Learning to Share

I’ve taken a little break since my last post. We’ve been settling into our new routine and I have to say, I’m very happy with it.

My mother in-law recently moved down from Pennsylvania to become Sadie and Wally’s full-time caregiver. She lives in an apartment on the same street as us so she can literally walk over in the morning.

First, that’s quite a life change for any person to make so we couldn’t be more grateful. Some people have also been shocked at my decision to voluntarily bring my mother-in-law (MIL) closer to me; maybe they haven’t had great experiences with mother-in-law’s. I am one of the lucky few who actually gets along with my MIL and I absolutely love how she is with my babies (hence the decision for her to watch them).

I recognize this type of set-up is definitely not for everyone but it’s working really well for us. I don’t feel as guilty staying at work late if I need to because I’m leaving Sadie with someone she adores. And I don’t feel as suspicious of what’s going on during the day because the trust is already there (my MIL watched Sadie on her own multiple times before we decided to ask her to make this commitment, plus ya know, she’s family).

My MIL is very supportive of my husband and I having time together, so we’ve been able to have more date nights (yay). She also helped me finally start exercising again. When I got home from work, she’d offer to keep watching Sadie so I could fit in a quick workout. Now that I’ve built it into a routine I work out when Sadie goes to bed, but my MIL helped me finally bite the bullet!

One of the best things about my MIL is she loves going out with Sadie; she takes Sadie to the park, the library, the botanical gardens, and the high museum every week. Talk about awesome. She also takes Sadie on these trips at a consistent time everyday so Wally has learned their schedule and feels calm until they return. My MIL is very sweet to Wally so he’s always happy when she comes over!

There’s only one adjustment that’s been hard for me and it’s a tough feeling to describe. I don’t know if all moms have experienced this, but recently my friend put it well:

“When my sister’s little boy gets upset and she’s there, he refuses to go to anyone but her. I can tell she’s kind of annoyed she has to deal with it by herself but she also kind of loves it too.”

This used to be my daughter, Sadie. Whenever I was home, anything upsetting had to be taken care of by me. Although it was frustrating to have to handle it myself, I think it was actually more frustrating for my husband or anyone else who wanted to help because their efforts would just make Sadie more frantic. I tried to be sympathetic but I don’t think it always came off genuinely. It took me a while to admit that I loved how attached she was to me.

Since MIL has arrived, Sadie has been a lot better about showing affection for others even when I’m around. I’m so proud of her and happy to see her become this loving person. Her relationships with her dad and her nana have grown much deeper which is amazing to see. On the other hand, it’s hard for me to let go and share my Sadie hugs. Occasionally she still has days where she clings to my side or just wants me to hold her for a bit; these times help remind me that she still holds a special place for me in her heart and makes it a little easier to share. 😉

Please share any thoughts you have in the comments section. I’d love to hear from you!

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