It was a weeknight and our family was sitting over another thrown-together meal from whatever I could find in an almost empty refrigerator. The laundry was mounting, the house a mess, and my calendar in hand as I reviewed every event scheduled for the next week. Knowing I had to pack that night for yet another week-long business trip, I was on the verge of a meltdown. It was then that I looked across the table at our two daughters and husband when he calmly made this profound statement to me, “We need a wife.”
I knew what he meant: we needed help on the home front! It’s not that he was looking to become a polygamist, adding another female to his household. He wasn’t asking me to give up my dreams or step out of our businesses.
He was trying to help the wife he had.
Our world consisted of building two businesses, raising two girls, and a home to maintain while trying to survive from day to day. He and I both worked long hours with quite a bit of logistic and human demands. I made a commitment to spend as much time with my girls as physically possible, so sleep and housework had become optional, not often done.
As a female in today’s crazy world, I know what it’s like to juggle family, work front, home front, other obligations and activities, and just real life. I know the desperation, headaches, discouragement, and guilt one carries when trying to be everything to everyone. Now that I’m on the other side of that insanity I also know the important things will get done and the relationships that matter can be built.
It’s a matter of deciding what matters.
The truth was that the dirty house wasn’t my priority, the meals that consisted of raw carrots, peanut butter, celery, cheese, crackers, baked beans, and spinach dip were just fine. What it really came down to is that we needed to make some choices or my sanity would not be guaranteed. We chose to focus on our family and our business, and found someone else to do the rest. Your choice may be different; you may step out of business, find your support structure, or reduce your work hours. No decision is right or wrong, but setting your priorities and then finding your own solution is exactly what you need to do.
So here’s what we did.
We found “a wife.” A young mother of a little boy that needed help in her world like I did. She needed a job but had no options on the care of her son while she worked. I needed someone who was able to come to my home and just help out. So we made a deal. She and her son came to our home each day to help this overwhelmed businesswoman, wife, and mother. She took the things I never got to off of my shoulders, leaving me with the things I knew only I could do. At the same time she was given the opportunity to make a living and be with her precious little boy. It was a gift to both of us.
You may not be in a position to have someone that can work each day. But you can find solutions. I know a group of working women that take turns cooking for each other. It’s just as easy to make meals for three families as one, so you cook twice a week for everyone. I know some moms that share errands. There are businesses that rotate mom’s schedules to enable them to be home when the kids arrive back from school. Just find your solution. When you focus on your “what matters,” the important things will get done and the relationships that matter will be built.
So take heart, Mama, you’re doing great!
You will also like Don’t Judge Me—Freedom from Guilt in Motherhood, Pursuing Dreams While Rearing Children, You Freak Me Out, But I’m Gonna Do It Anyway and Freedom from the Glass Ceiling and the Glass Slipper