(sung to the tune of “I’ve got the golden ticket”)
I’m not saying that to brag, truly I’m not, people. But oh my goodness can I get an amen and an alleluia up in here over what an absolute game changer it has been to have another pair of hands on deck?
Let me sketch this scene out for you: 1:59 pm, Friday afternoon. The gym is abandoned, save for the cleaning woman and one, solitary mother chugging along on the elliptical. All is silent, save for the subdued hum of scripted conversation from “House Hunters International” buzzing in her earbuds. All is right with the world. End scene.
In a word: perfection. Because wee bambina is under 6 months of age, she cannot foray into the kid’s club with her elder brothers, so all daytime gym visits have been off limits to me, until now. While I love working out at night after they’re all abed, I also like seeing my husband once in a while, so this daytime visit was total bliss.
I popped back home to feed the princess (our gym is less than half a mile from our house, and is therefore the one I’ve used more than any other since the old dorm + rec center relationship back in the day. So spoiled) and I ended up cuddled up on my bed in the middle of the afternoon, leisurely nursing the babe with Kristen Lavrasdatter propped open in one hand. I honestly felt so discombobulated by the peaceful nothingness of what was transpiring that I surrendered to my discomfort with being ‘at rest’ and hopped back in the van, Genevieve in tow, to hit up the bank, the Hobby Lobby, and the thriftstore. Ballin.
In short, I humbly submit the creation of the concept of “mother’s helper” as the second best thing to happen to modern motherhood, runner up to the disposable diaper alone.
I went back and forth on the idea for a loooong time before one craaaaazy day led me to pull the trigger on 3-year-old pre school and a MH at the same time. Holy financial train wreck, batman. But honestly, it hasn’t been that bad. I pulled and pushed some things around in the budget and actually, without ever drinking coffee outside the house save for the rarest of occasions and cooking more homemade from scratch dinners senza carne, we’ve managed to make it work with minimal pain.
Moms, if there is any possibility for this to happen to your life, do it. Just do it. Cancel the Netflix account, scrap your weekly trip to Chicfila, boycott Starbucks, beg your inlaws for monetary gifts at birthday and Christmas time and squirrel it away for this express purpose…but do it. We were never meant to mother our children alone for 12 hours a day, 5-7 days a week. Unless you are living next door to your endlessly available parents or in a commune with your sister wives, you are living out a most unusual model of motherhood, the likes of which history and most of the world has never seen.
So to all you mamas out there who encouraged me to take this leap, I salute you. I will tip my Valentine’s margarita glass back tonight with gusto in your honor. And I will think fondly of you when I am blissfully applying mascara and using the toilet, but not at the same time, because twice a week, I no longer have to live out that scenario.
(*Lest this all come across as indulgent fluff, I’m also happy to report that my skinny little daughter has also put on 7 ounces in the past 3 days, simply because I have more time to spend nursing her. Color me one terrible and satisfied mother.)