A friend of mine just recently hired a part-time nanny. She happens to be a stay-at-home mom and for 16 hours a week over three different days, she gets things done. She goes to the grocery store, runs by the post office, picks up gifts for yet another birthday party, goes to her daughter’s ballet class during her son’s nap time, and sometimes, she even squeezes in some time at the gym.
While she initially felt guilty about needing help, she said she gets things done faster and feels better about the time she’s with her kids – because she’s actually with them. Not to mention, they have a great nanny who engages them while she might not be able to.
This isn’t someone I’d describe as wealthy. She told me that she and her husband decided to budget for a nanny, to help her mid-week chaos. (She said she was snapping at her husband as soon as he walked in the door, and her stress-level was hurting their relationship, let alone her relationship with her kids.) With two kids, and one on the way, she needed help.
As a working parent, this was so interesting to hear. First, I applaud anyone who can stop a stressed-out caregiver situation before it gets out of control. And – clearly as the founder of Care.com — I love to hear that a babysitter, or part-time nanny can be a solution. But I also thought “I wonder how many stay at home parents could use some time to themselves – just to go grocery shopping!?”
Sometimes hiring a babysitter isn’t a luxury. It’s a sanity-keeper.
When you’re home with your kids, there’s no such thing as a lunch break. There’s no such thing as running a little late. You are on every minute of every day. So instead of leaving work for an hour, you’re spending double the time and energy getting the kids out the door, avoiding mid-store meltdowns and trying to make it through a doctor’s appointment without raising your blood pressure (I have a friend who held her 1-year old on her stomach at a visit to the OB-GYN!).
So tell me, what is the hardest thing you do with your kids? Would you pay a sitter to care for your kids so you could spend more quality time with them later?