I DON’T Do It All

I don't do it all collageI owe my readers an apology. I recently had a phone call with a new mom who was struggling. Then she asked me something that made me realize that I have been leaving a large unintentional piece of my puzzle out. She asked: “If I am struggling with only one baby this much, and needing so much help, how do you do it all with four kids?” My response, I don’t do it all.

I may have given this picture of my day consisting of me getting up, working out, parenting all day while running a business and getting a delicious hot meal on the dinner table all on my own. That is not the case.

I have help. Years ago when Holden was eighteen months old and I was very pregnant with Beau I came very close to having a massive breakdown. I was struggling with a child who hated life at the time and I was about to bring a newborn into the mix. I had Mike drive me to our hospital’s labour and delivery and drop me off there. Once inside, I sat with two of the most incredibly compassionate nurses I have ever met. They proceeded to tell me, (while I sat sobbing uncontrollably), their own parenting horror stories and gave me the best parenting advice I have ever received, “get help.”

After that I immediately hired a babysitter to come twice a week to be with Holden, while I went out with our new baby girl Beau. Then I soon moved him to a home daycare two afternoons a week, then three. Holden started to enjoy life more being around his peers, and I was managing better as a parent.

After three years of doing this and being home I realized that I wanted more of a work/stay-at-home-mom balance. I tried working part-time while my kids were first at home with a nanny and then switched to daycare. But that still wasn’t quite right for our family.

That’s when I switched to running my own mural painting and children’s space design company.  Yes, for those of you who just started following Nesting Story, that’s where Nesting Story began. I worked out of the house on weekends and hired a cleaning service to come every other week to come take cleaning off my plate.

When I found out I was pregnant with twins, I had to shut Nesting Story down temporarily. We scraped together every penny (and went into a little debt and accepted help from family) to continue with a cleaning service, and put Beau into nursery school while Holden went to  school.

Mike asked me what kind of help I would need when our twins were born, and despite him thinking we needed help at night with the twins, I knew that I’d rather have help during the day with the older kids. So we hired a nanny to come and be with the older kids during the day, (since the kids were home during the summer months). This made a huge difference.

Once September rolled around and Holden went back to school we put Beau into four full days of preschool and continued with a cleaning service every other week.

Today, after the success of Nesting Story and a couple other exciting projects I am working on and will tell you about soon, I have been able to hire a part time nanny to help with our twins about sixteen hours a week on top of the older kids being in school and having a cleaning service. She is incredible. She helps with the dishes and laundry so I can work during part of the day and be present with the family for the rest.

I also barely cook. I make very basic healthy meals. I pick up healthy meals sometimes as well. I haven’t mastered the dinner situation yet, but I have always told Mike that my goal in life is to hire a chef. Haha.

I know this post is long winded, and probably filled with too much detail, but I wanted to give you a glimpse into how I actually “do it all”. The answer: I don’t. I am okay with that too. I know that I am a much happier and patient mom because I have help. I don’t struggle with guilt because I know this is the best balance for our family.

I am not saying everyone needs to run out and get help. I am just a huge advocate for women’s mental health and I urge every mother to look for a way to find balance in your life. We get help from family from time to time. But for me, it is important to have a career and be able to pay for steady childcare for my kids.

It took a long time for me to let go of this idealistic picture of what I thought I always wanted as a mother and realize that my path was a little different. I urge you to lose the guilt, and really think about where your strengths and weaknesses lie. Don’t lose yourself in the shuffle. Carve your own parenting path.

Don’t forget to LIKE Nesting Story on Facebook and FOLLOW Nesting Story on Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest!

 

2 thoughts on “I DON’T Do It All”

  1. I love your honesty. My fiance and I want to have 4 kids, a beautiful home, to continue travelling as we do, and to continue to run our business successfully. People think we’re crazy because a) 4 kids b) thinking we can maintain our lifestyle and c) appearing to be naive about it.
    Frankly, I don’t think I’m romanticizing anything. I want our lives to grow and get more complex and I’m completely honest and realistic about how hard that would be. That’s when I tell people I will have hired help, nannies, cleaning service, etc – that these are all part of the Big Picture and the Vision for our lives. Cue judgement for considering to hire help and not do it yourself. It’s a twisted world we live in when we’re told we can’t have it all, and when you decide to do it anyway, to be criticized for how you make it happen.
    I think finding that balance and creating environments that support you is the definition of success. Making the best use of your valuable and limited time in life is what I consider a recipe for fulfilment 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *