How much "extra help" do you need?

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-19-2003
How much "extra help" do you need?
39
Thu, 08-21-2003 - 11:26am


So, I was having dinner w/my SAHM friend last night and she was complaining to me about how they've had to let go of their dog walker b/c she was costing them too much money (almost 7K a year!) This friend also has: (1) a part time nanny (20-25 hours/week, also does personal assistant type stuff like grocery shopping, mailing packages, other errands), (2) a housecleaner, comes in a couple times a week, (3) gardener/lawn maintenance guy. I should also mention that her DH works fulltime and cooks every night (or they order in). The nanny also works weekends and one night a week so my friend and her DH can have a weekly "date night." She is a SAHM, volunteers at her DD's school, goes to play group w/her DS, but no other outside work.

My other friend who's a WOHM has a nanny also, who takes care of her 3 kids while she and her DH are at work. She has no other "extra help." Cleans her house herself, walks her dog herself, cooks, etc.

Both women are great moms and have really well behaved kids. My WOHM friend is actually a less stressed person than the SAHM friend, and she complains a lot less too!

So I wonder . . . how much "extra help" does one need? Is it however much you can afford? Does it reach a point where you feel like you're not pulling your weight b/c you've got so many others doing work for you? Although I'm envious of the amount of free time my SAHM friend has, I also don't know if I'd feel comfortable in her position. Honestly, I just wouldn't feel like I was pulling my weight around the house.

Any thoughts on this?

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iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
Thu, 08-21-2003 - 11:33am
I pay some local kids ot mow my lawn twice a month, but mostly because they were so cute I couldn't say no. Prior to that I mowed the lawn myself. The only extra help I REALLY want right now is a dishwasher.. LOL. I'm not sure if I had a lot of money to burn if I would hire all those kinds of people. If I were not working I know there wouldn't be a nanny. Or a dog walker... jeez why have a dog if you don't want to have to do anything? Just get a fish. I thought walking the dog was the fun part. Oh well. I can see where housecleaners and such would be a nice luxury to have, but I would definitely see them as luxuries if I had them.
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Thu, 08-21-2003 - 11:49am
Well, in this rough employment climate I think its great that her family is employing so many people. If they can afford it its great.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Thu, 08-21-2003 - 12:08pm
Honestly, if we could afford it, I would have as much help as I could. I would have a maid, a cook, two live in nannies and a person to fold my laundry. I would be glad to laze around and write the great American novel or cross stitch or take classes. I could just see the children when I wanted to-when they were clean, not tired and cute. I would be happy to never have to change another toddler poppy diaper or potty train. I would be estatic to never wait 2 hours at the ped. office with a whiny, tired, sick child.

Maybe I would not love it and miss the kids but a girl can dream can't she?

Kristi

"I do not want to be a princess! I want to be myself"

Mallory (age 3)

      &nbs

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-28-2003
Thu, 08-21-2003 - 12:15pm
7K for a dog walker? wow. good thing I don't have a dog.

I know a SAHM like that except her dh doesn't do the cooking, her mom who lives with her does. And she has all those other "helps" -- well except a nanny which she is contemplating getting one since she had her second baby.

Anyway, "how much extra help do you need?" It depends it depends it depends.

"how much extra help do *I* need?" Other than the nanny since I WOH FT, I gues I don't absolutely need any other help, but I think it's worthwhile to have a gardner since I hate to mow the lawn and so does my dh, and I think it's worthwhile to have a cleaning person come a couple of times a week since I hate cleaning and I don't have many hours that I spend with my dd that I'd rather spend the time with her than cleaning.
iVillage Member
Registered: 05-28-2003
Thu, 08-21-2003 - 12:18pm
LOL! hee hee.

Have you read the "Nanny diaries?"
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Thu, 08-21-2003 - 12:23pm
Yes, I have and I was almost (not quite) jealous of the mother. I would really, really love two live-in nannies but, alas, we can not afford them. I guess I will have to be a hands-on mother after all.

Disclaimer: Totally meant in fun-not trying to provoke an agrument with any one with 2 live-in nannies that is a hands-on mother.

Kristi

"I do not want to be a princess! I want to be myself"

Mallory (age 3)

      &nbs

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-19-2003
Thu, 08-21-2003 - 12:42pm
Part of me agrees with you BUT . . . aren't those things you mentioned (poopy diapers, waiting at peds, etc.) part of being a MOM? They're not FUN things for sure, but don't they go along with the Mom role?

Slam me if you will, but when I see my SAHM friend passing off so many chores to the "extra help" it (sadly) makes me think a bit less of her and I view her as somewhat of a lazy person - especially when she's in the middle of a rant about how stressful her life is! I wish I didn't feel this way, but I do.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
Thu, 08-21-2003 - 12:46pm
I know! I'd much rather be at the pediatrician so that I can make sure the proper questions are asked, and I hear ALL of what he has to say. (Or.. just as good, my dh is there to hear it) Sure, poopy diapers aren't the funnest thing in the world, but would I really want the "honor" of saying I'd never changed a poopy diaper? Doesn't that display the "I couldn't be bothered..." attitude?
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Thu, 08-21-2003 - 12:54pm
No, I agree with you. I consider part of being a mother going to the ped. and changing poopy diapers. I was just fanatizing. I would kinda like to live that life to see if I liked it or not. Just for the thrills....

I am way too much of a control freak to allow someone else to take my children to the ped (outside my mother and my husband) I might even miss the poopy diapers after awhile. I would just like the option of missing them :)

Really, I am teasing. I love my children even when people clap as we leave Walmart (because they have been so ill behaved) and I am covered with toddler mud prints and when I win weirdist object in your purse because I have hotwheels, spare pacifiers and a sippy cup with an undetermined beverage still in it. I wouldn't trade it for the world or for two live in nannies.

Also, in regards to your friend, some people always think they have it rough and can not see outside their narrow little world. My mother, who I love dearly, would complain if she won the lottery. She would have to pay too many taxes or there would be too many forms. My sister thought she had it rough over Thanksgiving 2 years ago because she could not get her Palm Pilot to work and her dishwasher was broken. She has a maid and works part time. At the time, I had a nursing newborn, a preschooler, working full-time with a DH taking chemo. Plus, I don't have a maid or a dishwasher. My DH and my aunt pratically had to physically restrain me from jumping on her. I was so mad and still am when I think about it. No concept of anyone's life outside her own.

Kristi


Edited 8/21/2003 12:59:53 PM ET by kmgalligan

"I do not want to be a princess! I want to be myself"

Mallory (age 3)

      &nbs

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Thu, 08-21-2003 - 7:23pm
I need a nanny, a cleaning service and an occasional babysitter.

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