Finding a nanny is difficult, stressful, exhausting, and risky. But, why am I putting myself through this? And, why would I need a nanny if I’m a stay-at-home mom?
First reason is because my husband and I do not live near family. Secondly, we cannot rely on friends in town because they, too, have a life and have children of their own to take care of daily. Even, asking for a couple hours for date nights is a humungous out-of-this-world favor and consumes so much of their days off, that we don’t want to put any burden on any one, especially our dearest friends.
Another reason is because I need help. And asking for help isn’t easy for me. Let alone paying for it.
Since day one of giving birth, I was very hyper vigilant with my baby – from how to take care of him to who can hold him, touch him, visit him, and feed him. Even when my parents came to visit when he was 4 weeks old, I had rules laid out on a sheet of paper of how to feed him, when to offer the bottle, when NOT to offer the bottle, how to clean, etc. Looking back, it sounds a little crazy, but not when you have postpartum blues. I felt unsure all the time if I’m doing something right. I felt the need to control the situation because I could not control my feelings. The first three months was just an unending circle of trial and error. And, I wouldn’t let anyone trial and error with my baby except me or my husband. I partially blame all the moms that I also met who went to work after 3 months of being at home with their baby. They all said its “normal” to feel that way. But, after they all went back to work, I was the only one who fully took care of my child, 24/7, while my husband worked everyday from 6am to 6pm or from 6pm to 6am or from 3pm to 3am. Just me. No grandparent, no family member, no daycare. So, they couldn’t relate or understand why I need a nanny. I did e v e r y t h i n g. I learned to get out of the house once Zayne turned 5 weeks old. I learned everything on my own once my husband went back to work just after 3 weeks of paternity leave. Just trying to get out of the house by ourselves (me and baby) is hard work and is often overlooked. Bringing a newborn to any place, getting them in and out of the carseat, setting up your stroller, tending to them while they cry in public while trying to grab a bite to eat, breastfeeding in public, or just even strolling around the block to get some sun were all part of the learning curve. I learned all of my baby’s cues. I learned everything about my baby and how to take care of my baby – without any help. And I am super proud to brag about that. Because I only know one mom out of all my friends who did everything really by herself, just like me.
I keep getting judged and comments about the necessity of a nanny because I’m a stay-at-home mom (SAHM). Being a SAHM doesn’t necessarily mean I have all the time in the world for myself. Showering and eating is a luxury and varies day-to-day on when I can do that.
My husband was actually the person who suggested we get a nanny. He saw me sick a few times (due to my Rheumatoid Arthritis and questionable Lupus) and witnessed the difficulty I was having wearing wrist guards, back braces, getting fatigued early in the day, and inability to walk sometimes. And, I still took care of the baby when he needed to be carried throughout the pain every single day until my flare went away. He also sees that I quit exercising because there just isn’t enough time besides going out for walks and hikes at the park. I stopped going to the gym because who would take care of a new baby for an hour for me? The gym staff? Yeah, right.
You’d think that hiring a nanny will relieve me. But, I am far from it. I am only on nanny #2 because the first one I had to fire. Red hair freaks Zayne out and he was crying for 5 hours on and off straight with the first one. I couldn’t stomach it. I couldn’t take a nap. I intervened a few times because I just felt so guilty about wanting some time to rest while Zayne was not happy. Once she was done with her shift and my husband came home, I couldn’t stop crying and proclaimed I can do this by myself and that I don’t need a break.
A friend once told me that it’s important to find someone to help because if I don’t get enough sleep, my depression will just get worse and that Zayne and my husband do not deserve that. She encouraged me to keep on with the search and to not give up.
After the episode, two weeks gone by and I decided to gain the courage again to try a different nanny. And low and behold, yesterday was the first time Zayne actually liked our new nanny. It was easy for him and surprisingly easy for me! Once I saw that Zayne was happy, I felt okay about the situation. My other friends that have nannies were there yesterday, too and they were happy for us that I am moving forward with this. Now, I still have the nanny beside me the whole day, never out of my sight, but knowing that I have an extra set of hands does bring relief to me. So far, I am taking baby steps and just having her come once a week for 6 hours. Hopefully, I’ll gain the confidence to have her come over more often.
To be continued…