Here is a basic truth about my life: I could not get by on a day-to-day basis without my support network. And by this, I mean my nanny, my daughter’s preschool teachers, my parents and in-laws (who frequently pitch in with my kids), and my lovely, lovely friends. This network is sanity-preserving; they make the logistics of my life manageable. And their kindness smoothes out the rough edges of my days.
Here are just a few examples.
- About a year and a half ago, a teacher at my daughter’s school who knew I’d been having a hard month at work, gave me a big hug and told me I was doing a great job, that my kids are awesome, and that it would get easier and better.
- I was briefly but rather seriously ill at the end of this summer, and my friend K.A. hosted my son for an extended playdate at her house with her children so I could be sick in peace for an afternoon.
- My kids have a day off of school next week when I have to work. My nanny just offered to come spend extra hours with the kids that day, plus take them to a movie as a treat. She made this offer graciously and with humor.
- My dad surprised me by picking up my son early today, coming to my house, and hanging Christmas lights.
I am so insanely lucky to have these people in my life. I am so lucky to have all these people who love my kids, who are willing to keep their eyes on my kids.
I just finished (more like devoured) Amy Poehler’s book Yes Please, and it contains an entire chapter called “Every Mother Needs a Wife” about how critical these support people are to all of us. She repeatedly mentions and thanks her nannies by name, including in the credits of the book. And I love her for saying it out loud. I love her for not pretending she does it all by herself.
Because really, do any of us do it all by ourselves?
I’m going to paraphrase the fabulous Ms. Poehler for a moment: My life, and my children’s lives, are far richer because of our diverse and extensive network of caretakers. I am so, so deeply grateful for each of them.
And my wish for all of you, dear readers, is that you have a similar network who’s got your back.