Tag Archives: working mothers

Nanny vs. No Nanny

The Real Housewives of Atlanta (RHoA) keeps me going on Sunday nights while folding laundry, tidying backpacks, and semi-gagging while cleaning out lunch boxes with old containers*.

I’ve been wanting to write about Kordell and Porsha’s family planning, gender roles, career vs. stay-at-home-mom, and “nope, no nanny” discussions – but I was shy about you all seeing just how deep my love of the RHoA is. Yup, I watch it, dissect it, love it, hate it – and then write about it (when I catch up on my DVR queue).

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Ok – back to Kordell and Porsha…

They have been married since 2011. Unfortunately Porsha suffered a miscarriage, but in this current season of the RHoA, their doctor said they were ready to get back to baby making. This is great news except Kordell, in my opinion, is too controlling, overbearing, and out of touch with all that goes into raising children and having a thriving family.

Porsha expresses her desire to do charity work, continue to maintain their home, keep her body fit, raise the baby, and take care of her husband. She talks about hiring a nanny to help her do this and also having her mother come in to support her from time to time.

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As I watched, I’m thinking,

Porsha, you are smart. All moms need support. Yup, multigenerational support is fantastic. I hope you set up a great system with your mom – heck, both sets of grandparents if that’s an option.

Well, my upbeat multigenerational thinking came to a quick halt when Kordell told Porsha there would be no nanny care, no mother (grandmother) support, and no career doing charity work. He told her it was her job and duty to stay-at-home and that would be her only job.

I paused the DVR, turned to my hubby, and said, “Can you believe him? Can you believe Kordell is stuck in another era? Who can raise kids, have a great marriage, and career without help? Is he a fool or just clueless?

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Just to be clear, I think women can be working moms, stay-at-home moms, 50 Shades of Grey moms – or whatever. And with all these options, there should be the option to have whatever help the mom may want or need.

When I find myself overwhelmed, over scheduled, over tasked, and ready to submit my resignation from motherhood, I realize that I’m not asking for enough help.

Amy Morrison echoes this in her post Why You’re Never Failing as a Mother:

“If you think about it, if you had a baby thousands, if not hundreds of years ago, you would have had your mother, all your sisters (all of whom were probably lactating) and your nieces all taking care of your baby. They would help with food preparation, show you how to manage and make sure your baby wasn’t eaten by a bear. Your kid’s feet probably wouldn’t have touched the ground until they themselves would be able to carry around an infant.”

Amy goes on to highlight how parenting, specifically mothering, has amped up and there is a lot to do while we have a lot of other things going on – all at the same time. She points out how seeking help and scaling back are options available to all of us so we can stop making motherhood such a high stakes vocation.

I would love to sit down with Kordell and Porsha for a coaching session. I would have them read Amy’s work, write down their expectations of being co-parents, and define what those roles can look like based on them teaming up to create a family that would work for both of them – not just based on what Kordell is dictating.

I do not think I’ll be getting that chance since I just learned Kordell filed for divorce.

Was Porsha’s stance of being a mom with a nanny (or granny nanny) and career the deal breaker?

 

*Hubby and the kids dump those lunch boxes on Friday and never look back. I get it and don’t judge them – but still, I gag.
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Denise Richards discusses her career and motherhood

This morning, I was hosing my five-year-old off in the shower – you know that technique, right? Put liquid bath soap on your kid – then stand him/her in the shower – and use the movable shower to hose said kid off.

Anyway – I was in the process of doing that, yelling for my 13-year-old to get up and moving because we had to get the the orthodontists, and I was checking in on Robin Roberts’ interview with Denise Richards.

This was all before I had any coffee or my green smoothie.

I loved what Denise had to say about:

  • positively co-parenting with Charlie Sheen,
  • focusing on the needs of her children,
  • wanting a big family,
  • and balancing her role as a mom and working single parent – with the help of her live-in dad.

Yes, Denise Richards knows and understands the importance of asking for help and getting it. She has opted to have a multigenerational household.

Denise talked about her father being an amazing support for her and her daughters when she has to travel for work. She mentioned her father being a great grandfather to his granddaughters and making their family work.

Denise alluded to the challenges that come with being a single mother, and she also made it clear that she is living her life and parenting in a way that worked for her.

Brava, Denise!

As I have mentioned before, multigenerational living is not for everyone. But for those of us who seek it out and opt in, we are basking in the joys of creating our own balanced life.

What support or help do you seek out to balance your life as a parent?

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Asking for help. {Do supermoms do this?}

My friend and I were talking about work travel and how nuts it can be when it comes up at the start of the school year.

Both of us are fortunate enough to have granny nannies to support us as we balance successful and busy careers, childcare (2 kids for me – 3 kids for my friend), and making sure our husbands are managing well in our absence.

My mother-in-law only had to manage my 12-year-old for one night while I was on my work trip. Hubby and the four-year-old were able to accompany me, so that was a nice perk.

My friend’s children haven’t started school yet, but they will start next week. In her case, her husband will be traveling for the entire week and she will have a lot of late nights at work. Her mother (aka granny nanny) will be stepping in to support additional childcare, but what about evening and witching  hours?

I told my friend it was OK to seek out additional help to support while her husband was traveling. Her response, “Don’t you think that is a bit indulgent since I already have my mother helping out?

{scratched record sound}

What?

No, I do not think it’s indulgent to ask for additional help, and even it is – who cares? If you need more help, go get it.

My friend said she sees other working mothers handling all the work and parenting duties with no sweat. They have their acts together and manage things effortlessly with little to no help.

I told her there is always something more lurking behind the curtain. I’m sure there are a lot of “supermoms” out there who can get it all done without breaking a sweat. Hurrah and good for them.

Then there are the rest of us – me included – who want help, need help, and have no problem asking for help. I think I lose more when I buy into the myth that I can handle it all by myself. Nope – not true, and I will not put additional pressure on myself to make it true.

I asked my friend to tell me who told her it was wrong and indulgent to ask for more help while her husband was on travel? Her response, “Myself.

We spent the rest of our conversation brainstorming who she could reach out to and how she would talk to herself if the “indulgent talk” crept up again. We came up with a list that would calm her inner naysayer:

  1. I want more help and that’s OK.
  2. I deserve to take care of myself – this is not negotiable.
  3. Asking for more help allows me to take better care of myself – and my family.
  4. If anyone is judging me because of this – that’s their problem – not mine.
  5. Doing it all, by myself, is not the path I want to take.
  6. It’s OK to ask for help. (Needed to be repeated – in case the inner naysayer because boisterous.)

Do you ask for additional help when you want or need it? How does this make you feel?

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No potty wars, thanks to multigenerational living

Margot and I were surprised and a bit horrified to hear Good Morning America’s report on extreme potty-training.

Then we giggled a bunch about how serious the report was on this topic.

As working mothers, we try to not take ourselves too seriously (see the picture above) and we are supportive of the challenges we both face in trying to have the best work/life balance.

We know there are many pressures to get your children potty trained so they can attend preschool. We have been fortunate, through the support of multigenerational living, not to force early potty-training on our children.

We didn’t have to stress out and demand that our kids get on the potty at four-months-old, and we certainly did not enroll ourselves in potty training bootcamp. I would have attended a class if limitless cocktails were included in the enrollment fee.

In this video clip, Margot and I chat about this new trend in potty training and laugh a tremendous amount.

We encourage fellow parents to take it easy on themselves and to enjoy their children; potty-training will come.

 

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