Before having Lena, I had this picture in my mind of my husband and I taking care of her ourselves 24/7 and only relying on help when we wanted a date night. This has very much not been the case, and it probably isn’t the case for a majority of parents. We all need support.
I saw very quickly the importance of calling on family and friends when necessary.
I think about how wonderful the first three months were at home with her, away from work. We bonded 24/7, she and I. Although I didn’t know all the answers to her newborn problems and struggled to keep from crying when she cried.
Then, I returned to work and needed HELP.
Being a nightshift nurse is tough enough on the body and mind, enter a baby into the mix and the difficulty level rises significantly.
Enter, our village.
My mother has been more like a third parent to Beans. Always there, always willing to help take care of her.
My father watches her on Fridays and some Sundays while I either work or recover from a nightshift. Ever the overprotective Poppi. He watches her like a hawk.
My friend’s mom, who is also like a Mom to me, helped every Wednesday for the first few months after returning to work so I could get a few hours of sleep after a nightshift. It was much needed!
My two cousins have graciously and eagerly been helping whenever I need them since she was about 2 months old. Sometimes even last minute.
They used to watch me when I was a baby, so I can imagine how surreal it is for them to watch mine now. One‘s daughter, 11, also is a big help. She loves Lena as if she were her little sister. And the son, 8, lets Lena beat him up and do whatever she wants. She’s got his soft spot for sure.
My sister has been home for a few months and watches her when I need to sleep before or after a shift. She has quickly taken on a caregiver role as well. It’s been great getting more rest than usual.
Before moving back home, she only saw Lena about once a month, so I know she’s loving this time with her.
My sister-in-law helped a few times early on so that my husband and I could have a date night or just a mini break.
A few of my girlfriends have also helped sporadically when I needed them.
We deeply appreciate them all more than they know! We thank you for loving us enough to care for our girl.
I realize that not every parent has an abundance of help readily available. It’s a daily struggle for many parents. So, it’s something we don’t take for granted.