What has your family’s childcare journey looked like?
I was just a couple of years into my parenting journey. I had a good rhythm going and for the most part, felt like I had a handle on my days. My kids were 2-years-old and 8-months-old at the time, and we were gearing up for holiday travel. As luck would have it, my husband came down with the stomach flu — this was the beginning of the sickness dominoes that ensued over the next three weeks. With the usual chaos of traveling and schedules thrown out the door, both kids fell sick one after the other. The holidays of 2017 were largely spent cleaning up vomit, pumping Pedialyte around the clock, and lots and lots of rest. Sure enough, I never got sick — because, after all, moms are superheroes.
We returned home in early January, and this Mama was done. I was completely exhausted from the travel, from the throw-up, from the nurse role, and most importantly, from solo parenting for weeks.
My husband looked at me and said, “I really think we should get an au pair.” Prior to then, I was against the idea. I wasn’t crazy about the idea of someone living with us, and admittedly, I was against accepting that I needed help. After all, the voice inside my head told me that I should be able to handle this all myself. This was my job. But, in that moment, I knew this was the right choice for our family.
I defeatedly agreed and began the interview process. I held many late night Skype interviews with potential au pairs from Colombia, Mexico, Brazil, etc. And then, I found her. She answered all the questions “correctly.” She had experience. But, most markedly, I had a feeling. That feeling in your gut when you know that someone is the right fit for you and for your family. We finalized our match at the end of January, and on March 20, 2018, our lives were forever changed.
Here are three invaluable things that have come out of Laryssa joining our family:
- Kids are extra loved. For as long as the kids can remember, they have received constant, extra attention and love under the same roof — admittedly from someone who is younger and way more energetic and fun than I am.
- Our marriage is stronger. Having consistent and reliable childcare has enabled us to take breaks and do date nights without the stress of coordinating childcare.
- Childcare has been consistent. The consistency of having the same person care for my kids from a young age is immeasurable. Laryssa has been a constant whether we have traveled across the globe or helped along with after-school activities.
Today, my kids refer to Laryssa as “Didi,” meaning older sister in Punjabi, and she is nothing short of that. She has been a constant in our lives and in my personal parenthood journey. And for that, I am forever grateful.