Monday, June 4, 2012

Goodbye Amelie

Dear boys,

Last Saturday we said goodbye to Amelie. She helped us transition here to Holland, hung out with you guys while we directed the movers on where to put furniture and got ourselves a little bit unpacked. As always, she was invaluable.

Colin, you will probably remember her. Babies, I know that you won't. Not explicitly at least... but implicitly.... you will remember. In some ways, she was an extension of me, holding you, soothing you and meeting your needs when my arms were already full. Such an important job and not one that I could trust just anyone with. In this way, she was just perfect. 

Amelie had a way about her. She was always careful not to step into my role as 'the mom', yet she always there with open arms, a smile, patience and love, to fill the moments I could not. Or to give me a break when I felt frazzled and tired. She did a lot of the background 'dirty work'- washing bottles, doing laundry, stocking diapers ect, all of which freed me up to spend more quality time with you boys.

I knew she was right for our family almost the moment she stepped into our house for an interview. The boys were 9 weeks. The children were all napping, except for Finn who was fussy. For some reason (and Chris would tease me about this later), I handed Finn over to her mid interview. My little preemie Finn, who had a heart issue early on, who was fussy, and whom I was super protective of.... I handed him right to her. And he snuggled right in.

She made our days brighter and made life easier. She was fun to be around. Oh how we'll miss her.

When she left, she placed a stuffed animal in each one of your beds. She also wrote you the most beautiful note telling each one of you what's so special about you and what she'll miss about each one of you. I was so touched. Boy did she really know and appreciate each of you. I think I'm going to frame this note and place it in your room so that you always have it.

I also wrote her a note... and then re-wrote it perhaps a half a dozen times. It's hard to write a thank you when someone has made such a difference in your life, as she has.

And I know it's not really goodbye. We'll always keep in touch. She can't wait to see and hear about you boys growing up! And I can't wait to hear where life takes her next! We hope she'll visit.

In the end though, I mostly thanked her simply for loving you. What more could a mom want from a caregiver??

and she even lets you stick your grubby fingers in her mouth!

******* From a logistical perspective, because I know that people preggers with triplets read this blog and because I get asked, I'll explain how/ why we decided to seek out help and my advice for what to look for when you're choosing someone. First, we didn't plan on hiring anyone! We knew money would be tight with triplets especially and frankly, I wanted to be the one home with my boys. I wasn't sure how I felt about a "stranger" coming into our home to help in such an intimate way with my babies. We also had amazing family help. Still, our families lived four hours and two hours away and it became clear that the day to day caring for newborn triplets and a two year old while my husband was at work, was A LOT (at least for me). I felt like I wasn't able to enjoy them so much as just run around like a chicken with my head cut off doing bottle feedings, trying to breastfeed, keeping my two year old entertained and feeling secure (he was adjusting to my being around again after bed rest, to three new brothers, and just simply two!), washing bottles, soothing, throwing in loads of laundry, changing clothes etc etc. It began to feel overwhelming and we NEVER left the house, which for the babies was fine, but for my two year old, well, I just felt like he was missing out in a way that he shouldn't have to a two years old.

So we took a hard look at the budget. We cut out as many expenses as we could and we made room to hire some help- two mornings a week. This was at least a start. We could at least get out of the house on those mornings! This is when we met Amelie. I realized quickly that she wasn't taking over my role as the primary attachment figure (one of my crazy fears before hiring someone) rather, she was allowing me to be a mom to my fullest capacity with four little boys. It was so helpful to have her around, that gradually, we increased her hours until she was with us mon and fri 8:30- 1:30 and tues. wed. thurs. 8:30-3:00.

When people ask me what my advice is when hiring help, I repeat the advice I was given before we hired Amelie. "Find someone who is a match for YOU." Someone who you feel comfortable being your complete self with- on the good days, the crazy days, and everything in between. Yes, it's important that they are good with kids, of course. But, if you find someone who you are a match with, that makes you as the mom happy and what do they say? Happy mommy= happy babies!********

1 comment:

Casey and Karen said...

This is such a nice tribute to such a sweet person. Even my shy Kinsley immediately took to Amelie when we played at your house. I felt like Amelie was present in your house but didn't really make her presence known in a way that she made you and your boys the center of attention and never herself. She was a true gem from the way you describe her and I'm so glad she was there for that crazy first year!