A few months back I had the opportunity to attend a leadership training course for women. It included 17 of my co-workers and ended up being an extremely emotional and taxing few days. However, it was one of the most beneficial classes I have EVER taken. One of the questions that the woman running the class continued to ask us was this “what is the one thing you would ask for, if you weren’t worried about what people would think? It doesn’t matter how outrageous, what would benefit your life the MOST.” For some of the women it was one or two work from home days. For others it was to ask for 30 hours/week work schedule. For others, it was to get someone to clean their home. For yet others it was to ask their husbands for more help. For another it was to ask for more money. The facilitator would then help us to boil down that request and in most cases help us to see that it wasn’t that outrageous of a request afterall. Women have a tendency to shy away from asking for help or for “special” treatment because we feel we should be able to do it all. Men? Not as much.
Mother’s Helper, 10 hours/week
We are currently looking for someone to act as a “mother’s helper” 10 hours per week at our home. We would like for these hours to be split over two afternoons, preferably Tues/Thurs, though for the right candidate we would be willing to negotiate the days (however, afternoon/evenings are a must).
We would like for you to come to the house and do household duties from 1:30-4:00 and then pick up our daughter (2.5 years old) from preschool and be with her from 4:00 – 6:30.
Household Duties might include:
-Post things on Craigslist
-Light cooking/food prep
Childcare Duties will include:
-Pick up at preschool (preschool is approximately 5 miles from our home)
-Active playtime (outside or inside depending on weather)
-Transportation to/from dance or other activities
Applicants must have both reliable transportation and a clean driving record. Our preference would be to work with someone who is at least 20 years old. You must be comfortable with dogs, toddlers, and be comfortable in the kitchen.
That’s it, that’s my big ask. I don’t want a nanny as S really and truly LOVES school. And I don’t really want a full time cook because I actually do enjoy cooking. I just need someone to help me a few hours a week to enable me to do the things I want to do. These days are going to be my GYM DAYS! We have tried multiple things to try and help me get my gym routine up and going again, including me going into work early and setting a recurring calendar appt at 4pm to leave work. Reality is though that by the time I actually get out of the office, get to the gym, and get changed, I barely have 30 minutes to get my workout in if I still want to get S at a decent time (I HATE the idea of her being at daycare more than 10 hours in a given day). I really want a full on gym routine which includes both cardio and strength training so I need at least an hour and probably a little more.
We’ve also tried to find a way to make it work where I could work out while Andy stays with S. But the reality is very clear, his job doesn’t allow for consistent guaranteed departure or arrival times. There are days he leaves here at 4:30am and some nights he doesn’t get home until 10pm or later. I could try and seize the opportunities when he is around, but if there is one thing that I know about myself it is that I NEED routine. I am not good at saying “oh, ok, I’ll work out tonight since it fits your schedule.”
So, that’s where my outrageous ask started. I thought I would like to find someone to pick up S on Tues and Thurs and give her some one on one attention while I get my workout routine back. But, then after hearing about my coworkers big ask, I decided to take it a step further. I decided to ask for help on other things as well. Vegetable prep perhaps? Or putting something in the oven at 4:30 so dinner can be ready by 5:30? Or taking the dog for a walk? All things that I find myself struggling to keep up with now that I’m working a very full 45-50 hour work week with barely any time to call and schedule a dr’s appt.
I have to admit…its hard to post this because I fear judgement. I have only one child, I should be able to do this right? I also feel embarrassment that I have the means to do this. It sounds weird to say, but I grew up knowing that you don’t brag about what you have, and hiring a mother’s helper just feels wrong. I know I’ve worked very hard for my career and education, but it feels like such a spoiled thing to have a “mother’s helper.” There are so many people who work equally as hard as I do and don’t have this option. I’ll have to make a few cuts in our budget in other areas to pay for it, but it won’t be the same sacrifice it would be for some.
However, as I’ve reflected back on the training we’ve had I’ve realized I’ve got to let go of all of those negative emotions. What is my number one desire right now? To find my healthy ways again. And in order to do that I HAVE to find a way to get my workout routine back. I also HAVE to find a way to get my dinners back to what they once were…with variety and fresh veggies. And while yes, there are other ways to make it happen (like doing all of my cooking on Sundays) I find that there are so many things that get in the way of making it a routine. Maybe I’ll need the extra help for a few months and then be back on track and not need it any longer? Or maybe I’ll need it for a longer-term? Regardless, I know I need it now.
And so, today I made my outrageous ask. I’ll let you guys know how the search goes. There are a lot of colleges around here so I’m hoping we will get a few college students to apply, though it may be too early in the summer for that.