I regularly speak to new mothers typically between 3 and 6 weeks after giving birth. It is very common for them to call our office and say, “I don’t want to hire a Nanny but my husband thinks I should to get a break sometimes.” They usually tell me how guilty they feel about abandoning their baby and not doing a proper job as a mother. We set so many expectations of ourselves as new mothers and are our toughest critics.
Normally right around this time new mothers don’t really know what kind of support they need in terms of domestic help whether it be a Nanny or a Housekeeper. My typical answer is that I completely understand how they feel being the mother of 3 children myself who were all, at one time, under the age of 5. I explain to them a little bit about my story.
Since I was 22 I worked in corporate America beginning my career in the fashion industry. At the age of 24 I left NYC and moved out west to Los Angeles with my significant other at the time. I began working in the staffing industry until the time I was 32. I quit my career at the end of my first pregnancy as I always planned to stay home once I had children. After the first 2 months I found myself under stimulated and extremely lonely, and sleep deprived. My husband traveled Monday through Thursday each week and I had no local family. I ended up hiring a part time Nanny to start up this company we call today, Crunch Care! I used the time she came each week was used to run errands, work out, and stimulate myself as much as I could on a part time Nanny budget.
I identify so much with the new mothers that call in because those first few months we are so unsure of our new lives how we will end up shaping them and redefining who we are after a birth.
I believe every family is different and all new mother’s have a different concept of how they are going to spend those early years and we learn so much about ourselves during that time. I normally recommend to mom’s who just are not sure of their needs to try a temporary solution that includes someone they can pass their baby off to so they can shower, take a rest, go for a workout, or run and errand or two. Shorter sessions of 4 hours at a time maybe twice week are a great place to begin. It is a great way to evaluate how they feel about having someone in their home and assisting them.
I have learn there are no heroes in parenting. Sometimes that short break can be just the compliment we need to become a more patient, loving mother that is well rested and able to care for their children better.
I always tell new mother’s to be gentle on themselves and forgiving. I spent so many years beating myself up over fulfilling my own needs but today realize I am a better mother when I take care of myself and have so much more to offer my children. Happy parenting!
Stacie Steelman, Founder and CEO, Crunch Care