The Thankful Project: Day 18 – A Choice

We make choices, day in and day out.  We make big decisions and decisions that are made without much thought and effort.

Today, the one decision that I’m thankful we made was to send McKenzie to an in-home daycare.  I’m thankful for Jen and the love that she’s shown my daughter for the past year and a half.

One of the biggest decisions that you make as a soon to be mom is whether you will return to work or stay home. For those of us who are not lucky enough to be able to stay home with their family, there’s yet another decision – what daycare? Should I choose an in-home or a center? What’s going to be best? I know this is a heated debate and there are strong opinions for both sides. That’s not what this post is about. This post is about the decision I made for my family, which has turned out to be one of the best decisions I’ve made thus far!

We met Jen through a referral after our original daycare plans fell through.  Our spot was given to another family, a current family who recently told the director that they were expecting their second child.  I completely understood why this was happening, but as a planner and an emotional pregnant woman, I was devastated.  I had everything planned out and now it all seemed to be falling through.

That’s when we found Jen!  It’s hard to see it at the time, but everything works out exactly as it should.  We were referred to Jen by a friend of my sister’s.   We met with Jen at her house and I instantly liked her.  The house was immaculate – you would have never known she had crazy kids running around all day – and Jen was so warm and welcoming.

I hadn’t even had McKenzie yet, but I was anxious about having to go back to work.  There was just something about Jen.  I felt confident with her.  She has four amazing little boys of her own, so I knew instantly I could feel comfortable with her.  She knew what she was doing.

Daycare Crafts

Daycare Crafts

My maternal instincts didn’t lie.  What started off as a typical daycare/parent relationship has evolved into a friendship.  McKenzie loves Jen and Jen has welcomed McKenzie into her family, as if she were one of her own.   I’ve grown to trust Jen.  Pick-up’s take longer these days, because a friendship has formed.  Jen fills me in on McKenzie’s day and then the conversation continues.  We’ve vented about things that have made us frustrated and have become each other’s sounding boards.  My words aren’t doing this justice because I adore Jen and her entire family!

Throughout the past year and a half, she has been McKenzie’s Mom away from Mom.  She has been comforting to McKenzie when necessary, has taught her so much and has even been tough when needed.  Time outs have occurred, but McKenzie has always learned her lesson.  Jen is everything that I could have hoped for!

McKenzie's first time-out

McKenzie’s first time-out

My heart hurts to know that McKenzie won’t be going to Jen’s after this summer.  McKenzie’s grandmother is retiring and going to watch her.  She’ll be spending part of her time at a preschool and part of the time with her Bibi (what McKenzie calls her).  I know this is good for McKenzie.  It will enable her to make all of the memories that I made when my grandparent’s watched me.   She will still be equally as loved and looked after (if not more…you know how grandmothers are!), but it’s a change, and change is never easy for me!  It will be a new routine, new drop off schedule, new location.  It’ll take a few weeks and we’ll find our new rhythm.  We’ll have a new normal.

We’re amazingly thankful that Bibi will be able to spend time with McKenzie, but I’d be lying if I didn’t say that a big part of me will miss Jen.  She’s what I know.  She’s my resource and my friend.  The day I told Jen that McKenzie wouldn’t be returning next year, I sobbed like a baby.   I am dreading McKenzie’s last day with everything in me.

I know her new beginnings are going to be just as great, but I know that a huge piece of both of our hearts will be left with Jen.  We are thankful beyond words for her and the love that she’s shown our family.

Today, take the time to thank those who take care of your children when you can’t be there.  They are so important and are often taken for granted.

Words can’t express how grateful I am.

thankful project title

I’m linking up with Kenzie over at Chasing Happy for the month of November.
Be sure to stop by and check it out!

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