Ever heard the saying, it takes a village to raise a baby?… That has to be one of the most true statements I’ve ever heard. But, honestly, I never really realized it until we moved to Florida. Initially our plan was for me to stay home with Caleb and go to school part-time. We already know that was a short-lived dream for me. I FAILED miserably at being a stay at home mom…. If you haven’t read already, I have a post about it.. Click Here to read that debacle! Lol.
Now, when I made the decision to go back to work, I already knew I’d have to find a daycare, sitter or nanny to keep our son. I had gone through this process back in Maryland, before he was even born. We visited numerous locations before we had him, weighed the pros and cons of facilities versus home daycares and prices. So, while I thought I was prepared to go through that again, I quickly realized that it wasn’t going to be as easy as it was the first time around. You see at this point, we had only been in Florida probably 4 months, which meant we still didn’t really know anyone! So, we were blind to what Florida had to offer as far as childcare was concerned. I remember we started with daycare centers because we figured it would probably be best for Caleb and because we didn’t know anyone to really provide us a reference for an at home daycare, even though that was our initial preference. We had an amazing experience with the home daycare Cale was in right before we left Maryland and as much as we wanted to find something like that again, we just didn’t know where to look. We went from daycare center to daycare center, and nothing felt right. Nothing felt like home for us. So, we just kept looking. After a month of looking we were frustrated…. And then magic happened!
Josh was talking about our struggle with one of his new co-workers and she stopped him in mid-conversation and said I think I have the perfect person for you…. You see she had twin boys, that she said home with until they were around 2, she told Josh about how spoiled they were. How she could never get family to watch them because they were so attached to her, but when she found Mrs. C everything changed. She said she remembers dropping her sons off the first day and they were clinging to her but, Mrs. C kept calm, pulled the babies off of her and told her to go! Within that first week, their behavior quickly changed and they were running to Mrs. C and telling their mom “bye!” Amazing right?! I know…. Lol So, when Josh came home and told me, I called her immediately!
Mrs. C was so warm when I spoke to her on the phone. She’s a grandmother herself so, you could just hear the experience in her voice. We set up a time to meet and when we got to her house, met her and her husband we were SOLD! She was amazing… Just what we wanted and would soon find out what we needed, not just for Caleb but for us and now Kelsey. Within two weeks of being with Mrs. C, Caleb started walking on his own. He was SUPER lazy at home with me, he wanted me to carry him everywhere but, she helped him to find independence. He has grown so much under her supervision. Advanced in his education and confident in who he is because of her.
Mrs. C has prayed over us when we’ve had hard times, she’s chastised us a mom when we tell her something we’ve done wrong. She remembers our birthdays, buys gifts for our children and invites us to family dinners. She’s no longer just a daycare provider, she’s the kids Nana and her husband, their Papa. I could NOT imagine life here in Florida without Mrs. C. She has welcomed us and treated sometimes even better than our own family. She’s a part of our village…. When Kelsey was born, she was there. Keeping Caleb while I was in the hospital. When Caleb had a 105 temperature and we had to take him to the hospital in the middle of the night, she kept Kelsey for two days. When I’ve gone out of town for work, Mrs. C keep our babies and helped Josh get through the week. Time after time, over and over Mrs. C has been there. Loving on us and our kids. Helping us through hurricane season, baking cakes, giving us leftovers. You name it, she’s done it for us.
There are others we’ve found here in Florida that also help us from time to time with the children. They’ve all been amazing… From Caleb’s 2 year old teacher to the volunteers at our church. All of them have poured into our kids in ways we would never be able to do on our own…. This is why the village is important. Our kids have learned how to love, be kind, patient, etc. because of those who have shown love, kindness and patience to them.
So, what’s today’s lesson? Build a village for your children. Find those who will love on your children when you’re away, working or just exhausted. While the village is important for your children, it’s just as important for you. There’s nothing like the peace of mind you have when you know your most prized possessions are taken care of… And once you find your village cherish them because they cherish your children…
~Peace, Love and Light.