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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Looking for opinions: I have a 5 yo, a 2 yo, and I am expecting third baby any day. My husband already works a demanding job with long hours, but he is often able to come home for an hour and help with bedtime. He does virtually no housework and I already struggle to stay on top of things.

He has just been offered a new job requiring even more hours (and less flexiblity), but paying quite a bit more money. If he takes the job he has suggested hiring a part- or even full-time nanny/housekeeper to help me out. (Right now I have 9 hours of babysitting help a week during which I volunteer in my daughter's coop preschool classroom, run errands, go to appointments and do a small amount of freelance writing.)

I obviously am grateful to even have the choice available, but I am in internal debate about how much help I want/need and how to get the appropriate amount of help and not compromise the way I parent. Bedtime, particularly, is brutal on my own -- the kids need me to lie with them and it takes a long time for them to fall asleep. I am already worried about how to handle this with 3 kids. But I definitely want to be the one raising them. (If we did hire someone it might be increasing the hours of the woman we already use who is very AP friendly and nursed her own kids long-term.)

I can see this going a couple of ways -- on one hand might I be buying the sort of support women used to routinely enjoy from another woman. It use to be we raised our kids alongside mothers, aunts, sisters and cousins. This isolation is unnatural. On the other hand, even our wonderful sitter isn't family and how does that play out?

Does anyone else have experience with this? Does anyone have opinions?
 

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I don't have experience with having a lot of paid help, but I do have the luxury (and unfortunately that's what it is these days) of having my fabulous parents in town. They came right before we had our second, and I seriously doubt I could have made the transition from one to two without that support. We're talking meals delivered, meals made and put in the freezer, childcare whenever, adult companionship when dh's paternity leave was up, etc.

You are about to go from 2 to 3, and from your post it sounds as if you get very little of that kind of support, and virtually no time for yourself. The nine hours of childcare you have are spent doing for others, and your dh is no help. Whew! In your position, I absolutely would hire help if I could afford it. I can't see how it would compromise your parenting to have another pair of hands to help out in this stressful time, particularly when they are attached to someone who is on the same page as you wrt your parenting style.

Mama, be kind to yourself! You are going to need and want to focus on that new baby, get nursing established, etc. Why not have someone else there who can focus on everything else?

In your shoes, I'd up the hours for your childcare woman, and also hire someone to come in and clean a few times a week (I'm assuming you'd want the woman you already have to focus on the kids, not do housework). You could try it out for say, six months and see how it goes.

We all need help in parenting, and there's no shame or crime in admitting that basic truth. You're in a position to get that help. Get it. That your sitter isn't family shouldn't come into it. She's wonderful, and that's what matters. Kids need all sorts of adults around them.

Best of luck for a good birth!
 

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I think that if you can afford the help, you should get it, at least for the first few months after the baby is born. I am a very private person, and wouldn't like to have someone else around, but that is just me. I think it would be very reasonable to have housekeeping help with general housework, and maybe an hour or two of child care during the day. It's hard for me to see any hired help being useful at bedtime though, if they need *you* to lie down with them. But getting pressure off the rest of the day might give you more energy for the night time horrors.

I do think your DH should take the higher paying job, because it wil help you in the long run, even if he does not stay with it. JMO of course.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the kind replies. I think we certainly will hire some more help of some kind. I do wish I had local family support. My mom is here now helping me before the birth of the baby, but usually she is 6 hours away.
 

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If you can swing it I think you should do it. I totally hear you on bedtime routines. On the days my husband is out of town (not too frequently) it's absolutely crazy here in the evenings trying to get everyone in bed. I'm already trying to secure some kind of help for the next time my dh is away...
 

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Since we had baby #2, I have found a "mother's helper" ($$ was gift from my parents) who comes and does maintenance cleaning (fills dishwasher, picks up toys, sweeps, etc.) and folds/puts away laundry. I find this is a huge help and makes it more possible for me to be there for my kids. The key for me (and I only have her about 5-10 hrs a week) is her flexibility--sometimes she does the dishes, sometimes plays with my older dd (which dd loves), whatever I need at the time.

I also struggle with bedtime when dh travels for work, which is irregular but will be happening often over the next month or so! We haven't figured out a way to get extra help at bedtime--which is when we really need it, keeping our days busy and full of company isn't really a problem--but I just don't have anyone right now who can fill my shoes enough to be helpful. Anyone who might work is busy with their own kids!

I'd love to hear anyone's suggestions for handling the bedtime dilemma...
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I've been trying to figure out what my hang-up is and I think some of it is that I often hear WOHM criticizing SAHMs who have nannies. Given, I think they are talking about the ladies who lunch and play tennis and have their kids with the nannies all day, but I fear becoming like that (or that I will be perceived to be like that by people who don't know me. Is this insane?

Bedtime is terribly difficult. I don't know how people do it. Any tricks, especially from people who are alone at night and have multiple kids? Of course, my kids are falling asleep on their own for my mom this last week, something they never do for me. Sigh...
 

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Quote:
I've been trying to figure out what my hang-up is and I think some of it is that I often hear WOHM criticizing SAHMs who have nannies. Given, I think they are talking about the ladies who lunch and play tennis and have their kids with the nannies all day, but I fear becoming like that (or that I will be perceived to be like that by people who don't know me. Is this insane?
I understand your fear, but I don't see it happening, based on your thought-processes as you've described them.


The only people who would judge you are those who HAVEN'T done it (ie stayed home with kids) or those who did and secretly wish they could have help! I have two, and my hands are pretty full. If I added in another child, I could do with help for sure!! My mom comes over a few days a week for a couple of hours and it really REALLY helps to have another set of hands here and there.

Congrats on your soon-to-be-here baby!!
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by christinelin
I've been trying to figure out what my hang-up is and I think some of it is that I often hear WOHM criticizing SAHMs who have nannies. Given, I think they are talking about the ladies who lunch and play tennis and have their kids with the nannies all day, but I fear becoming like that (or that I will be perceived to be like that by people who don't know me. Is this insane?
..
I sersiously doubt that would be the case kwim :LOL But if anyone thinks you have a bon bon lifestyle- they are not your friend and do not know you!
I have a mother's helper come by once a week in the summer and this is my 3rd summer doing it. I use the time to do what I want to do. But I have just one dd.
When dc3 comes along, you will spend several hours a day attending this baby's needs as well as your 1st 2. Having someone to come in and do cleaning/housekeeping whatever is a great option. Also having the babysitter come in and be with the kids is also a great thing. She can get meals going for the kids, play etc.
 

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1st of all: we all need help, don't beat yourself up!

2nd of all: I would hire a postpartum doula for the first 3 months after the birth, they can come over from 6-10 or something, help with dinner, light housekeeping, breastfeeding assistance, bedtime and give you a foot rub before tucking you in
Maybe a housekeeper 1 or 2 x a week too.

3rd: after the immediate postpartum period, have someone come in 2x a week to clean and increase the hours of the babysitter so that you have someone at least 3 days a week for a few hours.

Your DH makes the money he does because he works long hours. If he didn't, he could help and you wouldn't need so much help. Since it is the long hours that are causing the situation, use some of that money to ease your life.

Nothing in my AP handbook mentions being a martyr for the cause
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
The PP doula is a good idea. It is reassuring to hear that other people think the help is an appropriate choice.

This thread makes me wonder how much other dads help. Mine probably does an average 1 1/2 hours of childcare/housework a day, and more on the weekends. I guess I sort of thought our situation was somewhat normal, but it seems like other must get a lot more support.
 

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I think if you can afford help, that you should get it. My DH works long hours, travels with his job, and gets relocated often so I'm raising the kids and running the house on my own much of the time. I've had cleaning help off and on. Having someone else come in and just the clean the house was HUGE for me when the kids were little.

Try to let go of the feelings that someone is going to judge you and focus on what is best for you and for your kids.


Bedtime was really, really hard when my kids were little. Do you have a bedtime routine? It helps, but no matter what we did it was just hard for a long time.
 

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Me and my husband already made the agreement that from the 3rd child onwards I''ll get someone over once or twice a week to clean the complete home.I don't want to miss out on my child(ren) because I have to clean the bathrooms all the time.
 

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Right now we have a housekeeper come eveery other wek and I'm still not able to keep up- Being a bfing ap mama to 9 kiddos- (Ok 2 are moved out and 1 is grown) so only 6 I have to parent- but just all of the feeding, laundry etc is so much that I need more help- we're looking at a mother's helper but do not know where to get one.
 

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Hi Mama, you have a lot on your plate. I second the entire plan that Victorian suggested. While you adjust to your increased household and DP's longer hours, it would be nice for you to get a break in the non-kid related areas like cleaning and chores. That way you won't be as burnt out when it comes to parenting.

And once again, don't beat yourself up. The pace of our lives is crazy, we have so much more to read, do, clean, manage than our mothers and grandmothers. We are also much more isolated. We don't even realize it. It causes such a disconnect and IMO is a huge reason for depression in mothers of young children.

Take all the help you can get and be thrilled with it, use it in whatever way you feel will make you the healthiest and most balanced Woman and Mama you can be.
 
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