Thank You for Loving Her While I’m Away :: A Letter to Nursery Teachers and Nannies

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Dear Nursery Teacher,

The other day I asked my two-year-old, “Who loves you?” to which she responded, “Mommy!” and then “Daddy!” I then asked her, “Who else?” expecting to hear her say any of her cousins or grandparents.

Instead, she shouted your name with confident enthusiasm.

I teared up. I have always been pleased with our choice of a daycare. You’ve been nothing but kind and professional, but I was thinking that the limit of my expectation would be that our daughter would be safe, cared for, and entertained until I scoop her up in the evening.

Instead, she has all those needs met and more.

She even feels loved.

Learning to Juggle

Being a working mom can be challenging. Regardless of the reasons some of us work and rely on daycare or nannies, the mom-guilt can creep in, even if we love our jobs.

Ugh, the dreaded mom-guilt—that nagging I-wonder-if-I’m-doing-right-by-my-child. But mom-guilt aside, being a working mom is quite the juggling act. One day we might rock that meeting for which we’ve been preparing, yet the laundry and dishes pile high. On another day, we might have a freshly stocked pantry and fridge from which to craft a nutritious bento box-style lunch for our child, and then arrive late to work only to discover that we’ve forgotten the laptop at home.

Some days we might manage to keep all the balls in the air. Other days, they all fall.

Amidst the uncertain chaos of this juggling act, what we desperately care about more than anything else is to know our children feel loved.

Thank you.

Thank you for loving them when we aren’t physically there.

Maybe you have children of your own, maybe not. Maybe you have other career goals, or maybe you know that you just love being with kids. Regardless of what has brought you to this role, you’re here mastering the character voices and inflections during story time, wiping runny noses, singing songs, kissing bobos, and—most importantly—loving our precious treasures during the hours when we cannot physically be there.

We may forget to say “thank you” as often as we should. We may be wearing the day’s stresses on our faces when we pick up our children and instead of remember to ask about your day, look straight into their eyes as we switch to our mom hat.

But we see you, and we are grateful.

And so, for all the love that you pour into our little ones and for all the times we don’t say it enough, thank you.

Maria Bruce
Maria was born and raised in New Orleans and now lives in Metairie with her husband and two-year-old daughter. She studied English and theology at Franciscan University of Steubenville in Ohio and then did missionary work in Belize for a year and a half following college. After returning to New Orleans, she taught high school religion and English for several years and received her MA in British literature and professional writing from UNO. She now works as the Communications Director for Woman’s New Life Center and also helps her husband run his business. She’s a fan of reading, writing, tea, the Oxford comma, running, dining out, and being a wife to her longtime best friend and mother to her sweet girl.

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