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September 9, 2011

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Get the Balance Right

When HN left our family, I panicked. I posted an ad for a nanny and the sheer amount of responses I received left me overwhelmed. As a slogged through them (over 200) and did a couple of interviews, the weeks kept passing.


Me and the kids. Figuring it all out. It was a lot, sure, but I was doing it. There was a feeling of pride that finally, I was doing this–I could do it alone.
Chicken was also able to help from time to time. Her work was flexible enough that she could take an hour or two in the afternoon and either give me a break or we’d go out and do something together and then she’s work in the evening.

The summer continued. The boys were getting easier. The one-on-one time we spent and the message they got from ONLY me was really soaking in. They were better at listening and doing what I asked them to do and NOT doing what I asked them not to do. They didn’t run away as often when outside. Things started to click, really click. Taking them to the playground was fine. It was all going OK.

But still, around 4pm, I needed a break most days. And as the summer went on I started to get antsy when Chicken couldn’t take them out because she was too busy. I started to get short tempered and I found myself yelling at them a few times. That was horrible. I wasn’t having as much fun. I hadn’t had any time off to do anything. My to-do list just kept growing. I was exhausted and for the first time in my life I started to feel stiff and old when I woke up in the morning.
I had no time to get to the doctor or the dentist or anything that my double stroller couldn’t fit through the door.
When Chicken could take them for an hour or by the time they went to bed, I either had to cook or I just wanted to sit/lay down and do nothing.

I remember one day Chicken asked me if I could “vacuum and mop on my break”. I thought I would kill her. I did neither.

And then, by the end of July, Chicken started working non-stop. No more breaks, no more Chicken help. She worked all day and all night.
And my meds…well, I wasn’t feeling so great anymore. It was a nice 6 month Vitamin Z run, but I had to up my dosage and admit that I couldn’t do it all.

Finally, after 3 months of doing it solo (because while Chicken tried to do as much as possible, I certainly did feel at times that I was a single mother raising twins PLUS cooking, cleaning and shopping for another adult as well), I felt like I was cracking.

We have zero family help around us and there aren’t any friend knocking at our door offering their services. I needed a nanny. I needed to do something for me. I needed a bit of time for Puff. And holy crap do I feel guilty about that. I feel like I should be able to do this by myself and not complain and not crack and just get it all done–perfectly.
I can’t.
I also feel guilty that we are in a position where this is an option for us when it’s not for most. I never saw my life this way and sometimes I feel very undeserving. I used to be the one taking care of someone’s kids and cleaning their house and now I hire “me”. It’s weird.

I need to enjoy my kids and provide a good and loving example for them. I need to be a loving wife and supportive partner. I need to take better care of myself.

The other day I came home to find my hair only 1/2 in a ponytail, blood smeared on my forehead and my tits hanging out of my shirt because it had been pulled so far down by one of the kids. Oh, and I only had one sock on (that part I knew, but didn’t want to run to the bedroom to find the other one). In a nutshell, I’m a hot mess. I didn’t think I’d ever take the garbage to the hallway looking like this, let alone go OUT for hours and SEE other people. I’m skinny and I’ve got nice cleavage. That’s about the only thing I’ve got going for me right now. I don’t have any photos of me with the kids because I HATE the way I look. That has to change.

So, two weeks ago when Chicken had worked 22 days straight–I found a part time nanny. She’s not hot, but she’s awesome. She only speaks Spanish to the kids and they are already asking for “mas”. She helps me out in the kitchen and cooking and cleaning and the kids laugh and play with her. She can handle both of them outside and asks all the right questions.

But the best is that I am enjoying my kids again at 4pm and at 6pm and again the next day at 9am because at 9am MsP is in the kitchen cleaning up the breakfast mess and all I have to do is play with my kids instead of trying to do it all while they want Mommy and they want to go outside, etc. It’s awesome.

And, as Chicken said last night “between the meds and the nanny, you’re so much nicer again”. Which I’m pretty sure is a nice way to say, “I’m glad you aren’t such a bitch anymore”.

It’s all about getting the balance right.

Hopefully you’ll be seeing a bit more of me around here. I sure do miss you and I miss writing.