“I don’t know how single parents do this!”
I remember the first time I said those words to my husband. It was a few months after our baby girl was born. Life with a baby, I found out, was hard – harder than I ever could have imagined. How in the world do single parents get through the daily logistics of taking care of a baby without the support of another? How do single moms take simple bathroom breaks with no one else around to watch baby? “I admire single moms…and dads,” I tell him every time I have a challenging day with the kids.
Luckily, my husband has been there for our kids (and me) since the very beginning for both our kids. He’s a very nurturing and hands-on father, something that seems to surprise many people. It’s also something I’m extremely grateful for since I know not all fathers are like him. He knows it, as I thank him quite often. His response: “Why are you thanking me? They’re MY kids!”
As supportive as my husband is about many things, and even though we’re both there for our kids, it’s still hard to raise children. It’s amazing how much energy kids take out of you. Even in a household with two parents, like ours, help from others is appreciated. That help comes in many forms.
There’s the childcare center baby girl attended for two years – at first full-time when both my husband and I worked outside the home, then part-time after I began to work from home. There’s also friends and family who have helped us at various times over the years in one way or another. But, the most important member of our village has to be my mom. My kids’ abuela has also been there for us since the beginning, helping me out during my c-section recovery the weeks after giving birth (both times), and continually over the years.
My mom, without a doubt, has been of great help and continues to be. She loves our kids as if they’re her own and is pretty much willing to do anything for them. In turn, my kids have a wonderful relationship with their abuela and I can see that they truly consider her a part of their support system. I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that my mom took care of our daughter for three and a half years, five days a week, before she started attending the childcare center. Abuela has definitely helped us and has played an important role in our children’s lives.
It’s people like these that need to know they are appreciated. Sometimes a simple card saying so can go a long way. I took some time to browse the personalized cards available on Hallmark.com to find the perfect thank you card for my mom. I started the process, but as with many things in our busy lives, am still working on finishing up her personalized card. I can’t wait for her to get it! She needs to be reminded just how much we appreciate having her as part of our village.
Who’s in your village and plays an important role in your children’s lives? Have you thanked them recently?
Disclosure: This story is sponsored by Hallmark through their Life is a Special Occasion campaign. As always, all stories and opinions are my own. To receive special offers and discounts from Hallmark, sign up for their e-newsletter!
Top photo: pasukaru76/Flickr