“She gets up… [to] plan the day’s work for her servant girls.” Proverbs 31:15
A wise person once said, “A wife’s duty is not to do all the chores; it is to ensure that all the chores get done.” This is even truer for the wife who works.
If you’re a wife and mother, who goes to work, works from home, or runs a business, then you must have help at home. That’s it; it just had to be put out there like that. If you don’t have help, then you need to ask yourself some hard questions. If you have chosen to not have a business or career, that’s a different matter. However, if you want to make money, contribute meaningfully to the economy, and raise your kids properly, you need help at home, whether it’s someone who resumes and closes, or someone who lives with you.
Here are a few things every working mother without an assistant should know.
Your Career Is Going Nowhere
You think you can’t afford help? What you really can’t afford is the life you’re (not) building by trying to do it all, without domestic help. You’re nowhere near living up to your full potential. You can’t really shine in your career or business, if you’re struggling with shopping, cooking, cleaning, laundry, school run, errands, kids’ homework and recreation, all the while trying to do excellent work. In fact, you are actually losing money, in addition to not doing your best work. Take a look at your hours and your possibilities. Get a calculator, or a spreadsheet, and ask yourself how much more you could be making if you could actually WORK. How much would your output (and income) increase? How many happy clients would refer you? How truly virtuous would you be?
You are resentful of your husband or you’re on your way there
“Lord, I’m dead-beat every day, my fuse is short, I’m snapping at my kids, I’m irritable, and above all, I’m not happy with my husband. He goes to work and comes back without any real idea of what I’ve been through all day trying to get work done, run the home and take care of our baby. Even when he tries to help, it’s never enough. Just look at him now, he’s expecting me to make him dinner. Then, he’ll still have the nerve to put the moves on me when I drag my exhausted body into bed! Lord, I love my kids, I love my husband, but I’m tired. It’s all too much! I want to run away… Oh look, he’s even watching TV. I don’t blame him! It’s me that I blame! If not that…” Babe, Jesus didn’t die for this.
You’re not being the best wife you can be
You can’t give what you don’t have. You have to love yourself first, and take care of yourself before you can do the same for others. How much better might your relationship with yourself and your husband be if you could spend dedicated time with him, because you had someone to assist you in managing the home and putting food on the table? If you’ve put in a good day’s work, spent quality time with your children doing homework or just bonding, everyone’s bathed and fed, your home is tidy and you have had some space to rest and recharge so that you can love your husband generously, it doesn’t matter that you had help. Get over yourself. You have nothing to prove.
You’re not being the best mom you can be either
So, you want to be a hands-on mom! And you want a successful career too…but you don’t want to get domestic help. Guess what? You work isn’t getting the best of you, and your kids aren’t either. They deserve a mum who is cheerful, mentally alert, and focused on them, when she’s with them. And if you’re neither fully here nor there at any given time, how are you going to improve and hone your skills, and invest properly in your child’s character? Besides, what example does half-running a second-rate business or writing mediocre articles or scripts a quarter of the time, or coming home from work tired, and then tiring yourself out some more, show them? What good does struggling with the inner strain of not being able to care for your kids and business by yourself, do them? The mum-guilt isn’t serving anybody; you’re carrying it around for nothing.
You’re shortening your lifespan
Burning the candle at both ends has never been known to work out well. Enough said.
“Supposed to” is a myth
“But I’m supposed to take care of my home and my kids!” “I don’t want to be the kind of mum who is working in one room, while someone else is taking care of her kids in the next room!” “My mother did it!” Girlfriend, you are not your mother. Even if your mother ran a successful business/built a great career without domestic help (mine did not), you’re not her. And you’re not your friends either. Do you want to live someone else’s life? Go live their life. How many of them are running a business? How many of them spend their days making presentations, interviewing people, writing articles and books, or trying to get meet targets? How many of them care that their husbands are happy and satisfied? How many of them are happy women? How many are miserable and unfulfilled inside? You don’t know people’s lives, so stop comparing yourself to them.
Refusing to get help is not a sign of strength.
Strength is not about playing superwoman. It’s about doing the math, and getting the help you need to make you a truly virtuous woman. Already, the fact that you’re building a business or career that supports your family, in a way that allows you to live on your own terms, is so Proverbs 31!
If you would rather bring up your children by yourself without help than grow your business or career, that’s great. Just be sure that you’re making that choice. If you’re doing it because you’re supposed to, please go back and read number 6 above. If you have a husband who can help, ask him. If you’re both too busy, get someone to live with you or come in a few times, a week to help take the burden off you. Don’t subject yourself to avoidable exhaustion, just because you want to do it all. God is not impressed.
Joy Ehonwa is an editor and a writer who is passionate about relationships and personal development. She runs Pinpoint Creatives, a proofreading, editing, transcription and ghostwriting service. Email: pinpointcreatives [at] yahoo.com