My son has two moms. One spends the days with him, while the other gets the evenings and early morning wake-up calls. Both know all about his allergies, what he likes to eat, and that he has a terrible sweet tooth. One is called mommy Mai, and one is just called mommy. And, just one actually gave birth to him.
I don’t remember if I was completely on board with an in-home babysitter as the daycare option for my son when I was pregnant. I remember endless Google searches of daycare centers in our neighborhood or on the way to work during the last months of pregnancy. None of them really stood out, and they were all so expensive. When my husband brought up the fact he had a coworker whose wife could watch our son after I went back to work, I was apprehensive. Not because I didn’t think she would do a good job, but mainly because I thought a daycare was what you were supposed to choose.
Now I know that what you are supposed to do is choose the option that makes the most sense for you and your family. And, especially your child. I took eight weeks off for maternity leave, and once that time was up, my son started a new chapter with his second mom. Now, I can’t tell you that it was easy dropping him off that first day, because it wasn’t. I’m positive I bawled like the baby my son was on the way to my first day back at work. But, when I got those first pictures texted to me of him perfectly content and drinking his bottle, all that sadness and guilt went away.
It only got better from there, the days turned into weeks, then months, then two years went by! He gets to spend his days going to story times, tumbling at The Y, splash pads during the summer, picnics in the park, and making holiday-themed crafts. His “mommy Mai” was with him when we found out he was allergic to peanuts. She even captured some of his first crawls and words and steps on video.
The first time I heard my son call his babysitter “mommy” was one morning she was picking him up on the way to take one of her kids to preschool. He was recapping our weekend together, and the whole time I thought he was talking to me – mommy. But, he was saying “mommy” while looking at her. I’m sure another version of me would have been hurt or angry that he could use such a sacred nickname for two people. But, I wasn’t. Mommy is my favorite nickname, and if he thinks two people are worthy of it, then so do I.
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