Last week we met Piccolo*, a student at the college where I teach who likes to babysit. She came over while I was home, I went upstairs in my slippers with my coffee and practiced for 2 1/2 hours. In a row. Alone. I also did a load of laundry, ran the dishwasher and cleaned the toilets. Alone.
This week I painted some furniture, organized dinner, went through all of Isaac's clothes and agreed to a gig. Alone.
It is so incredibly rejuvenating, I cannot tell you how much those few hours mean to me. She's great. She reads to them, keeps Toby in line and makes Isaac giggle. I made her coffee, fed Isaac (duh) and even changed both boys' diapers over the course of the morning. She would, but I'm flitting around anyway and I know they both excel at wrestling. Still, that little window of time when I know I'll be able to do my own thing... it's like a shower after camping.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not dreaming of time away from my boys and we would not have a nanny even if we were the Warbucks. There is no doubt in my mind that it's a big deal to be able to be with them and not schlepping off to some factory or working nights. But I am totally certain that this makes me a better mom. I'm pretty sure they like seeing a different face every once in a while, too.
My parents (and J's too, when they're in town!) have also had a profound impact on these first years for our family. They spend four or five hours with the boys on my teaching days- and on the zillions of other days when we make up a reason to head their way. I can't imagine doing this on my own, and I'm just floored with gratitude for all these people helping us along the way.
*Not her real name, and not a descriptor- to the contrary, she's laid-back. Seems more like a clarinetist but who am I to tell her she plays the wrong instrument. That comes next week...