I was watching my mum aka Grandy (to explain the name she had a beloved Gran who she wanted to emulate but felt ‘Gran’ made her sound too old so came up with Grandy – we’re running with it, although buying birthday cards is impossible) with Willow recently and realised that it’s not just your world that changes when you have a baby but everybody around you too. I think sometimes as parents we get so swallowed up into the whirlwind of family life and keeping everyone fed, watered and
clothed that we don’t notice just how much joy your child brings to others. Of course friends and family totally get the better deal because they don’t have to worry about the mundane stuff, they get all the smiles and play time then hand them back at the end of the day when bed time negotiations begin and the fun really starts.
I’ve been thinking about mum’s life and how it has changed so much. From the moment we showed her the first scan photo Willow has brought her so much joy and I know she would spend every hour with her if she could. Being with Willow seems to have given her more energy (a plus seeing as she is a major part of our childcare jigsaw puzzle) and the patience of a saint (more than she did with my brother and I if I recall, but we were a pair of hellians). Of course Willow has Grandy wrapped around her little finger and mum lets her which is naturally a grandparent’s prerogative. I’m unsure most days who is looking after who, but they have a whale of a time and I love seeing them create a special bond that will last a lifetime.
We definitely couldn’t manage without our Grandy. She provides childcare two days a week, sick cover, is chief baby
sitter for rare nights out, takes us for meals out when mummy and daddy are too tired to cook and has peeled me off the ceiling several times over the last ten and a bit months. I’d like to say a massive thank you to her and all the grandparents, aunties, cousins and friends out there providing this essential support, enabling us to go back to work and lesson the extortionate cost of nursery (I’ll save this rant for another day). This unsung army of caregivers are helping to keep us in employment while not hesitating to let the wee ones slowly deplete their life savings on ice cream, toys and rides. We probably won’t ever be able to repay you for your time but I know that I and many other parents I know are eternally grateful. (Just please don’t go on holiday and/or be ill yourself as this throws our childcare into disarray and will probably result in us ensconcing the wee ones in our bottom drawer at work).
What does your child care jigsaw puzzle look like? Are you, like us running that fine line between clockwork precision and complete chaos if one tiny cog in the machine stops turning. Let me know how you cope (or not).