to be true before kids and how different they really are. I rarely asked for help when I was single; and for a while, it bugged me to see how dependent of my husband’s help I was becoming. Now, I am extremely grateful for my family, friends, and teachers who help me on a daily basis be a better mommy.
When Sofia was a year old, I was lucky to discover a morning program called: Mother’s Day Out at a local church. MDO is two short mornings a week where a mom can go to the grocery or take a shower uninterrupted while their child is looked after by loving caring people. WOW! How that changed my life! Fast forward to year number 4 at the MDO program and the teachers are practically part of our family. They help me care for my children so I can take care of my business, the house, and even myself.
Every Tuesday I am grateful for my mother-in-law who visits with my son for a couple hours so I can take part of an all women study group and shortly after she picks up my daughter from Pre-K and together they go to her dance class while I am home with my napping son. My mother in law helps me by taking my daughter to dance and not disrupting my son’s routine. Seriously, have you gone to a dance school’s waiting area with 40 other mothers and just as many kids plus your 3 year old son who didn’t get enough of a nap? Translation: H-E-L-L. Some weekends my in-laws keep our kids so my husband can get things done around the house, but mostly, because I work Friday and Saturday nights and mommy duty doesn’t end just because I got to bed in the wee hours.
I am always extremely grateful when my mom flies in from California for a week to visit the kids. She does this pretty often because kids grow really fast… and Skype only provides so much contact. The weeks she visits I enjoy lots of ‘organizing’ time, ‘office’ time, alone time, and most importantly: Mom time. She is the one person I wish lived closer… and not just for the things I ‘could’ get done… but for the great times when I don’t. During her next visit I plan on getting our taxes done – reconstructing 25,000 miles from post-its and 3 mileage ledgers is no easy task nor can it be done in one day.
Lately, I am grateful for some of my friends who have taken my kids in the afternoons, cooked for us, and called to check on us during some of the recent difficult times we’ve endured as a family. It’s not only the ‘extra’ help I receive that makes me think that it takes more than us as parents to raise our kids; but it’s the constant support we receive as a family that really creates our village. Some friends give us advice on the best schools, some pray for us when we can’t, others pitch in products that work for kids and remind me which ones are a waste of money, where the best swim lessons are, or where I can get a great deal on cute non-mommy shoes. It’s liberating to accept the truth: It really does take more than two parents to raise our kids… and that’s OK by the new me.
Happy Parents + Happy Kids = Happy House 🙂