From the moment I felt her touch, her soft breath on my chest, her warm fingers grasp mine…. I was hooked. This tiny life would change me forever. I could never imagine my life… a day… a SECOND apart from her.
13 weeks went by faster than I could blink. I remember sitting in the parking lot of my work, weeping… wiping off what little bit of makeup I had left… trying my best to catch my breath. I flipped through every picture I had of her on my phone before I went into work.
“I can do this. I can do this because I love her, and this is the right thing for her and for our family right now. Keep your eyes up. One day she will understand. Stay strong… I can do this. I can have peace because she’s in good hands.”
Those “good hands” would make that day… and every day away from her over the next 10 months bearable. Those two hands would hold my daughter tight when she was sad, feed her when she was hungry, snuggle her when she was sleepy, play with her and make her giggle, and nurture her while I pumped in airport restrooms, worked 60+ hour weeks, answered endless amounts of emails, and designed seemingly meaningless spaces.
After 10 months of taking care of my baby, those 2 hands moved away. It was the hardest thing to experience as a working mom. The person that takes care of your child while you’re away becomes your co-hort in motherhood. You love them deeply because they spend so much time loving your tiny human being. You text each other when you see a new tooth coming in or you can’t get your kid to eat anything. You share tips on how to get your little one to nap better or how to calm her down when she can’t be soothed. You understand the struggles of motherhood, wifehood, and womanhood without using any words.
I’m extremely thankful for the 3 women who have stepped in and taken care of Piper over the past year and a half of her life while I’ve gotten to pursue my passion for design. I’m thankful for the photos they send me throughout the day, the values they instill in her, for their kiddos who share their mommies (and toys) with her, and most importantly, for loving her like their own.
If you are a working parent, don’t settle for just any 2 hands. These hands become another parent on your parenting squad. They will shape and mold your child every second she is with them. These 2 hands will become the most important 2 hands in your life as a parent.
They say it takes a village to raise a child. I’d venture to say it takes one goofy dad who sweats, a hell of a mom who tries… and one damn good extra pair of hands at all times to love and raise a tiny human.