Help Wanted?

In my entire life, we never had a live-in nanny or househelp/maid. My mother raised me and my two siblings on her own. I am used to taking care of my own needs, of our house, and looking after other family members. And life for me had always been like that.

When I was younger, I resented my mother for teaching and letting me do all the household chores at home. While I could be outside playing, I was washing the dishes, sweeping the floor or working the washing machine. It even crossed my mind that we might be that poor and we could not afford a maid/househelp. Then I realized it was my mother's choice why we never ended up with one. Yes, we had help, there are ladies who would go to our house to do our laundry and press our clothes, but the rest of the chores were up to us. Then I eventually appreciate that kind of life.

I later discovered that I am obsessive compulsive. Then the time came when my mother finally hired a stay-out maid, I would still be cleaning my bedroom and bathroom. I would not let anyone clean except me. It would frustrate when someone else would clean it and I could tell if somebody else did.

Life moved on, and I became Jed's wife. We first lived in a one-bedroom condominium unit in Mandaluyong City. I had my routine set-up. Managing the place was very easy for me. I enjoyed keeping it orderly and clean. There was absolutely no need for extra help.

We moved here to Cebu and I became a full-time housewife. Again there was no need for extra help as I had all the time in the world to be the queen of the house. I must have driven my husband crazy as I became more hands-on and strict in keeping the house in order.

And then I got pregnant....

My mother who raised me without a nanny or househelp is now insisiting I get extra help. And why's that??? Her reason was that I am mostly alone in the house, and if ever an emergency would come up then I'd have someone bring me to the hospital. Alright.. My entire pregnancy had been fairly easy and I had no complications of sorts. So I got away without any extra help for most part of my pregnancy. I managed well the entire time. I do not mind being alone; I kind of prefer it that way.

Thoughts of me going into labor alone and the first couple of months with a newborn sounded chaotic and scary. Jed and I decided that I NEED extra help. It took me a while to digest this new concept. I prayed about it and asked for only one person to help me. God heard my plea. Jed and I had been allowed to borrow Manang Neneng from his uncle for three months. Manang Neneng had been with Jed's family for more than 20 years. I had a good feeling about her. However, it was a struggle for me. I am a very private person and I just do not let anyone into my personal space. The first week was hard for me. She must have been bored to death. What could she do here? Our place is not very big so it only takes an hour or two to clean the entire place. Also, I am used to doing things my way - cook, clean, etc. I feel awkward asking her to do stuff for me. It is important for me that I am the one looking after my husband's needs.

When the baby finally comes out, our lives would be busier. But I'd still want to be the one taking care of Javi. And I do not want to rely so much on Manang Neneng as we have to return her back to Jed's uncle by January.

Then I'd be all alone taking care of Javi and Jed. Good luck to me!! It may come as a surprise but I'd rather have it that way. I had been blessed with this rare opportunity to be a stay-at-home wife and mother, and I'd like to make the most out of it. I really cannot see my children being raised by a nanny or some stranger. That would be unfair as my mother raised me without one, and I'd want to do the same for my children.

I do not want my kids to depend on their nanny, I want them to grow up knowing how to do things for themselves. I would want to enjoy every minute with my children. I would not want to appear helpless when left alone with my own children.

It will not be easy. But it is possible. There would be sacrifices. I just know that it'll be worth it.

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