Yesterday my amazing sitter was here for the morning and spent her time spoiling LW and her son. They colored, crafted, snacked, I'm sure had the usual dance party, read books, played trains...the whole nine yards. So naturally when I had to ask her to stay an extra hour because I forgot to check my conference call schedule prior to having her arrive, I felt really guilty.
She agreed to stay and never bat an eye at my request. That extra hour happened to roll over lunch time, so she also fed her son and mine. I forgot to offer her food for her own lunch.
That one hour changed my attitude for the day. For once, I was able to spend my lunch hour snuggling my child. I could read him a book, watch part of a show and we could cook a soup for dinner together.
I didn't have to make him lunch, or clean up after him or fight to count how many bites he'd taken while I watched the clock to make sure I didn't go over my allotted hour break.
LW spent the entire morning playing, so when it was time for his nap, he just fell asleep without fighting me. I didn't have to take him on a drive in the car or listen to him stomp around his room creating mass destruction for an hour. He just laid down, and went to sleep.
Since I'd already cooked dinner, after work I took our dog to the vet without feeling rushed. I came home and we ate at our leisure...because dinner was ready when we were. Then, I cleaned up and did the dishes from the whole day (a feat that is NEVER done at night, always begrudgingly in the morning before 8am).
Because I had one hour so unselfishly given to me during the work day, I was able to mop my floors that night. Something that (sorry Mom) I hadn't done yet this year. I also folded a mountain of laundry, which may even get put away this week. I did this while LW watched Frozen for the 8,000th time but I didn't feel guilty because I knew he had spent his day playing or peacefully napping.
One hour gave me the relaxation after bedtime to sit and have a conversation with my husband and our company for the evening, a friend who was in from out of town, without eyeing the dishes that hadn't been washed or the laundry that hadn't been folded. Because I'd already done both!!
Hiring someone to come and help me during the day has done wonders for my mentality.
Because of the unselfishness of the person I chose to help me, I am able to be more productive and relax more often.
Whoever your care giver, hug them. Buy them a Starbucks. Remember to offer them lunch. I had no idea the peace of mind an hour would give me.
To our caregiver: As I have said before, we are blessed to have you...and I cannot say thank you enough. Also, I'm really sorry I forgot to offer you lunch. Next time, just eat my food!!! All of it! Any of it!!
This also goes for Grandmas and Grandpas who spend their days off chasing our wild little beast, changing diapers, battling tantrums, combating naps and wiping snotty noses. You already did your time by raising your own children and still you volunteer your time for your grandchild without a moment of hesitation. Thank you. We appreciate you more than you know.