(Day 9) Cut the Guilt and Hire Help
When my twins arrived, I was suddenly amassed with more responsibility than I could handle.
I remember those first 6 months like it was a never-ending repeating dream, kind of like the movie Groundhogs day.
It took all my energy to simply keep up with nursing my colicky twins (who liked to be on different sleeping/eating schedules), changing diapers, and keeping them entertained without them crying their incessant colicky screams all day long. I rarely slept during the day and mostly took quick power-naps at night as they were off schedule and hardly asleep longer than an hour.
Add to this, I was working part-time and still trying to keep up with all other household duties as well (although my husband helped as much as he could, it was still a lot for us to handle).
My husband’s job was fairly stressful and busy at this time. As soon as he got home I usually thrust a crying baby into his arms as we scarfed down a few bites of dinner and soon crawled into bed around 9 pm.
I remember one night being up, again, after midnight, scrubbing the floors and dusting shelves with blood-shot eyes and body aching from the demands of my twins that day. I couldn’t leave a dish dirty in the sink, or toys strewn on the ground before bed either. My level of perfection to have a clean house, clean sink, and clean floor was interfering with my deeper need for sleep and rest to get me through the next day.
Have you been there too?
While you may not have birthed twins I think we can all relate to the feeling of being overwhelmed during certain seasons of our lives where the overall stress levels red-line our capacity to handle it.
The day I hired a house-cleaner to come in once per month changed my life. She was a breath of fresh air as she did a deep cleaning each month and helped lighten the load of maintaining a clean house. I STILL have her today, because life never slows down, amen? This has freed me to only focus on keeping the floors spiffed and counters wiped down, leaving the rest of the deeper cleaning to her. Hallelujah!
Also, I lessened my control on being the dirty dish natzi and now have nights where dishes were left in the sink to be cleaned the next day. Because, mamas’s, your sleep is more important than dirty dishes in the sink! And guess what? We all survived the temporary mess in the morning.
Adding a third baby in less than two years, our family of five has embraced help for many other areas of our lives in order to reduce stress in our life. For busier seasons I’ve hired a helper for a few hours to help me fold and put away laundry. I hired a nanny to come watch my kids and also help keep up with the house while I worked part-time as a dental hygienist. We have a yard crew who comes in once per week and takes care of our yard, instead of taking up precious hours in my husband’s schedule on the weekend when he could have been enjoying more time with the kids.
What areas in your life are taking up precious minutes of your time, adding stress? How can you get creative to reduce the stress load in your life and get help?
I get what a few of you may be thinking though… there is a cost to hire help. And for some of you, it may outweigh your financial ability at this time. However, I’d encourage you to honestly assess your budget (more on this later to reduce stress!) and see if perhaps you can forgo your Starbucks fetish for a few months and get help instead. Perhaps it’s just for a season. 6 months or a year maybe to help you maintain your sanity (and sleep)?
Because time equals money… and your time is precious.
So cut the guilt and hire help to reduce the stress in your life.