Finding our Village

Last week was a doozy. I was swamped with my workload, behind on everything, and my patience with my family was starting to wear thin. Normally, my toddler and I do pretty well in the mornings. I try to make sure to give us enough time that we can master a fairly flexible routine and get out of the house without any major drama. Even when he gets side-tracked looking for his ball (when I need him to put on his shoes), I can usually warmly talk him through the process, respect that his priorities are different than mine, and get him out of the house in plenty of time to get nido prepped to open for the day. But last week, I noticed myself snapping at both my child and husband on the way out the door.

We ask a lot out of ourselves as parents: to be emotionally present for our children 24/7, to run a household, to be patient and loving partners, to engage in our own meaningful work, and to attend to our own needs as an individual. In fact, maybe it’s a superhuman feat to even attempt that much. But maybe, just maybe, we actually can have it all. Maybe it simply requires a ton of help. I was able to find that help at nido. Between our amazing members, my partner, my friends, and just the basic structure of nido, I was able to regain my equilibrium last week. I caught up on my work, got some much needed rest and personal time, and had some much needed emotional support.

Unfortunately, unless we have a truly fabulous support network, it’s close to impossible to create and inhabit the mental space required to engage in respectful behavior with our kids (not to mention our partners, coworkers, and even ourselves). At nido durham, our co-op model exists to allow us to combine efforts to care for the shared space, as well as each others’ children. As care providers, we strive to treat the children in our community with the respect that we all deserve, and the children even form their own communities in the classroom! Before bed, my child makes sure that I sing for each child he saw that day, plus some others that he is missing. And for whatever reason (I have my theories), we have THE coolest families here at nido. Our members have become some of my very favorite people and my co-founder has become like family.

Our members utilize the nido community to exchange childcare, network for their businesses, bounce ideas off of each other, and even just to have friends. We have playdates, happy-hours, and skillshares. Other parents understand the special needs and challenges we face and give us space not to finish sentences when it’s a rough morning. I’m not saying nido makes me a perfect parent or partner, but man-oh-man does it make it easier, and I am so thankful for the community that we are creating.