Friday, March 7, 2014

saved by the sitter

Let's do this in chunks like the dramatic novella that it is.

Chapter 1: I Need Help

About a month ago I hit a total wall and was feeling done. I went to Mike and proclaimed that I just could not do it anymore and we were sending all three girls to pre-school/day care for some large chunk each week. I was sure I had heard somewhere of it taking a village to raise kids but could find nary a villager around to help me. Mike is super helpful but, motherhood, you know. This pregnancy has been great, it has been easier in a lot of ways than the other 3, but do you know what I didn't have when I was pregnant with the other 3? 3 OTHER KIDS. Seriously, the hardest part on any given day is not the nausea, or the food aversions, or the fatigue or aches, pains, etc... it is that there are 3 other completely needy people around and I am on call to make them happy all the time.

^When all else fails, send them to the closet.

I could tell Mike was confused about our pre-school convo (since we have been planning to home school) and unsure how to handle me so I decided to email a friend asking for her baby sitter's contact info. The dear friend (thank you, Maggie!) hooked me up big time in the form of a super sweet, extremely competent college girl who now comes for 3 hours a week, and since today was only her second time coming, it is just now sinking in how wonderful this really is.

Chapter 2: When the Baby Won't Sit

The first time the sweet sitter came resulted in about 3 straight hours of Lucy screaming over the knowledge of the presence of one who was obviously threatening to replace me for some period of time. She would not have it. I was not sure what to do so I stayed home and kept Lucy with me, and since she is so mobile and demanding, it was kind of horrible.
 ^^Washed out Lucy face, but this adequately captures last week.

Every time the sitter walked near her she would convulse and freak out like I was about to be carried off someone far far away for the rest of her life and her death grip on any part of my body was like I have never seen it. I felt really bad for the sweet sitter and kind of mad at Lucy and completely unsure how to proceed since I have never had the luxury of a babysitter for such a long time while all the kids are awake. Therefore- 3 hours of Lucy screaming. No good.

Chapter 3: I Forgot 

Today came. By 8 a.m. the girls were telling me they wanted to go back to bed and as I sat wondering how the heck I was going to fill this day without resorting to homemade play dough or some other atrocity, I came up with nothing except for the girls doing a workout video with me. So off we went. 9 o'clock came and a knock on the door and I quickly realized that I totally forgot the babysitter was coming and was caught very unawares and embarrassingly sweaty. Obviously I am a rookie in the regular babysitter department and I need to write things down. So she was here and seriously saving me from a morning of the it's-Friday-and-I-have-done-this-all-week-and-need-a-small-break blues.

Chapter 4: What About the Baby?

But what about Lucy? I tried leaving her downstairs with the sitter and the older girls to finish my workout and shower and did not get through one circuit without needing to rescue the sitter from the wailing and screaming. I was about to put out an SOS blog post to every seasoned mother out there asking what the heck you are supposed to do when the baby won't sit, but then it came to me to just ask the babysitter. Her answer was complete proof of her awesomeness: "Just leave her and I will deal with it.". OK! So I did, I threw some fruit snacks in her direction in case of an emergency and hit the road. Never mind that I only went to the bank and the grocery store, I might as well have gone to a spa and gotten a 3 hour massage, I was alone and unhurried and it is all the same.

Chapter 5: You Have Saved Our Lives, We Are Eternally Grateful

When I came back I silently opened the door to the tune of.... no screaming! Only happy noises from the living room! So I left the groceries in the car and crept down to the basement where I devoured handfuls of cinnamon almonds, did some laundry, cleaned the bathroom and sorted maternity clothes in total peace and quiet save for the happy sounds from the upstairs. When I finally went back up I figured Lucy would see me or hear me and come running but shockingly she did not. And since the older girls would always rather be with a fun young person who is willing to play every game and read every book with them unlike their scrooge of a mother, I went about more business and got myself knee deep into the madness of organizing my thousand wardrobes:

Which I was just thankful for the opportunity to start because otherwise I would just never. 
When the time came for the sitter to leave I had to physically restrain myself from giving her an extra long awkward hug because it was the most glorious 3 hours I have had in a long time (with the exception of my little vaca a couple weeks ago).

I cannot wait until next week.
For more convincing prose on why you should get one of these gems, hit Jenny up.


  1. Good for you! I can so relate to the toddler/baby who screams and cries with anyone else. It's a tough place to be! So glad Lucy called down and was happy for the sitter. It gets so much easier as your oldest gets older though, because then the oldest can legitimately comfort/hold the baby and life is grand.

    1. Oh..and meant to add..I love that picture with the baby face drawn on. I can sooooo relate to that.

  2. I have 3 year old identical twin boys and work full time outside the home. I honestly don't know how SAHMs do it. It is 10000000% easier to go to work every day than to stay home with my two Texas tornadoes. I bow to you! I am with you on hiring a babysitter. I hire a babysitter about once a month on a Saturday just to get stuff in the house done or to go run errands without the two Texas tornadoes and it's pure HEAVEN! I used to feel guilty, like, they're in daycare 40 hrs a week, I should NOT be hiring a sitter on a Saturday, but they love the sitter b/c they do super fun things and I get my chores done and WIN WIN. I stopped beating myself up over hiring a sitter. Moms need help, SAHMs and non-SAHMs alike. It takes a village indeed.

  3. So glad you found someone and SO glad you just let Lucy and let the sitter handle it. She probably stopped wailing about 15 seconds after you left. And she'll probably screech next week again, and stop as soon as you leave - I'm convinced it was all for my benefit/guilt when mine would do that. You need that little break every week - it will make you a better Mommy when you are with them. Isn't grocery shopping glorious without children?! Now try Target.

  4. It will get easier with each visit. Lucy will eventually look forward, as the two older girls do, to the fun young person who wants to play and have fun with them. I'm so happy for you.

  5. We hired two sitters for a wedding this weekend because both Joe and I were in it, and we have a 3 1/2 yr old, 6 wk old and almost 2 yr old. It helped SO much especially for the mass ceremony but Joseph (2 yr old) screamed bloody murder if anyone beside Joe or I held that was fun. ;) but the other kids were super good and we did ignore his cries a few times to dance/give speeches.

  6. The washed out picture with face had me choking on my coffee.
    I got a mother's helper for the first time when I was pregnant with #4 after way too many episodes of Tony coming home and me collapsing in a puddle of tears. I think the older children also have way too many memories of "mama laying on the futon crying". Their future therapist can thank me for that.
    It made such a huge help, that I will be shipping my oldest daughter out repeatedly in a couple years so she can prevent other mothers from traumatizing their kids in a similar fashion.
    Glad you got a break!!

  7. And THAT is proof of a good babysitter/teacher/coach: they say, "Just go. I got this."

  8. So glad you found help - and it sounds like GREAT help at that! Enjoy your three hours a week. You deserve it.

  9. That sounds wonderful! If I'm ever blessed with baby number four, you bet your butt I'll be getting a sitter for time outs during the week. You're seriously amazing.

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  11. So glad you took the plunge! Our gal has come a couple times a week since August and she is a gem, too. I feel she not only gives me a breather and something to look forward to, but her times energizes me in a way where I feel I'm able to better appreciate and enjoy the kiddos "littleness" more instead of simply trying to survive the young years! So happy for all of you!

  12. So glad you took the plunge! Our gal has come a couple times a week since August and she is a gem, too. I feel she not only gives me a breather and something to look forward to, but her times energizes me in a way where I feel I'm able to better appreciate and enjoy the kiddos "littleness" more instead of simply trying to survive the young years! So happy for all of you!

  13. That's great! It's definitely refreshing to get time without the kids to get things done or relax.

    I'm so impressed you have three and are expecting your fourth! What are their ages? I have three kids too, ages 5, 4 and 2 1/2.