To The Woman Who Takes Care Of My Child While I Work

by Tiffany Austin
Originally Published: 
child care provider
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I have never questioned my decision to return to work after I had my son. I knew from the beginning that the stay-at-home mom gig was not a mold I was cut out for. It didn’t mean that the thought of leaving my child with someone else didn’t completely terrify me.

Would they really take care of him? Would they nurture his sensitivity? Would they appreciate his quirky sense of humor?

The list went on: What about food? Would he be forced to survive on hot dogs and ramen noodles? Would he be allowed outside to play? Would he make friends? Would he cry all day until I returned? Would I?

And then I met you.

I called you one day, completely desperate and almost out of options for a child care provider. I explained a little about my child and asked you a million and one questions. Within the first 10 minutes, I started to feel my whole body relax after what felt like months of holding my breath. I knew that you were someone special.

My son immediately took to you—your warmth, your smile. The bond that has grown over the years since that initial phone call has been a tremendous comfort to me as a working mom. If I can’t be the one to watch him during the day, I am so grateful to know that I have left him in the care of someone in whom I have complete trust.

I am thankful for the way you greet my son with a hug every morning and are genuinely happy to see him. At the end of the day, you are just as delighted as I would be to recall the funny things he said that day or the shenanigans he got into with the others.

I am thankful for the care with which you run your home—the kind yet structured environment I had hoped for but didn’t know I could find. You always have a little something prepared for the day—whether it’s an entertaining craft or an outside adventure. Your house is clean and organized, yet still a place where the kids can be free to be kids—a place to create and discover.

I am thankful that you care as much about the food that fuels his little body and mind as I do. No hot dogs or mac and cheese in sight (except for the occasional treat, which is OK!).

He looks up to you, and he adores your kids. The kids in your care have become his best friends and partners in crime. He worries about them when they are sick. He looks forward to Monday when he can play with them again.

Thank you for gently correcting him when he has made poor choices. Thank you for wiping his tears after he’s fallen. Thank you for finding the humor in the everyday. Thank you for welcoming him into your home.

You have told me on many occasions that my son is like part of your family. I want you to know that you are part of ours as well. Never once have I wondered if he’s getting on OK in your care while I’m at work. I am so thankful that in this crazy world of parenting you have given me one less thing to worry about.

You have given me the greatest gift—peace of mind. For that, I cannot thank you enough.

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