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Toddling Through the Silicon Valley

By Cheryl Bac

E-mail Cheryl Bac

About this blog: I'm a wife, stay-at-home mom, home cook, marathon runner, and PhD. I recently moved to the Silicon Valley after completing my PhD in Social Psychology and becoming a mother one month apart. Before that, I ran seven marathons incl...  (More)

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The Gift of Play

Uploaded: Oct 11, 2014
Towards the end of my pregnancy, our friends kindly asked what they could do to help us out after baby arrived. A common gift is a meal train to help with food during the first few weeks postpartum. Although this is a wonderful gift for new parents, food wasn't a top concern of ours.

We were more worried about how I would rest and recover with a toddler at home. Our son was used to spending a lot of time playing with me and running around with his friends. We didn't know what he would think about me spending a lot of time napping and tending to baby. And we knew that he probably wouldn't be able to see his friends quite as often.

My husband and I spent some time brainstorming ways to make the first few weeks postpartum as enjoyable as possible for all of us. While I rested and recovered, we wanted our son to have lots of opportunities to run, jump, and play while also getting lots of much needed attention.

I was thrilled when one of our friends came up with a solution and organized a babysitting gift for our family. Rather than drop off meals, our friends and their child(ren) each come over for a play date or two with our son while I take care of baby, nap, or just relax. We love these play dates! Our son gets to see his friends, use up his toddler energy, and also gets to play with a reenergized mommy after my break. I enjoy seeing our friends again and having a chance to chat with them after lots of time spent with little ones.

What gifts did you most appreciate as a new parent?
What is it worth to you?


Posted by Mother of 4 , a resident of Palo Verde School,
on Oct 13, 2014 at 10:31 am

I'm with you completely on this one.

I was not a fan of getting meals, we were often given too much, unreliable timing (or forgetting) and having to return dishes to various people became a nightmare.

Like you, I preferred a gift of time, or a quick call from the grocery store "I'm at Piazza's, anything you need" and I could ask for fruit, milk or whatever. I also appreciated a visit of an hour or so that would enable me to do a grocery run without 2 little ones or could drop the toddler off with a friend for a playdate while I took the baby for a dr. appt.

Getting into a routine for the new normal was much harder with subsequent babies than for a first time. The hardest part I found was with a child in school or preschool who had to be picked up at a certain time which meant I had to wake baby from a nap.

Having a network of moms living close by who understand the needs and are available to help each other out at short notice is key, I find.

Posted by Cheryl Bac, a Palo Alto Online blogger,
on Oct 13, 2014 at 1:23 pm

Cheryl Bac is a registered user.

Mother of 4 - Absolutely! We feel very lucky to have a wonderful support network of other parents. Having friends to lean on while finding our new normal has been immensely helpful.

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