A Mama’s Heart


 Photos taken by Bokeh Story Photos

 I know Fridays aren’t the best days for heavy posts, but I wanted to share a little bit about what is going on in our lives right now.  From birth until now (13.5 months), Austin has been under the care of grandparents (both sets alternating months) who have lived in our house.  Neither sets of parents live in the same state as us, so they’ve both so graciously put their lives on hold to fly to stay with us and take care of our little guy.  Austin loves all 4 of them so much and they give him the best care ever.  They are the first faces he sees when he wakes up in the morning, they read him books and sing him songs, they teach him Chinese, they hold his straw cup for him because he is lazy to hold it himself, they chase him up the stairs and around the house while trying to change his diaper, they hold him when he doesn’t want to be on the floor, they cook yummy foods for him every day like chicken and spinach and tofu and cut up fruits for him too.  Not only that, but they care for Marvin and I as well.  They cook dinner for us every weeknight, they hem pants for us, they teach us how to be parents, they allow us to sleep in on the weekends, and let us go out for dinners alone or for outings with friends.  We have been truly lucky.

But next month, all of the grandparent help will end and Austin will soon need to go to daycare.  We’ll be spending a heck ton of money every week, we’ll have to wake up earlier, get home earlier to cook, I’ll have to be the one teaching him Chinese (although mine is not that great), and we’ll have less time and money for other things.  Austin won’t get the individualized care that he is used to and he’ll have to learn to grow up pretty quickly.  Austin definitely still has stranger/social anxiety, but we think daycare will be a good thing for him… for him to see the world, meet some new friends, experience what life is like on the outside.  It’s a scary thought, for all of us, but this time would have to come sooner or later.  Sometimes I wish he were just a baby again so I could hold him and cuddle him and kiss him without him crawling away from me, but it is time to let him explore and let go of my hand a little bit.  We’re in the process of picking/narrowing down daycares now and it’s sooo tough.  There’s two we really like but are quite different, so it all just comes down to which one to pick!

And I just bawled all over the keyboard.  I better save these tears for next month, because there’s going to be a lot of them.  Any tips on making the transition to daycare go more smoothly?

P.S. For your viewing pleasure, here’s a little video of Austin blowing kisses to everyone.  He’s gonna be a little heartbreaker. 😉


  1. February 15, 2013 / 12:16 am

    You will be surprised how well he takes to daycare. It’s going to be harder on you! Stay strong. Xoxo

  2. Jessica
    February 15, 2013 / 12:16 am


    Thank you for being open and real with us. I don’t have kids but I can imagine how hard it is to leave your kids but at least you get to see his sweet face at the end of the day. Transitions are always hard. I will be praying for your sweet family.

    Dear God,

    You care about the little things in life. I pray that you bring peace to Sandy and her husband as they go through this transition with Austin. Thank you for the beautiful little boy that you are growing him into and I thank you that I have gotten to see his growth and development on the blog over the year. Give him little friends to play with and help him to not freak out. give him a sense of your calmness and peace that you are there for him even when mommy and daddy are away. Help everyone in this situation and even the grandparents as they pack up to go home. Thank you for sandy and for her beautiful blog and for giving her the courage to share with us tonight.

    “Cast All your anxieties on the Lord because he cares for you.” (1 Peter 5:7)


  3. February 15, 2013 / 12:46 am

    I know how hard this is, and I haven’t really even had to do it. I’ve been lucky enough that either my husband or I have been able to be home with our son Charlie, now 27 months. But I will say that at his age Austin will be fine and may even thrive getting some social time with his peers. They learn more, play better, and have fun. It will be harder for you, which is understandable, but he’ll be fine and you’re being a good momma.

    Also, I’m going to need to know where you got Austin’s adorable sweater 🙂

    Hang in there! xx

  4. February 15, 2013 / 1:10 am

    Hi Sandy, Oh, I don’t envy you this transition but I know that even if it’s difficult, all three of you will do very well. You are incredibly lucky to have had your parents for this first year. What a marvelous gift they gave you all. Wishing you all the very best, my friend.

    And that video is adorable! More please!



  5. February 15, 2013 / 7:36 am

    Ahhh, poor Sandy. He will LOVE daycare and you will love getting to meet other moms and kids. I am fortunate to have the best of both worlds – part time job / part time stay at home – but you can do it. Henry loves school and I love all the great friends I have made because of it.

  6. February 15, 2013 / 7:49 am

    okay how did i not know you have a son??? i just found your blog recently but still! i think maybe you look so young that i thought he was a nephew or something haha idk but you are seriously one gorgeous mama! and thank you for sharing such a heartfelt post. i can’t wait till im a mama 🙂

    The DayLee Journal

  7. February 15, 2013 / 8:35 am

    I’m sure he is going to love daycare. It’ll be a hard transition for you and your husband more so than him I bet, but hang in there! 🙂

    xo, Yi-chia
    Always Maylee

  8. February 15, 2013 / 8:35 am

    Oh Sandy, I’ve SO been there! My mom and MIL looked after my first two following my mat leaves (one year here in Canada…I know how amazing is that??) and until each of them were 2 years old.
    I found my son was more challenging than my daughter as it related to separation anxiety…he would cry when I dropped him off but the daycare assured me he stopped a moment after I left. I took to waiting and peeking in…and sure enough, it was true.
    Definitely harder on us then them! And honestly, both of mine thrived in daycare. Austin will love the social aspect!
    Best of luck. xo

  9. Cindy
    February 15, 2013 / 9:05 am

    I TOTALLY agree that it is harder on the Mommy than on the baby! I can’t tell you how many times I had to sit in my car and compose myself before I went into the office! I still occasionally have one of those moments now (3 yrs later)! SIGH…the Mommy guilt, I am convinced, never truly goes away! But the first time you see him interacting with the other kids, and when he comes home telling you about who he played with, and what story they read today, etc..you will just feel that much better about your decision! I honestly credit my daycare with a LOT of C’s development! Since she was a preemie, they told me she would be “delayed” in her development…well she wasn’t! I honestly think see all the other kids, walking and talking and the extra attention she received from the teachers who are trained to deal with kiddos helped her thrive!
    I wish you luck..it IS hard but you will make the best decision for Austin!

  10. February 15, 2013 / 9:20 am

    You two are amazing parents and I’m sure that Austin will do terrific in daycare!! PS That shirt he is wearing in these photos is SO ADORABLE!!!! xo

  11. February 15, 2013 / 9:20 am

    That is great that you have had such a strong support system! Not everyone has that. My daughter went to daycare and preschool just about her entire life before kindergarten. She is very social and has many friends now, and I think that early socialization had a lot to do with that. I wish you and your family the best.


  12. February 15, 2013 / 9:44 am

    Aw, isn’t being a parent so……awful?! Just kidding. It certainly isn’t all butterflies and roses – the way I always imagined it would be, lol!

  13. February 15, 2013 / 9:50 am

    🙁 I’m sure this is stressful…..parents still worry when dropping 4th graders off……and they’re 9 and 10!

    I hope that you get to use the daycare that you feel the most comfortable with!!! Will keep you guys in my thoughts and prayers during this transition!


  14. February 15, 2013 / 10:28 am

    Wow, I can’t imagine what you are going through. Keep smiling, somehow it will work out. And how wonderful that the grandparents have been so good about being there in the beginning months. – Katy

  15. February 15, 2013 / 10:38 am

    What a gorgeous son you have! You look very pretty!


  16. February 15, 2013 / 11:00 am

    i have an 18 month old baby boy so i completely understand where you are coming from!!!!! day care is so scary for a mother but I was 3 months old when my parents had to send me there and honestly im still friends with several people i was in the nursery with 24 years later, it will all work out 🙂
    brooke @ what2wear

  17. February 15, 2013 / 11:20 am

    Wow what a transition! I realize I’m not yet a mom but I have a lot of mom friends and they say this is the hardest part (not only financially but emotionally). You have to put your trust into strangers and this (I would imagine) is not easy. Plus, the time and effort as a parent goes up since you don’t want to be late to pick up your child from daycare!
    But, I have heard it’s such a great thing socially for kids to be around other kids in daycare.
    Sorry I can’t offer any tips but I totally understand your new situation!

  18. GreenBean
    February 15, 2013 / 11:26 am

    Daycare and school teach children one important skill that will help them throughout life. Socialization. Don’t be sad, you are helping Austin learn an important skill that will benefit him for the rest of his life. I

  19. February 15, 2013 / 12:20 pm

    Too cute for words!! I hope your family had a wonderful Valentine’s Day! Happy weekend 🙂

  20. February 15, 2013 / 1:09 pm

    I have two kids in daycare – that is one serious check book ouch. Why does it have to be so expensive is mind boggling

  21. February 15, 2013 / 1:27 pm

    Sounds like he has had amazing care for the past 13 months and I am sure that his new daycare will take very good care of him too. It is amazing that his grandparents were able to come and spend this much time with you to help you and him during his first year.

    Unfortunately our new lifestyles mean that we aren’t necessarily all the close to family that traditionally would have helped to care for children until they were ready to begin school. Hope the transition goes smoothly for all of you.

  22. February 15, 2013 / 2:12 pm

    Cute photos! Love how the red brings it all together! It’s wonderful that he’s had grandparents to give him individual attention, and so great that you’ve also been taken care of. The transition will be tough at first, new schedules, new routines, new place for Austin, but I’d say to make the transition “easier” is to have realistic expectations for everyone. Austin might not adapt as quickly to the routines at daycare (scheduled meal, nap time) or he might do wonderfully! You and your hubs will need to work together to come up with a schedule that is best for everyone. I bawled the first day I dropped off my J, and prolly continued to cry for the first few weeks. It’s ok. It’s normal. They understand. Every first time parent does. But you’ll be surprised at how much he learns at daycare! (the down side is, he might get sick a lot more, sorry!)

  23. brandi
    February 15, 2013 / 2:33 pm

    Just started reading your blog and can totally relate to how you’re feeling. We started my daughter in daycare when she turned one and I was TORN UP about it. There is so much pressure and guilt tied up in the whole process.

    I have been blown away with how good school has been for her. She’s walking, using words and signs, eating and sleeping better than she ever had. It’s so much fun to watch her develop her language and social skills.

    It’s also helped me see her, not just as MY BABY, but as a whole, independent person. Maybe that sounds weird but that transition in thinking has been really healthy for me. She is safe there, and taken care of, learning and happy.

  24. February 15, 2013 / 2:58 pm

    Awww what a lucky little boy to have been able to spend his first year of life in such good hands! That sounds so tough, and it’s going to be even tougher when you have to drop him off and he cries and doesn’t want you to leave. 🙁 Good luck with the daycare!

  25. Jenna Wood
    February 15, 2013 / 3:30 pm

    I can imagine how stressful it might be trying to find a daycare you trust with your little prince! Good luck, and I love all the photos each week, your family is too cute!

  26. February 15, 2013 / 4:24 pm

    oh it’s so nice! I like your blog so much

  27. February 15, 2013 / 5:05 pm

    He is going to love daycare. It is hard at first but believe me he will love it!

  28. February 15, 2013 / 6:07 pm

    i was lucky with my daughter to never have to put her in a large commercialized day care. I had her in a very nice in home daycare for a few years and then a good friend of mine who has two boys watched her while I was at work for a while. I now have her in a private pre-k class and she loves it so much. She loves interacting with other children as I am sure he will love it. We moved to a new and she was out of school until we found the right one for her and she went crazy during that time not having other interaction then mommy and daddy.

  29. February 15, 2013 / 6:40 pm

    Aw, I completely understand how you feel, Sandy! My daughter has always been in the care of my in-laws or my dad, and we never ever take the help of our parents for granted, it’s so appreciated. However, being in daycare will be good for Austin. I’m sure there will be a tough couple of weeks. Charlotte would cry every time I dropped her off at preschool for the first month, but eventually she adjusted and now it’s so great for her to be able to socialize and be independent. As long as Austin knows you’ll always come back for him, I think it will make things a little easier. You could try giving him something of yours for him to hold onto and keep safe until you come back because he knows it’s mommy’s and that you will always come back for it and most importantly, him!


  30. February 16, 2013 / 2:12 am

    you two are just so adorable!
    wow, he’s growing up fast. 😀

  31. February 16, 2013 / 8:56 am

    It’ll definitely be a transition but you guys will survive! Is Austin coming out with you next month?

  32. February 16, 2013 / 12:26 pm

    Such sweet photos! You can do it Mama, A will do great with other kids his age! 🙂

  33. JK
    February 16, 2013 / 11:23 pm

    Everyone is different, but for me having my son at daycare was pretty difficult. I had about an hour commute each way and I hated having him in the car for two hours per day during rush hour, let alone in the arms of another person. All i can say is that you HAVE to be organized. You must pack his stuff and your stuff every night the day before. And if you dont want to end up eating frozen pizza every night, then try to throw something in the crockpot before you rush out the door in the morning. I ultimately only lasted a month before i decided to quit my job to be a SAHM. For me I just felt like having him was such a joy, but not being able to be present with him took all the joy away from me and i realized that by working i was not leading the kind of life i wanted for either of us. I am so much happier now that i stay home and i havent looked back since! It’s amaIng how little you realize you actually need once you leave a big corporate job behind. I say if you have the option to stay home, you might consider it more carefully or at least leave the door open so you can find the best solution for you and your family as you may find that daycare is harder than it seems. Best of luck 🙂

  34. February 17, 2013 / 12:01 am

    aw mama, it looks like you’re already doing an amazing job as mama, wife, friend, full-timer, fashionista, blogger, and so much more!

    you can do it!

  35. February 17, 2013 / 11:57 am

    awww..there is nothing like Grandparents’ love! But kids actually adjust fairly quickly to daycare if its to their liking. I miss my parents and in laws as they live altogether in different continent, but it is all the more special when they visit!! Hugs to Austin!!:-) Hope you are having a wonderful day!
    PS. New post is up on my blog. Check it out whenever you get time!
    Style-Delights Blog

  36. February 17, 2013 / 3:29 pm

    Aw, sweetest post ever! You are just radiant 🙂 And Austin’s kisses are darling!

    <3 Cambria

  37. February 18, 2013 / 2:24 am

    Oh, I’m so sorry his grandparents have to go! I have no experience whatsoever, so there’s nothing I can really say :/ only that if you so many parents send their kids to daycare, it really can’t be that bad. And as you said it, it might be a good thing for Austin to overcome his stranger anxiety ;). All the best of luck!

  38. February 18, 2013 / 9:39 pm

    Austin has some amazing grandparents- that’s amazing that they’ve been so helpful through these months!

    If it makes you feel any better, I was a daycare and a public school baby 🙂 I turned out just fine! (but my mom actually took a part time job at the daycare when we started because it was so hard for her to leave us!)

    You’re going to have lots of support getting you through this!

  39. February 19, 2013 / 11:08 am

    We just went through the daycare thing! It is so hard to leave them. He will cry, our little girl did, but it is usually harder onus than it is on them. OUr little girl cried everyday at first when we dropped her off but before I even got out the door she usually had stopped. It will be hard to drop him and not cry yourself but you need to pretend like it is the best thing ever and just drop him off. Don’t linger as it usually makes it harder for them. You will get through this!

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