I cried that first day. “How can this stranger possibly care for my baby girl?” I pondered. It felt scary and unknown, as most new things tend to do. 

My husband and I searched for a quality daycare. It was a stressful search. Our original choice fell through leaving us with no other options. 

Until I received the perfect e-mail.

“Leslie. Hey – I heard you’re looking for a great daycare. These ladies have an opening.” 

These ladies turned into our answered prayers.

This in home daycare had a huge, beautiful backyard and two fantastic ladies at the helm. My husband and I knew when we pulled into that driveway, that this was the place for our baby girl. We had peace. Still, the first time a new mom drops her baby off at any daycare can cause worry. 

 I went shopping that first day for exactly one hour.

“Go, have a bit of time for you,” our daycare provider nudged. “Your baby, Ella will be just fine.”

And she was. I was fine, too, although my shopping time was just me, pacing back and forth in a store, worrying frantically about my baby. New moms are like that. It’s funny to think back to that timid moment and how many times during the months and years to follow, I embraced my alone time. 

I can’t imagine life without it. It’s hard to think of life without them, either. 

In one short week, that baby girl will be seven. Her little sister, Gracie, who was just as tiny at her first daycare drop off, just turned five. And now, it’s time to say goodbye. This stage is ending. Ella will be in first grade and Miss Gracie will spend most of her days in Pre-K. There’s no reason to drop them off each day. I’m working from home now. I’m the boss. I set my own hours and my own schedule. 

There’s no reason for daycare.

And now I find myself in a similar situation. This is scary and unknown. For seven years I’ve had help. For seven years my husband and I took turns dropping off and picking up our growing girls. In between the hours of 8 am and 5:00 pm, our girls learned how to talk and walk and potty train and manners and kindness and discipline. They made their first friends. They laughed and cried and created memories I’ll never know.

And sometimes, that made me sad. Sometimes, I wanted to be the one spending each hour with them. But I knew in my heart, that I needed to work. I was a better mom, wife, employee, sister and friend because of it. 

How do I thank these ladies? How do I tell two women, who were just strangers at the beginning, how much their care has meant to us over the years. They treated our girls as their own. They weren’t afraid to show discipline and love. They became family. If the old saying is true, and this whole parent thing really does take a village, I know we found ours. In those early years, I’m not sure I could have done this on my own. 

And so, as an old era ends and a new one begins, I find myself giving thanks. Shelly and Sherone, I’m so glad God knew what he was doing when that first daycare fell through. He was leading my baby girls to you both. They will remember you all of their lives.

I know I will, too.

Leslie Means

Leslie is the founder and owner of Her View From Home.com. She is also a former news anchor, published children’s book author, weekly columnist, and has several published short stories as well. She is married to a very patient man. Together they have three fantastic kids.  When she’s not sharing too much personal information online and in the newspaper – you’ll find Leslie somewhere in Nebraska hanging out with family and friends. There’s also a 75% chance at any given time, you’ll spot her in the aisles at Target.