As busy moms, we have so much on our plate that we tend to multitask a lot! We may not perform our duties too well because of this, which can cause frustration to others and ourselves. Later this turns into guilt and feelings of forlorn, that’s why I promote that busy mothers get the help they need.
There’s a negative stigma attached to mothers living in the West who employ cleaners and mother’s helpers, but a positive acceptance of moms who hire babysitters and childcare providers for their children. Where I grew up, most mothers have household help almost daily, and they have more time to enjoy their children and a few finer things in life. Nowadays, we see how people are too busy to keep up with common courtesies, like returning a phone call or sending an email, life is getting so fast and time is losing barakah. It makes sense to get help to keep up with the demands of a busy life, and in my opinion, I would rather hire someone to assist with my chores, than raise my children.
Over the years, from the time I had three young kids, I had some form of household help. Truth be told, it made being a mother more enjoyable. The best part about getting help was that I was less edgy with my husband and kids, and I felt more refreshed and enthusiastic to take on a few hobbies. That is how I was able to start a website and write articles, and alhamdulillah it has been nourishing for my soul.
Unfortunately, some people think that you’re spoilt if you hire someone to clean your house or cook your meals, as if it is written somewhere that a mother has to “suffer and bear it.” I don’t think I’ve read anywhere in Islam that a mother is supposed to be heavily burdened and bear it with patience. Being patient in times of tragedy and for things that are beyond one’s control is what I have read about, but having patience with day-to-day burdens while knowing there’s an easier way, is merely working harder not smarter.
Every time I mentor an overburdened mother who seeks advice on coping with motherhood, the first question I ask is if she has help. Most times the mother never does, and I often ask her why? I discovered that some moms felt ashamed to employ someone to clean their home, cook their meals, or do their errands. However, not an eyebrow was raised when some moms placed their kids in childcare, hired a babysitter, or allowed them to watch TV for hours. Even when these mothers wanted time to shop at a mall, decorate their homes, or cook time-consuming meals for a party, it was considered acceptable.
Looking at these instances, it doesn’t make any sense and we should get over the stigma of hiring household help. If you are ever faced with critical questions like, “Do you really hire a cleaning lady?” respond confidently, “Yes I do, because I want more time to raise my children.” So to the mothers who wish they had some household help, ask yourselves, “Why don’t I get some help?” I know various excuses will come to mind, but I’ve heard them before and have some solutions.
No More Excuses
You say, “I can’t afford one.” I say, ” You can find a way if you look at your budget and cut out a few luxuries.”
Cut out something else from your budget that is a want and not a need. A few instances include lowering your cable TV channels or cutting cable out completely, reduce your WiFi speed, start a carpool with another mom to save gas, cut out a few luxuries from your food bill, and buy less expensive or unnecessary articles of clothing each month. I assure you, there is always something you can live without. Hire someone once a week or even once a month to do the heavy cleaning jobs. Make getting a helper a need, not a want.
You say, “My husband won’t be okay with this.” I say, “Talk to him and don’t assume, because most men will listen if you discuss things reasonably.”
If your husband is the regular good guy, he will listen and want to make you happy. The key is not asking him when you’re already fed up and ready to attack him. Rather, explain to him how tired you feel and how much you would appreciate getting some help. Let him come up with the solution of finding assistance before telling him. Either he will offer to assist you more, or he will think to find you help elsewhere. Men are problem-solvers, and they’re great at solving family issues. Sometimes we need to give them the chance to prove it.
You say, “I don’t trust a stranger in my home.” I say, “Yes that’s important, but sometimes you have to take a leap of faith.”
There are ways to eliminate the hags and find Mary Poppins. You can start by putting an ad up at your local masjid, or ask family and friends for referrals. If you have to put an ad online, do a background check and ask for their references. Make sure you call those references and mention you have young kids, so you want their honest opinion. Typically, that prompts people to open up and be honest. Then, make Istikhara and ask Allah SWT to guide you in this endeavor. If the signs are all positive, say bismillah and take the plunge. That’s how we have done it over the years, and alhamdulillah we had good experiences.
Dear mothers, it saddens me when I see and hear how many of you suffer in silence trying to be the ideal supermom when there’s really no need. It isn’t possible to raise your children well, have a perfectly organized and smooth-running home, and cook deliciously nutritious meals in this fast-paced world of today – without some assistance. If you work, study or take care of extended family members, that’s an extra burden on you, and you owe it to your wellbeing to get some help!
You will still be an awesome wife and mom if you get someone else to clean your home, cook dinner or run your errands. You will actually be more awesome, because your family will have a happier, calmer and less stressful wife and mother, and you will have more time for your ibaadah too!
When You Can Cope Alone
Some moms are blessed with a helpful husband who works from home or have active parents and helpful extended family members to assist. Those are great options to have and will mean that you don’t need to hire any outside help, but this post was written for moms like me, who don’t have those opportunities. Mothers who have no other option of receiving support will need to seek the help of a trustworthy stranger to cope.
It’s fair to mention that I do fluctuate with hiring a helper because my older children are able to help out more at times. Some of them want to earn pocket money and are able to tackle bigger chores. But as soon as I feel that my kids are getting too busy with their academics, my pressure is intensifying, or I don’t have enough time for my myself and my family, I will seek the help again.
You won’t know about the benefits of getting help until you try it. A friend of mine who had never hired a helper before said that exact thing. I know it may seem like another bill to pay, but it may be money saved for medical bills to counteract health issues arising from stress and anxiety. It’s all about knowing your limits and getting the help when you need it.
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