In the season of thankfulness, there are a lot of things on my mind. As a mom, that’s par for the course, but this time of year tends to be overloaded with thoughts. The good ones, the bad ones, and the ones that are “just there.” Overall, when I really think about where I’ve been and where I am now, I’m washed with a feeling of gratefulness. 

There are lots of people in my life that I am grateful for: friends, family, co-workers, veterans, teachers…the list goes on and on. Many of those people have special days or times throughout the year dedicated to expressing gratitude. But in recent years, there’s a person that has helped me shape a full life for me and my family. However, it’s not a single person but rather, a role.

The sitter.

Sometimes that sitter is a parent or a friend, but oftentimes it’s a person who isn’t linked to me by blood or life experiences. A person who takes time out of their life to simultaneously enrich the lives of little ones and give a parent the gift of time. 

That is the person I want to make sure I thank this year. Here’s why:

The sitter has become a person who floats into my life and gives me the space and time to breathe life back into myself. When I get a sitter it lightens my load, literally and metaphorically. The ability to run an errand (or do anything) without having to carry a little one who currently hates shoes and kicks them off every chance they get literally takes a load off.

Outside of the regular daily duties, parents take on a lot. We try our best to compartmentalize, but oftentimes those compartments start to stack on top of each other. When those stacks get too heavy, it’s time to call in some help. Opening up time allows me to prioritize what’s on my plate and knock some things off my list.

I like to think that I’m handling life like this guy

spinning plates success

But it’s really like this:

plate spinning fail

Take a look at that gif. That guy nearly had it. He just needed one more set of hands. If he had them, he’d be in good shape. I feel this gif to my core. As a parent, a sitter is that extra set of hands. The time they give (even if it’s just an hour) allows me to focus my energy on that one plate that’s about to fall by helping me keep the other ones spinning.

Now, hiring a sitter for an afternoon won’t solve all my parenting struggles. But, bit by bit, the little breaks really add up over time. Each one gives me a better handle on keeping my personal plate spinning. Every time I’m able to humble myself enough to ask for help, it proves to be worth it. For the big things, like my relationships and sanity, but also for the smaller things like my to-do list and my sleep quality. Yes, naps are 100% worth getting a sitter for.

So to all of the sitters in my life:

THANK YOU.

Thank you for always being there with a smile. For being an understanding face when I open the door frazzled and slightly frantic. For bringing amazing activities that keep my kid occupied for days afterward. For being a person she can talk to that doesn’t have the filter of being her teacher or her parents. For being so amazing that she actually asks me to go out so you for come over, killing some of the mom guilt of needing time away.

Thank you, thank you, thank you.

There’s that saying—“behind every great man is a great woman.” I’d like to add this twist into it—“behind every great mom is a great sitter.”

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