We found a young lady on Craigslist to help me around the house two days a week. It's only for one or two hours a day, as most of our money goes toward Lyme treatment, cans of formula, and covering the little guy's bum, but oh my lord, let me tell you, if you can spare a little bit of money each week, even two or three hours are SO WORTH IT. After exploring a bunch of different options, I was surprised when the best fit for our family was a high school student whose services cost $30 a week at most. I truly consider her a blessing and would give her more if I had it.
And if I had known that my first "mother's helper" experience would be so phenomenal, I would have started this three months ago when Wyatt was born.
Today I took a shower. A really long one. But before I jumped in the tub, I listened for a bit at the door to see how she interacted with my son alone. There was a lot of singing and story reading and playing, and you wouldn't believe how much that kid laughed. She praised him, nurtured him, and gave him 100% of her attention.
I now have time to nap, do some light cleaning if I have the energy, pay bills, return emails, and did I mention take a nap? When I came downstairs after my shower, all of the bottles were washed and my house was straightened up. Wyatt was peacefully napping as our helper watched over him.
I'm usually not one to get overly sentimental, but it brought a tear to my eye when I saw them together and I realized that he can interact at home with someone who has a lot of happiness and energy to offer. Sometimes I feel as though I'm only half present when I'm caring for my son... I smile and play with him, but I'm often focused on being exhausted or in pain, or I'm worrying about the million other things I think need to get done but don't have the energy to do. I think babies pick up on that.
Seriously, if you can swing it, find some help (it doesn't have to be paid help either). It makes everyone a little happier.
I am a mother and writer with Chronic Lyme, on the road to acceptance and recovery. I was bitten in 1996, diagnosed 2008. I am living proof that it is possible to live meaningfully and have happy, healthy children while battling this terrible disease.