Letting go of Little Baby Girl

What began in September 2010 ended today – March 31, 2011. After giving my bosses my two week notice, I completed my last night on the job last night – er, this morning. Whatever.

My bosses, a Mom and Dad, hired me to watch their newborn two nights a week. The purpose was to help with the night-time feedings, as well as getting baby ready to face the day in the morning. The job also included household chores such as changing diaper pails, helping with laundry and feeding their cats.

Over the course of 6 months, I watched Little Baby Girl grow up to her 6 month-self, and I bid adieu to one of their cats, as it became sick and had to be put to sleep. Plus, I reconnected with my friends, the parents of Little Baby Girl. I roomed with the Mom for several years in my late 20s and early 30s, and I went boating with the Dad countless times.

Me with Mom and Dad (at 11:30 PM)

Nearly a year ago, my friend, still pregnant with Little Baby Girl, sent out an email. She and her husband realized, after their first baby girl, that nighttime help would be a glorious thing to have in place, with the arrival of their newest family member. Her email was seeking referrals and recommendations from friends and family for a nanny or babysitter. In need of more money, I replied to my friend, “What about me? I’ll do it.”

Just like all the other applicants, I met with my pregnant friend, her husband and First Baby Girl. We discussed the pros and cons, as well as the expectations. Long story short, I got the job. Two weeks after Little Baby Girl came home, I reported for duty every Monday and Wednesday night at 10:30 PM, and I headed home every Tuesday and Thursday morning around 7:00 AM.

None of us knew how long my services would be needed. As the weeks turned to months, Little Baby Girl was becoming more and more independent. Even with cold and flu season hitting the household hard and making sleepless nights common, thanks to stuffed noses, Little Baby Girl gradually slept longer and longer. Soon, Little Baby Girl was sleeping through the night.

Recently, when I reported for duty on a Monday night, my bosses told me Little Baby Girl was already in bed. “What?! What do you mean she is in bed?” I asked. I was sad. For the first time, I was not going to give Little Baby Girl a bedtime bottle. For the first time, I would not see Little Baby Girl awake until morning. Aw. My little baby girl was growing, and I knew my little baby girl didn’t need me anymore. Now, Mom and Dad? Well, they were willing to keep on keeping on with my semiweekly visits.

My last morning with Little Baby Girl

After talking with Mom and Dad, we all agreed it was time to let go. I let Mom and Dad know that I would be willing to help in the future, as needed. Plus, I told them I would babysit Little Baby Girl and First Baby Girl on weekends, so Mom and Dad could go on a date or five. Last night, as I started my usual chores, all of us were feeling sad. I was going to miss my Little Baby Girl fix, as well as visiting with my friends on a regular basis, and they were going to miss visiting with me, as well as getting extra downtime to use how ever they wanted.

This morning, as I started walking out the door, my now former boss said suddenly, “Oh! I forgot! Dad will be out of town next Thursday. Can you come back that night?”

“You bet!” I said. Letting go of Little Baby Girl may take a little more time.

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