When Ryan was 9 months old, my therapist suggested that I find someone to watch him during our weekly sessions. Ryan had started walking and was generally not thrilled to be confined to a small room once a week while I talked to another adult for 45 minutes. Between opening drawers, trying to eat potting soil and climbing on the furniture, my son was becoming, well, a distraction.
But find someone to watch my baby? My parents lived in Philadelphia, my in-laws worked full time. I couldn’t imagine a complete stranger watching Ryan. But the way my therapist gently suggested it made sense and I wanted to pursue it. I was healed from Postpartum Depression but I had not yet found time in my day to focus solely on myself. And that was important for my ongoing mental health.
At first, I found a great option. My friend and neighbor G worked full-time and had a nanny for her daughter who was only a month older than Ryan. I knew her, liked her and she was willing to take Ry for the hour. It was great.
So great, in fact, that I wanted even more time for myself. I got high off of the feeling of that one hour of freedom. I was a member of a listserv consisting of parents in my Queens neighborhood and I asked around for a part-time nanny. Mondays, 9-6. This way, I could have my therapy session and go food shopping, to doctor’s appointments, anything that would give me a “me” day and allow me to spend the other 6 days totally focused on Ryan and not on my to-do list. We were lucky that we could afford this at the time and through the listserv I found someone perfect.
S came every Monday for two years. It was the perfect life balance. I felt level-headed and energized as a wife, mother and friend. When we decided to move, the distance would make it impossible to keep S, so we said our sad goodbyes.
A second child, a house, a blog and a business that I’m trying to get off the ground later, I WANT HER BACK. Or someone like her to appear on my doorstep. It would be ideal if she would work for free as well…
Man, I knew I was lucky to have that one day a week but I REALLY could use it now.
The wheels of my mind spin like crazy at the end of each day. I am not any busier than anyone I know, yet I need someone to put my life in order.
Tell me, people. How do you DO it? And can you help me? Because I’m about to either clone myself or give up something that I don’t want to give up.
I want to get at least 6 hours of sleep a night. Exercise 6 days a week. Blog 3x weekly. Finish all of the startup work on my website and get the business up and running. Stop always being in some state of laundry-doing. Shuttle my kids where they need to go. Play with them. Keep the house clean. Be a good friend. Put together the climbers that are sitting in a box in my backyard. Plan Lexi’s party. Make hair accessories every night and ship out orders. Upload pictures once a month. Get gifts for Birthdays and special occasions. Food shop. Get the car inspected. Read. Spend quality time with Cory. Watch a few innings of the baseball game. Write timely responses to my readers who send in questions. Do errands. And all that other stuff that makes up a regular day, week, month…
So this isn’t Earth-shattering stuff, but there just isn’t enough time in the day. So please tell me how you do it.