People ask me how I manage alone with 2 babies. And keep the house (relatively) clean. And blog. And work (from home). Truth is, I honestly don’t know. There were some tears (from all parties involved), some hair falling, some meltdowns, some hiding under the kitchen sink and lots of bubble tea. Somehow or other, I’ve survived the worst and I can only imagine that it will get better from here.
So here’s my secret if you really want to know. I take help from wherever I can get and I make it a day at a time.
Most of the help comes from Superdad, who brings home the bacon and also feeds it to the kids. So I don’t have to worry about work and I can enjoy being a mom. Then he comes home from work and helps with the chores, feeds the kids and puts them to bed. And he listens to me so I can exhaust my 40,000 words a day. Most of all, he tells me that it’s going to be ok, which means that if it doesn’t turn out ok, it’s all on him and I get to scream “it’s all your fault“. That’s strangely liberating.
On weekends and occasional weekdays, my folks help out with the kids. My mom is their default babysitter and my sister does a decent job of watching them for us. When I’m desperate, I let my brother and aunty Bernie have their turn getting tormented. The key is rotation so they don’t get overwhelmed and they actually *want* to do it. Too much and it’ll scare them off permanently. You don’t want that.
Sometimes we also have friends who will help babysit. I know parents who can’t leave their kids or kids who refuse to be left with babysitters. We’re all too happy to let other people enjoy the merits of spending a whole evening with 2 babies. Again, the key is having cute kids so that they also *want* to do it. If you have brattish kids, this will not work. Then I recommend that you leave them with me for a week of boot camp training. Don’t worry, I’m fully certified by Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International.
When the house gets unbearably filthy and I start to find giant hairballs in the babies’ mouths (don’t ask), it’s time to get a cleaner to restore some order. Ideally, once every fortnight is optimum. They will help with stuff that I refuse to do, like scrubbing the toilets, picking up hairballs, ironing the clothes, washing the kitchen, stuff like that. When they’re there, you also get to yell at them to let off steam.
Finally, I send my kid to school for 3 hours everyday so he can inflict torture on new people learn stuff while I go gallivanting around town. Plus point: they are so tired when they get home that they’ll take a 3-hour nap while you chill out some more.
There you have it. Tips to surviving motherhood without a maid. It’s all about managing the tools in your disposal and making people think that they want to help you. If that doesn’t work, then you just have to suck it up and pay them to do it. You’re welcome.