Like most parents-to-be my husband and I envisioned what our life would be like after the arrival of our fraternal little bundles of joy with keen optimism. We decided that our version of parenthood would involve a budget that would always include a babysitter fund. We were happy to accept hand-me-down clothing, take more local vacations and make other financial sacrifices as a trade for some more time to ourselves as a couple.
A month before Molly and Jack’s c-scheduled arrival we opened up an account with a nanny site and posted an advertisement for a handful of regular babysitters. I wanted a sitter who would be available during the day from time-to-time so I would be able to get a break or a nap when my husband was at work and another sitter or two who would be available for our evening date nights. The well-thought out plan allowed us time to receive resumes, review them together towards the end of my pregnancy/ first few days of the twins’ lives, schedule phone and face-to-face interviews and then test out our sitters while we went out to a restaurant walking distance from our house, so we were nearby.
A few days after our new family returned from the hospital my husbands’ grandmother’s health took a turn for the worse. He received a call from his father urging him to head to the hospital immediately at around 2:45AM, while we were finishing up a middle of the night feeding of Molly and Jack. Chris drove to the hospital while I put the kids back to bed and waited for his call. He returned home, just after breakfast and the family had already begun to make funeral arrangements.
Molly and Jack were barely a week old and we both knew that it would be difficult to manage their care at a visitation and a funeral. We hadn’t even called the babysitters who had applied to care for Molly and Jack and over half of our family would be attending the funeral. On the night of the visitation, less than two weeks after their birth, we separated from our newborns for the very first time, under the charge of my best friend and my brother. I believe I provided a laundry list of highly unnecessary instructions and then we took a deep breath and we left our children for a few hours that evening. We came home to sleeping twins and our babysitters watching a Storage Wars Marathon on TV – hardly the difficult situation that I had written a novel to prepare them for. The next day we left Molly and Jack in the care of my parents, and a significantly shorter set of “care” instructions, while we went to the service and the visitation (but not before a milk pumping pit stop).
We knew that we’d be leaving the twins under the care of others early on, however we certainly didn’t think that we’d be doing it that soon. We both wish that Great Grandma Hazel had been able to meet Molly and Jack and we are so thankful for the people in our lives who stepped up during our VERY early days of parenthood.
When we interviewed our sitters and left Molly and Jack alone as intended that fall, it was just a little bit easier knowing that we had done it before. We still have two of our original babysitters who have cared for Molly and Jack since they were just a month old and nowadays they look forward to their time with their sitters just as much as we enjoy getting out for a date.
To view a post I wrote on my personal blog on interview questions to ask a potential babysitter click here.
From August 31 to September 4, 2015, How Do You Do It? is running a series on “me time” for mothers: why we need it, how we make it, what we do with it. Find the full list of posts on the theme week page.
Have you blogged about mommy time on your own blog before? Are you inspired to do so now? Link your posts at our theme week link up! We’ll do our best to share them on Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter with the hashtag #metime.