Who’s doing the heavy lifting?

March 8, 2012

At Drew’s sports class, 3 out of the 6 kids have nannies with them. Having a nanny was something we had considered when I was working. The thought of having someone care for the kids and also help me with some of the house work seemed like it might make the challenges of being a working mom a little easier.

Today I struck up conversation with one of the nannies. She told me that she worked for the family five days a week from 9-1. She explained that the mom did not work. When I asked her what the mom did during that time, she told me that the mom went to the gym or ran errands.

This might be yet another example of how I may not belong where I live but I couldn’t wrap my head around this concept. First of all, that mom goes to the same gym that I take my kids to almost every single day. I pretty much consider it necessary socialization while mommy gets a little break. But I definitely could get in and out of the gym faster if they weren’t lagging behind. I definitely could spend all my money on delicious smoothies rather than Pirates Booty or whatever snack they suddenly can’t live without. Maybe this mom is on to something…

I try to avoid toting both kids around for errands as much as I can. The balancing act of tending to their individual needs, making sure they don’t kill each other and doing my necessary shopping is enough to drive anyone crazy. And if you run into me in the midst of that madness, it is certainly not a pretty sight. Errands could be much more enjoyable without screaming children, I totally get that!

But here’s the thing, call me naive, but I sorta thought that was what it was all about in being a parent. I sometimes feel the most like a parent when both my kids are strapped into a cart at Target, whining that one is hitting the other, while I am forced to remind them that they can’t pick something out in the dollar section unless they have good behavior.

At 1:00 pm when that mother comes back from the gym, mani/pedi appointment and grocery shopping – I’m usually juggling getting Drew to “quiet time” and Gabby all set for her nap. Probably by that point, I’m close to pulling out every hair in my head, I’m losing my voice from yelling and I’m exhausted from a heavy duty workout and lugging those kids all over kingdom come!

Don’t ask me this question in the midst of a vulnerable state at Jewel, but I feel pretty confident that I would not want to trade places with her. It’s not about money, although that would certainly deter me from getting a nanny. It’s clearly not about preserving my skin from wrinkles or hair from gray hairs either, but this was the life I dreamt of. I wanted to sit side lines while Drew was at his sports class, I didn’t want to pay anyone to do it for me. I wanted to feel like I knew what it was really like to juggle both of them by myself, as hard as it is. I’m grateful for this time with my insane little rugrats even though I sometimes go crazy while doing so. I wouldn’t trade it for all the world, let alone pay someone to get this time with them instead of me.

2 thoughts on “Who’s doing the heavy lifting?

  1. I always thought the same thing until i had 3. Now getting errands done with 1, 2 or 3 kids is so much harder. not because i can’t “handle” them but i can’t find the time. One is always napping, when they wake up I’m off to pick one up. then its time for a second nap, i have to wake her and then its time to drive carpool for the oldest. That leaves weekends (which we work) and i would rather be all together. however, i agree about the nannies taking there kids to classes, thats the fun stuff of being a mom.

    • That’s a really good point I hadn’t thought of. And I’m all for getting help, but not in place of me. I happily welcome an extra set of a hands! But I will never pretend that I have any clue what goes into balancing three kids because balancing two is almost damn near impossible at times! Thanks for commenting!

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