But I know more about raising kids than most. Let me explain.
I don't say that to sound pompous or self-important. And I completely recognize that HAVING a child is much different than just taking care of one. But I also have a Bachelor's degree in Early Childhood Education, have taken Infant First Aid and CPR more times than I even remember anymore and I've spent longer days with kids than their parents.
I'm a nanny. And I've been in the 'business' of loving and caring for kids for about a decade. I've worked with many different families with many different styles of parenting and personalities of children. I've been a Childcare teacher, a babysitter and an at-home nanny. And I want to tell a bit about what it's like to not have a child of my own but to have extreme love and passion for a child LIKE it's my own.
The last family I worked for had a baby girl. Their first baby and they were working parents so they hired me when she was three months old to care for her during the day. I'll call her Emily.
Emily was a fantastic happy and intelligent baby with awesome parents. They were open to my suggestions and fully trusted that I was always acting in Emily's best interest. They were a loving, easy-going and amazingly kind family to work for.
I spent 8hr days with Emily 4-5 days a week. And once or twice I even had her overnight when her parents had to be out of town. I was the first person she threw up on, the person she had her first solid food with and the one who took the binky away.
I could tell you so many stories about my time with Emily (and perhaps I will someday) but here's the main point I want you to understand; I love Emily with a kind of love that words cannot describe. It's a kind of love that is not the same as a parent's love but captures your heart in the same strong way.
After two and a half years with Emily I had to say goodbye when I moved to another state and I've honestly never felt so heartbroken or empty in my entire life. I felt like I was abandoning her without any explanation that she would understand. We went from togetherness everyday to not seeing each other at all anymore. It was wretched for me and everyday I feel sad missing out on her new words and her happy face.
I do still keep in touch with Emily (and I always will) but I can not explain to you what it's like to be away from her. She's not my child. But I will always love her like that. And I'm so thankful her parents let me be that piece in her life.
I completely understand how difficult it must be to trust another person to care for your child when you aren't there. But I want you to know, if you find someone with the right heart, they will love your child forever.