On Having and Getting Help (Yes! Get Help!)

Over the years, I have had help to varying degrees. From a housekeeper twice a month to a friend who came as "Alice" twice a week for three years, I have been blessed in the absence of family who could lend a hand.

My husband saw it like this: if we had the kids in private school, we would be paying far MORE than if we got a housekeeper to bail me out once in awhile. We also noted that our American society is one of the few in the world that doesn't spend its money on help. Not sure why that is - perhaps that good ol' Protestant work ethic that makes us feel like we're somehow lazy if we ask for help?

Even as missionaries in Ecuador, my sister-in-law had a local woman who cooked and cleaned for them. Granted, domestic labor is more affordable in other countries, but if money is not a major hindrance for you (as in, you could hire a housekeeper to bail you out at least twice a year), then ask yourself why as a homeschooling mom you might be hesitant to accept or pay for help.


Little guys can vacuum...

I don't have that friend who comes to do laundry and cook anymore. She is taking care of her husband as he recovers from lung cancer and heart surgery. I don't have family who can help. I do have a housekeeper once a week and willing teens, but I'm tellin' ya, this business of managing 10 people's schedules, doing their laundry, getting three meals on the table every day, schooling 7 of them, writing for the blog and magazines, and everything else life throws at us is WORK.


...and peel garlic.


And what got lost as my work load went up? My workout time (I can only fit in 4 days per week now). 8 hours of sleep (I get about 6). A consistently tidy home (ummm, yeah.)

This is reality, though, and it's ok. It's ok! I am so, so grateful for the help I have, and I am working on not resenting the workload my kids produce. I really like them, but I could do without the constant, never-ending work. You?

Everyday I have to remind myself to lower my expectations. If I don't expect the house to be picked up when I am away, I won't be frustrated when I get home. If I don't expect the kitchen to be cleaned quite the way I would do it, I am learning not to go postal all over my kids. I'm learning. I haven't gotten there yet.

But help. Yes. Get help.

"Have you not known? Have you not heard, that the everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth, faints not, neither is weary? There is no searching of His understanding. He gives power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increases strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall: But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.”

~ Isaiah 40:28-31