There is something to be said for the extended tribe of people outside of the home who contribute to my life every day. They say it takes a village to raise a child but it also takes a village to survive parenthood in our modern world.
I could write a whole other piece about my partner and extended family - they're incredible. But while juggling work, school and extracurriculars, trying to carve out time for our relationships, our friends and then ourselves, it can be easy to forget all the other people who make our lives a little easier, and certainly more enjoyable.
School mums: The dear friends who make the drop-off and pick up each day so much fun. The ones who are there when you need a vent about your day or to have a cry if you are struggling. They love my children almost as much as their own and will drop everything to help out if I need them. They make me laugh and brighten each day. We share many coffees and more wines than I care to mention, and through it all we help each other cope with the many curve balls life throws at us.
Work family: I am lucky to have an understanding and flexible boss who accommodates appointments, sick children and the restrictions I face around work hours with young children. I also have wonderful colleagues who make coming to work a fun and positive experience. I have had roles in the past where I had no flexibility at all and where colleagues would make comments about me when I left "early" to pick up kids from daycare or had to work from home because my baby was unwell. It made work so stressful and unpleasant so I can truly appreciate a good workplace.
Beauty therapist: Yes, in the scheme of things this seems like a superficial one but she gets a mention, anyway. I have the best laser hair removal therapist. Her name is Jo and she is amazing. Granted, I pay her but she goes the extra mile to make the experience more comfortable.
Teachers: There is something very special about a teacher in any field who genuinely cares for your child. My youngest started her preschool journey this year and went from a child who would burst into tears if a stranger spoke to her to a happy, confident and outgoing child. My eldest is in year 2. Her teacher understands my daughter on a level that most authority figures don't seem to manage and more importantly, she is compassionate and respectful when helping her through her various issues. Last but not least, our swimming teacher is a superstar. He is the perfect blend of authoritative and fun and makes coming to lessons a happy and positive experience.
Barista: How can I write this list without mentioning the most important person of all in my journey this year? I get my coffee from a gorgeous cafe close to home and can happily say that they understand my caffeine needs in a way that no one else does. I have reached the point now where it is made before I reach the counter because they see me coming. We know each other by name and they are the highlight of my daily routine.
- Christy Kidner is an editorial administrator at The Canberra Times.