I VOLUNTEER TO MAKE IT WORK SO YOU DON'T HAVE TO
We talk about our new role and new responsibilities often. We envision new life ahead with anticipation and giggle at the slightest mention of a diaper change. We know we will need every pair of hands that is flexibly willing to make them available to us. Since the first mention of the arrival of our son, Nadia was more than hands on with the idea. She would talk about her brother, draw sweet pictures of her holding him, feeding and even co-sleeping which may prove difficult in her bed stuffed to the brim with plush toys and mascots of sorts. I never wanted to go through this pregnancy without her being as much involved as a busy six year old can be. I'm happy no decision is made without her sweet input, every suggestion is rationally discussed and acted upon with the agreement of the three of us. Mostly (she still calls her brother Tom even though we agreed for it to be his middle name). She's been a whirlwind of activity preparing toys and gadgets they will play with together (cot mobile made of string and sticky notes, the result is pretty spectacular). That all makes me more of a superwoman having her on board!
Occasionally my mind rushes through the busy times we will surely experience like school runs or doctor appointments and her presence will be a godsend to put it lightly. I feel the pressure I may unnecessarily put on her instead of letting her twirl around the room before going out while I'll snap up all those onesie buttons. As I realize, those moments can be a tad stressful and overwhelming at first (there are lots of buttons on things these days) but we're not going to be keeping up to some kind of a strict and precise schedule or a timetable pulling away from what's fun and enjoyable even in the most stressful moments.
I listen politely to friends and relatives telling me how great it is to have a little helper at hand. A girl that understands and awaits orders. I daydream otherwise and can't wait to do it all over again on my own. I'll try my very best to recognize the chore from a pleasurable activity, I'm still not quite prepared to be a perfect mother, neither want to raise a perfect, brilliantly hands on and too involved daughter (we haven't read all the books we bought yet so there are more important tasks to tackle!). Being supportive is enough. I'll happily (however tiredly) stay up until 3 a.m. if my whole household can get the rest it needs. I want to share but not delegate, I want to encourage not ask, I want to compliment without seeing results. I want Nadia's childhood to remain child-friendly and special for as long as possible.
And really her pearly laugh, a giggle, funny expression or suggestion will be an enormous help on its own. Those I will seek and those I will cherish more than feeling like scoring a live-in babysitter.