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A Letter To My Kids’ Babysitter

(For Whom I Now Declare My Undying Adoration)

A Letter To My Kids’ Babysitter

*We’ve partnered with UrbanSitter because after a long summer, we know you need a sitter. Find out how to get free $75 UrbanSitter credit here.

Dear Babysitter,

Hey! How are you? Me? I’ve been Insta-Stalking you for the past couple of weeks, and I see you’ve been enjoying being on break from our nutty, stinky, household (big news: we’re potty training!). Looks fun.

But let me cut to the chase: How would you feel about coming back to babysit a little earlier than we had discussed? Like, maybe tomorrow? I know we talked about resuming our regular sitting schedule once school started and I went back my regular work schedule, but I’m in need of some backup. Now. Here’s the current situation:

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The boys and I had some good times together this summer. We scattered hundreds of those “biodegradable” water balloons across a bunch of Brooklyn’s best playgrounds, and had days where there was no schedule, and we could just wander from café, to park, and then home for a movie in the heat of the day. But now... I am losing my mind.

I know I went into the summer with this big can-do attitude when I told you I was planning on working less and spending more time with the boys and that you wouldn’t be needed until the fall. You looked at me a little worriedly, when I proudly touted this idea of hosting “Camp Mom” complete with a weekly itinerary and possibly matching T-shirts that would look cute on social media. I wish I hadn’t ignored your offer to stay.

You make everything fun, Dear Babysitter. How do you do it? I’m not good at doing all the stuff they love to do, you know the “playing” and “singing” and “crafting” and “treating.”You, on the other hand, have the energy of a cheerleader, whether you’re pretending to be a pirate, taking them out for ice cream, or even pushing that 1,000-lb. double stroller uphill without breaking a sweat like its NBD...like you actually enjoy it.

I need you. We need you. I think that even the boys are getting sick of me. When I pick them up from whatever activity they’ve done for the 20 minutes it feels like its been (even though

technically three hours have gone by) I’m starting to sense disappointment. Every day, it’s the same face they see: Mine. And it grows wearier, and sweatier, and more slathered in preventative anti-aging sunscreen every day.

Dear Babysitter: I cannot wait for you to return to us and bring me back to my regularly scheduled programming. I love my kids, I really do. And I love spending time with them. Just -- not this much time, in extended, consecutive periods. Perhaps you don’t like it much either, but I thank you for putting on a good show of feeling otherwise.

You are a Goddess. Come live with us and be The Second Wife. Brooklyn’s dirty playgrounds are beautiful at the end of summer.

Xoxoxox,

Alexis (aka Mother who just wants her Babysitter Back)

*Sign up and get a free $75 UrbanSitter credit, good toward your first booking anytime before September 30, 2017.

I felt lost as a new mother, but babywearing helped me find myself again

I wish someone had told me before how special wearing your baby can be, even when you have no idea how to do it.

My first baby and I were alone in our Brooklyn apartment during a particularly cold spring with yet another day of no plans. My husband was back at work after a mere three weeks of parental leave (what a joke!) and all my friends were busy with their childless lives—which kept them too busy to stop by or check in (making me, at times, feel jealous).

It was another day in which I would wait for baby to fall asleep for nap number one so I could shower and get ready to attempt to get out of the house together to do something, anything really, so I wouldn't feel the walls of the apartment close in on me by the time the second nap rolled around. I would pack all the diapers and toys and pacifiers and pump and bottles into a ginormous stroller that was already too heavy to push without a baby in it .

Then I would spend so much time figuring out where we could go with said stroller, because I wanted to avoid places with steps or narrow doors (I couldn't lift the stroller by myself and I was too embarrassed to ask strangers for help—also hi, New Yorkers, please help new moms when you see them huffing and puffing up the subway stairs, okay?). Then I would obsess about the weather, was it too cold to bring the baby out? And by the time I thought I had our adventure planned, the baby would wake up, I would still be in my PJs and it was time to pump yet again.

Slowly, but surely, and mostly thanks to sleep deprivation and isolation, I began to detest this whole new mom life. I've always been a social butterfly. I moved to New York because I craved that non-stop energy the city has and in the years before having my baby I amassed new friends I made through my daily adventures. I would never stop. I would walk everywhere just to take in the scenery and was always on the move.

Now I had this ball and chain attached to me, I thought, that didn't even allow me to make it out of the door to walk the dog. This sucks, I would think regularly, followed by maybe I'm not meant to be a mom after all.


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This is my one trick to get baby to sleep (and it always works!)

There's a reason why every mom tells you to buy a sound machine.

So in my defense, I grew up in Florida. As a child of the sunshine state, I knew I had to check for gators before sitting on the toilet, that cockroaches didn't just scurry, they actually flew, and at that point, the most popular and only sound machine I had ever heard of was the Miami Sound Machine.

I was raised on the notion that the rhythm was going to get me, not lull me into a peaceful slumber. Who knew?!

Well evidently science and, probably, Gloria Estefan knew, but I digress.

When my son was born, I just assumed the kid would know how to sleep. When I'm tired that's what I do, so why wouldn't this smaller more easily exhausted version of me not work the same way? Well, the simple and cinematic answer is, he is not in Kansas anymore.

Being in utero is like being in a warm, soothing and squishy spa. It's cozy, it's secure, it comes with its own soundtrack. Then one day the spa is gone. The space is bigger, brighter and the constant stream of music has come to an abrupt end. Your baby just needs a little time to acclimate and a little assist from continuous sound support.

My son, like most babies, was a restless and active sleeper. It didn't take much to jolt him from a sound sleep to crying like a banshee. I once microwaved a piece of pizza, and you would have thought I let 50 Rockettes into his room to perform a kick line.

I was literally walking on eggshells, tiptoeing around the house, watching the television with the closed caption on.

Like adults, babies have an internal clock. Unlike adults, babies haven't harnessed the ability to hit the snooze button on that internal clock. Lucky for babies they have a great Mama to hit the snooze button for them.

Enter the beloved by all—sound machines.

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It's a moment that changes a family, a mother and the world. The moment a new baby enters the world everything changes. The occasion is momentous, and more and more often photographers are embedded in mothers' birth teams, ready to preserve a family's history as it happens.

And in the age of the internet, these photos don't always stay with the family. Photographers and parents are choosing to share incredible birth images that are changing the way others see birth.

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