My day is invisible to my husband. He comes home at night and from his perspective, nothing has changed since he left this morning. I'm in my jams. The house is in order. The make-up, clothes and contacts went on and off again, the house was destroyed and rebuilt, the laundry was done and then the hamper was refilled with new dirty clothes and the kitchen fed us all, then got magically clean again.
All that work and it looks like I didn't do anything!
I guess he may as well have been sitting in his car around the corner for the last 13 hours since he looks the same as when he left too, but the difference is the paycheck deposited in our account proves he didn't just play Candy Crush all day.
I'm now going to slay three things churning in my mind.
1. The perception of my work as privileged leisure. Why is staying at home perceived as loafing? If I were a nanny/housekeeper for a family with these same kids, I'd be a "tireless worker". I'd command like $15-$20 an hour and no one would expect me to start at sunrise and still be serving food and giving back rubs at 10:00PM when the mister walks in. (Did I mention this dude works all the time? He's going to be like one of those Japanese business men who die at their desk and no one notices for three days since they never go home.)
I'm not complaining. I love my gig and no one hassles me when I skip a day of laundry or declare Sandwich Day. Taking care of two kids while 8 months pregnant is hard, physical work though so I've decided to hire a nanny again.
2. Why is it so taboo to admit needing help? More specifically hiring help. Considering I'll be up all night with a newborn soon and alone with three kids about 80 hours a week, I realized I miss having a part-time nanny like we had in the city. I KNOW. A housewife who hires a nanny so she can nap. I'll just duck those tomatoes and prepare for the onslaught of response blogs now. (Those are fun.) Why is having a nanny such secret information to reveal? I feel like I'm telling you I wet my pants or something. It feels like I'm admitting I'm not woman enough to master my own domain, that I have to outsource my responsibilities so I can get back to my romance novels and yoga-pant buying.
This attitude makes no sense. If I worked the same hours outside of the house as my husband, I'd have to hire two nannies to work in shifts. Basically, my husband needs two wives. SISTER WIVES! I call dibs on craft duty. Who's with me? (PS- He snores and listens to lots of jazz. You have a lot to get used to.)
The reality is if you can afford to have someone help you, that might be what's best for your family. It s actually selfish to try to prove something instead of letting go of the reins a bit. Truth nugget: nursing takes a lot of time and the other kids want to eat too.
3. Why is being the "boss" of someone so awkward? Dude, I was a waitress forever. I used to have a job cleaning poop off the shower stall floors at a nursing home. I was in sales where people yelled at me and I did special favors like gift wrap their car keys. Sometimes I was in commercials which sounds glamorous, until you think about it: People told me what to do down to the tilt of my head and made me do it 500 times. I have never been comfortable on the bossing end. (I know, I seem so brazen on my blog. I'm also not black-and-white in real life. I have a southern twang and all three dimensions.)
When you hire people to work in your home, you have to give them direction. Years of having a nanny doesn't make it less awkward. It was better when our nanny was a grandmotherly type who saw my requests as suggestions and kind of did her own mom thing. Now I'm nervous about the new one. Do I seem like a bitch for being like, "don't wake me up unless it's an emergency?" Is making rules and to-do lists passive-aggressive? If I leave the check on the counter to avoid the awkward hand-off, is that treating her like a hooker? Do I talk about hookers way too much on this blog? What is it like to be tall? SO MANY QUESTIONS.
The answers I have come up with are:
- Yes it's cool to leave the money on the counter in an envelope, then slink out like the Grinch.
- Lists are indeed passive aggressive unless it's your first baby and you can forgive the nanny for rolling her eyes at you. Third baby? Just remember to mention there are three of them.
- It's none of the nanny's business what you do with your time. I nap. Sometimes I run errands. If you spend your time getting sessy while reading lady porn or guzzling booze at the park from a flask you keep in your sock, just don't get arrested because you'll owe the nanny overtime.
- Being tall would be highly convenient.
UPDATE - Rad comment on my Facebook page from reader Bobbi: "[T]he house is never clean when my hubby comes home. I started sending him pictures of rooms as I got them cleaned so he could see that it was clean at some point." YES ALL DAY. We could use the same pic over and over. They're not going to know. Maybe I'll just make up a realtor brochure of our house and send it with him to work. I do things, I promise! Lots of them!
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