Dear Daycare Provider,
First and foremost, thank you for caring for my baby. I know the controlled chaos of caring for infants is not the most glamorous line of work with all the diaper changes, drool, and fussiness, but it is important work. Along with all the activities you coordinate every day, you are the one interacting with my baby for the majority of their awake time every day. I am forever thankful for all you do to stimulate their development, spark their curiosity, and keep them safe.
But I have a small confession: I am jealous.
I am jealous of the time you spend with my baby, because I know all too well how precious time is. You see, the baby you care for is not my first child. The baby you care for was born after we lost our first who died unexpectedly in the womb along with the lifetime of memories we planned to create. I would do just about anything to get that time back if I could.
Instead, I learned the painful lesson of how precious time is, and I am jealous of you. I wish there was more time in the day for me to do all the things: enjoy unlimited quality time with my baby and loved ones, give myself adequate self-care (sleep included), and still have time left over to do things that I’m passionate about. Reality takes away the dream of unlimited time and I have chosen to entrust you with the responsibility of caring for my baby while I work.
I hope you recognize the weight of your responsibility and feel how privileged you are.
With the precious time you have with my baby, you will likely see them experience new things for the first time on a regular basis. You will see them explore the world around them, make friends, laugh, and cry. You will cheer them on as they learn new skills and protect them from any possible danger. While I do all these same things when my baby is with me, I can’t help but feel like I am missing a significant part of their life. And for these reasons, I am jealous of you.
So, I hope you smile when my baby smiles. I hope you laugh when they laugh. And I hope you feel joy as you watch over my baby because they have become a bright light in my life, helping me navigate the darkness of the loss of their older sibling.
A Bereaved Parent
- What the New Mom to a Baby Born after a Loss Needs Her Friends and Loved Ones to Know
- Parenting After Loss: Making Space for Both Babies
- Why Evaluating Risk is Different for Loss Parents
- Adjusting to big transitions while parenting after loss
- 8 Things that Surprised Me about Bringing Home My Rainbow Baby