When I found out that I was pregnant with twins, I had no doubts that I'd be able to handle life with a toddler and two infants. I knew it wouldn't be easy, but I take after my grandmother — the woman was as strong as they come — so I'd manage just fine. I brushed off people (including my husband) who suggested I look into hiring help, because "as cute as babies are, no one is coming to play with them for free." And isn't the whole point of being a stay-at-home mom to raise your own children? Well, after six months of juggling three kids (it was harder than I thought), I broke down and hired a nanny for the Summer, and it's the best and worst thing I've ever done for myself.
Without even taking into consideration the added expense, having someone work for me is slightly uncomfortable.
There are some obvious benefits to having a nanny. For starters, a trip to the store is no longer a daunting task. Without the kids in tow, I get complete control over the car radio, I can take my time, and when I leave, I don't find any pilfered goods in the bottom of my stroller or in the depths of my purse. And since one of the twins still refuses to sleep through the night, being able to swap my 5:30 a.m. workout for a 9:30 a.m. class is heaven. Beds are made, meals are prepped, and laundry gets folded and put away. It's also been a game changer for my toddler, whose behaviour has sent me running for my "mommy juice" (aka wine) more times than I care to admit. With an extra set of hands at home, one on one time with my older daughter is no longer limited to weekends or the two hours at night between the twins' bedtime and hers. And while she adores her baby sisters, her behaviour is noticeably different when it's just the two of us, and that alone is worth its weight in gold.
As great as our Summer has been so far thanks to the extra help, it's also taken a lot of getting used to. Without even taking into consideration the added expense, having someone work for me is slightly uncomfortable. I felt that way when we hired a cleaning lady, and I feel that way having someone come in to care for my children. I imagine conversations that take place at the end of their day: "This chick doesn't work and still can't clean her own house or take care of her kids." I hope it's all in my head, but I can't help feeling the need to compensate for it, so I try to make sure she doesn't feel like she's working too hard. And when we take her on holiday with us next month, I'm sure it'll feel more like an actual holiday than work for her. I'm not sure if that makes me the best or the worst boss in the world.
Another downside to having a nanny for my children is that it only took me one week to forget what it's like to do things solo. On her first day off, I was embarrassed by how out of sorts I felt. Thankfully, it didn't take me long to get back into the swing of things, but at the end of the day, nothing had really been accomplished and we had takeout for dinner.
In a month and a half, she'll be leaving to go back to school, and I'm both dreading and looking forward to losing her. And in spite of how uncomfortable having a nanny makes me feel at times, if she asks whether or not she'll have a job with us during school breaks or next Summer, my answer will be "absolutely."