This past Monday, I breathed a huge sigh of relief. I finally recognized that I need help at home. That the daily one-woman show is not sustainable. That being in a city without any family nearby to help-out is not the best situation for my young family. That replying, “mommy will read to you later” continually to my daughter while prepping dinner and feeding her brother (and thinking about the laundry, garbage and a million other things) doesn’t create the home scenario that I had originally envisioned when I chose to stay at home. That someone has to do these chores but maybe, just maybe, it doesn’t always need to be me. That one-on-one time with each child is not remotely possible when I am home with all three children.
When I had my third child this past summer, a dear friend passed on some advice from her mother-in-law (a mother of four). The advice was simply to hire someone to help. While I accepted the advice, I secretly thought that it probably wouldn’t apply to me. That somehow, I was different, stronger or more resilient than the rest. Or, that there are also loads of other women in the same situation as me that are thriving (just look at their gorgeous Instagram accounts!).
But, this is a myth. This myth is perpetuated in the media because conventional motherhood is so loaded and controversial. Everyone has an opinion about the right way to mother. The curated and outside image of “doing it all” is viewed more favourably than admitting that help is needed. As a result, caregivers are rarely mentioned on social media. Of course, safety and privacy reasons play into posting a photo of a caregiver, but I think it is safe to say that omission in writing is done purposefully. Michelle Ruiz comments that given the intimacy of the Instagram platform, it is worrisome that caregivers are omitted.
The myth of the “mother as all” or the independent family is slowly decaying. I think we can help this process by admitting out-loud that help is needed. That babysitters, nannies and other help outside the home are so incredibly valued. That these roles require immense respect and that they shouldn’t be in the shadows.
I recently hired a nanny this past February to help me out part-time. We adore her already. My only regret is that I waited so long.Read More