Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Spoiled ... and Cured

Another confession: I'm afraid I've become spoiled here in Turkey. The nannies we've had cooked and cleaned in addition to looking after my son while I was at work; it was lovely to come home and not have to worry about any domestic chores -- I could just play with Baby until bedtime, and then enjoy my evenings.

But then the summer holidays started, and I was home full-time ... with a nanny! And that's when I started to feel lazy. If she did the dishes while I played with Baby, I'd feel guilty. But if I did the dishes while she played with Baby, I'd feel resentful ... After all, I wasn't paying someone to replace me!

The thought of doing it all on my own, though, without anyone to help, was inconceivable. How would I cook and clean and take care of the kids? As much as I reminded myself that my mother and most of my friends back in Toronto did it, it remained much of an abstract concept. The day our last nanny called to say she was sick and wouldn't be returning, I was struck with fear and anxiety -- how would I survive?

But now I've been on maternity leave without a nanny for a few weeks, and although I'm busier than I've ever been, I'm amazed at what a powerful grip the I can't do it mindset had on me. Of course I can take care of my kids and house by myself! Life is of course messier now, but everyone's clean and fed and happy and safe.

I will go back to work in a few months, though, and the kids will have a new nanny. So soon enough, I will have to meet the challenge of finding the middle ground between being a spoiled Mommy who pays people to have everything done for her and the pushover whose employee walks all over her. Any advice?

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