In praise of caregivers

Are you a caregiver, or do you have a caregiver in your child’s life? My three children have had some wonderful caregivers over the years. Angela, Donna, Carmel, Cinta, Yvonne, Joy, Mary Jo, Jennifer, Bernadette, Robyn, Sunanda — there are more names, but these are the ones who come to the forefront of my memory, and each of them has a special place in my heart. And in my children’s lives.

Without caregivers for my children, I would not be able to work. And I know how privileged I am to have had such incredible, caring women in my children’s lives. They have seen my children through babyhood and all of their growth stages, when they were sick and well, through taking first steps, saying first words, and losing first teeth. They’ve changed nappies and wiped noses. They’ve taught and read to and laughed with and snuggled and loved my kids. I am immensely grateful for them.

During the pandemic, my kids really missed their caregivers. I did, too. I also thought a lot about the caregivers who were still at work while the rest of us were locked down at home. Nurses going to their long, exhausting shifts at hospital each day to care for those who were unwell and unable to be at home, donning things these FFP3 respiratory masks and all other sorts of PPE. Early childhood and school teachers providing stability and stimulation to the children of essential workers. Aged care professionals caring for our elderly, who weren’t able to see their family members. Care professionals looking after our children and whanau with unique needs in facilities and homes.

Our society couldn’t function without caregivers. Parents, of course, but also the incredibly important people — mostly women — who fulfil the other caring roles we humans need in order to survive. Thank you, caregivers, for doing what you do. I appreciate you, and I will always sing your praises.

Katherine Granich

Editor, Tots to Teens

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