So far, I do not disagree.
Let's also frame up this discussion with a few truisms.
First, I almost completely lack the ability to rely on others for assistance. In fact, I suck at asking for help or even admitting that I need it in the first place.
I also work. I am an attorney. I have a real job that requires my undivided attention from nine to five and beyond. I travel occasionally for this job. I pay the bills, manage our finances, clean our home, employ requisite help, procure necessities for the homestead and do my best not to starve or misplace Luella, our beloved (if not neglected these days) Yorkie. Don't feel too sorry for her. She still gets her dinner at the foot of our bed and sleeps snugly in my right armpit. Every night.
I rarely cook anymore. I leave that to my wonderful husband, without whom I would be much thinner. God bless him.
Still, let it be known that I would do everything if I could. Farm and prepare our food. Develop family photos in a dark room. Fabricate paper from pulp. Build our furniture. Make our soap. I'd consume and morph into Martha Stewart, were it possible. And, for the rest of it ... if it isn't my idea, I probably won't like it or listen to it - not at first anyway.
I'm getting better.
Having Leighton was a serious game-changer – a real kick in the ass, if you will. It took me the better part of two years to learn how to fit work and hobbies back into the rotation, right behind caring for my girl and maintaining a relationship with my husband. All of this just in time to give birth to Mairin – a curveball in her own right.
Mairin threw me a bit. She eats, sleeps, smiles and grows, as a smart and healthy baby should. And then she sleeps and eats and grows some more. She's a perfect little chub-budda, pulling off "ah-goos" and grasping her toys at a mere seven, eight, nine weeks.
Sure Leighton is a wee bit jealous, but she loves her sister. She loves her so much, we can't leave the two alone – even to pee – for fear that we will return to find Mairin on the floor, flailing and being dragged by a teeny limb or two. All in good fun, of course.
My maternity leave ended April 12th when Mairin was only nine weeks old. I work from home and value the precious moments I can spend throughout the day with my girls. Not to mention the fact that breastfeeding is considerably easier when every meal isn't handled by a pump because I have access to my little diner throughout the day.
Still, I find myself to be incredibly disciplined and able to handle working from the house. I believe my company gets more for their money with me at home … no commute on an office day and happy to be getting down to business. It's quite perfect.
This is where Mary, Ms. Poppins, comes in. I am learning that Mary is an extension of me. She carries out my tasks and cares for my babies with love and respect – all the while considering my needs in the process. She has mentioned that she's there to make my life easier so that Ryan and I can enjoy our girls at the end of the day, instead of tripping over toys, groceries and doggie poo.
She will come to know where the messy cabinets and junk drawers are. She will learn that I toss tinkle diapers off the bed throughout the night because the girls sleep in our family bed. She will judge me a little when I don't scold enough and raise an eyebrow when we have cake for breakfast. She will fold my underpants.
This intimate knowledge of us is imperative. Raising kids is tough stuff and despite the number of procreators on the planet, the system is neither designed for nor is it kind to working parents.
Why must school end at three-ish? Who picks up the kids? Who takes them to practice when they're older? Who makes sure some creep doesn't scoop them into their windowless van? Who helps them with their absurdio amount of homework? And who the hell does the shopping and the laundry?
I need to utilize Mary in every way possible - from entertaining and teaching my girls to handling laundry and running errands for me. I will get there. I swear.
With all of the bitching I'm doing at the moment, I have to wonder: What do the single parents do? I seriously contemplate that several times each day. I observe a moment of silence for those parents – mostly single moms – because this parenting thing is a real mother effer.
I get it. I feel the full weight of that which I carry – the yoke of parenting – the awesome responsibility that comes with preparing little humans to be intelligent, compassionate citizens. And, I know that I need some help throughout the day or we can't raise our girls in the way that suits us best.
So I take deep breath and pledge myself to letting go: I will ask for help when I need it. I will accept help where it is offered. I will remain calm and loving in the face of meltdowns, tantrums, spilled milk and other forms of adversity. And, for the love of all that is good and holy, I will let Mary Poppins fold my underpants.