My lovelies, for this Motherhood Monday, let’s talk about babysitters.

Our very first babysitter was Naudia, who is still with us. (In the photo above, she’s reading Toby his favorite story–he was only 3 months old.)

One thing that really surprised me was how hard it was to leave Toby with a babysitter for the first time. (How old were your babies when you first got a babysitter?) For us, Toby was two months old. Alex and I had planned to go to lunch and take a bike ride, and Naudia came over to babysit. But as soon as we walked out the door, I wanted to turn around and walk right back in. (My heart was racing!) Alex encouraged me to take a break and enticed me with the promise of roast chicken and fries at a nearby French bistro. I downed a glass of wine during lunch to calm my nerves and then took a wobbly bike ride while obsessing about Toby the entire time. I must have texted Naudia 1,000 times during our three-hour date! It’s funny because I knew rationally that nothing bad was going to happen, but I felt so anxious–my heart was in my throat. As a new mom, my emotions were so heightened. (Did you mamas feel the same?)

Thankfully, each consecutive time that Alex and I went out, I felt more and more comfortable, and I’m so glad that Alex encouraged me. You don’t always realize how much you need a break until you take one. I would return home a much more relaxed, refreshed and reinvigorated mother. (And now, of course, it’s all much easier now that Toby’s older!)

Nowadays Naudia is like part of our family. We completely adore her. She now babysits Toby while I work from home. When she arrives in the morning, Toby peeks over the banister and yelps and kicks with excitement. She has cute nicknames for him, takes him on “dates”, and she even has his photo as her phone’s wallpaper. And it’s funny how quickly the walls break down when someone joins you in your home: She’s seen Alex and me half asleep, with messy hair, without makeup, worrying, laughing, even crying. Since I work from home in our teeny apartment, we’re around each other so much; it’s such an intimate relationship. It’s hard to imagine ever not having her in our lives!

(By the way, years ago, I read a fascinating book called Searching for Mary Poppins, which features a collection of mothers’ essays about the complex relationship between mothers and nannies. I’d highly recommend it.)

I’m so curious: Have you babysat before? If you’re a mom, do you like your babysitters? Where did you find them? Have you ever had not-so-great babysitting experience? I would love to hear…

(Naudia giving Toby his very first massage. She kept saying, “He’s found his utopia!”:)

P.S. More about motherhood, pregnancy and babies.