Thank you, Marissa, for sharing these warm thoughts about your experience at Nido!
I joined Nido in January and my son (Theo) will have to transition to full-time daycare in June, so, sadly, my stint at Nido will be a short one. I have been reflecting on what Nido has meant to me over the past few months as I’m finishing up my PhD program, and decided to write a list of my favorite things because who can resist a good list, right?? (I started with a list of 10, but realized that this blog post was way too long already, so I cut myself off at 6). Here they are, in Letterman order, but not as funny:
6. Community. When I enrolled at Nido, I underestimated the advantages of being around other parents twice a week. Theo started at Nido when he was only four months old, so I have the added benefit of meeting parents who have already traversed the parenting waters that I’m currently navigating. Nido members have helped me figure out answers to questions including: How do I find a good babysitter? Where can I donate extra diapers? How can I get work done when I can hear my son crying down the hall? (He is a wonderful child, but is a bit on the fussy side.) How can I cope with sleep deprivation? (newsflash: there’s no good answer to this one, but sometimes you just need to vent).
5. Amenities. Having an arsenal of snacks at my disposal is a dream come true (for real… snacking is one of my favorite hobbies as anyone who knows me will tell you). I also am a huge fan of the big windows in the coworking space. At school, I share a small, windowless office so I treasure the natural light “situation” at Nido. But my all-time favorite amenity is the nap room. Theo has lucked out because he’s usually the only kid who naps in the mornings on the days he’s at Nido. This means that he has his own personal sleeping oasis with not one but TWO white noise machines (his teachers tell me that “ocean” is his favorite sound), a cozy crib, and curtains that let in the perfect amount of light. Unfortunately, he won’t have his own personal napping room at his next daycare so I suppose he will just have to adjust!
4. Productivity. Doing work around other people makes me work harder. I have been able to work from home ~2 days/week for the past couple of years. Although I love the flexibility of working from home, my motivation tends to ebb and flow depending on the amount of laundry staring me down, the types of food calling my name from the kitchen, and the attractiveness of the bed or couch (this was mostly a problem in my first and third trimesters of pregnancy). In contrast, hearing the clickety-clack (can you tell I’ve been reading a lot of kid’s books lately?) of everyone’s keyboards at Nido makes me want to keep clickety-clacking away myself.
3. Half-Days. Building on the above, working in four-hour blocks makes me more productive. Most of my work involves writing, but sitting down for a full eight-hour day with nothing scheduled except writing can be daunting. I swear that some days, I get more done in the four precious hours that I’ve blocked off for writing than when I have a 9-5.
2. Relaxation, too! Even when I’m not super productive at Nido, it’s nice to have a break. Before Theo was born, I was so caught up in the excitement of pregnancy and the anticipation of childbirth that I didn’t spend much time thinking about what life with a baby would be like. This, coupled with the fact that I had never really been around babies, meant that I was grossly underprepared for how challenging babies can be, especially during the “fourth trimester.” As much as I love having a flexible schedule that permits me to spend lots of time with my son, I will admit that it’s a huge relief to be able to pass him off to his caring teachers for awhile.
1. Teachers. That brings me to my final point: The teachers are amazing. Caitlyn and Talia have welcomed my little ball of energy to the classroom with loving, open arms. They greet us with warmth and enthusiasm every day, and they never make me feel bad about the fact that some days I’m pretty sure one of them has to hold Theo for four hours straight because he’s being cranky. Speaking of which, he has become a lot less fussy since he started, in part because being at Nido has gotten him used to noise, stimulation, and being around other people besides his family. He’s also learned to blend into his surroundings; here’s a picture of him pretending to be a doll in the Chickadee Room – this cracks me up every time I look at it.
I am sad that my time to Nido is already coming to a close, but being a part of the community has made my transition into motherhood so much easier.