I have completely lost count of the number of times I have heard the words: Do You Have Help?
With four tiny blondes forever in tow we McCarthys tend to draw crowds and comments pretty much everywhere we go. One of the questions I often get from well meaning strangers is if I have help?
No I don’t have the traditional help that they are referring to. I don’t have a nanny, we don’t have a housekeeper and the kids don’t do all day daycares or camps. In fact the twins have not left my side since we brought them home from the hospital three years ago. Even though I now work from home I still keep up with all traditional stay at home mom duties. I weed my own garden, paint my home and stain my own deck (which is why I never have my nails looking nice.) I cut the lawn once a week running over rogue toys hidden in the grass and piles of dog crap that I refuse to pick up beforehand. I cook semi-edible meals nearly every night and run the kids to soccer, swim, play dates and the grocery store.
However do I do it all?
My help comes in the form of community. Grandma comes up at least every other week for a few days and releases me from my 24 hour parental prison. My husband occasionally gets home before seven and on those days I can move mountains I swear. Aside from those two humans, I rely on a vast community of other families and parents who make my life possible. They are the true reason I have not yet been committed to an insane asylum.
My Community of Help
The Punctual Pick Up Parent
These lifesavers offer to take my kids to sports and pick them up afterwards. They are on time and never make me feel awkward for coming to the door wearing my husband’s sweatpants, sans make up with my hair in a day three top knot. They don’t even raise their eyebrows when they catch a flash of naked toddler running through the kitchen. They don’t care because they are my people, my friends. They know putting pants on kids sucks. (Bonus: These pals will typically remember extra socks or water bottles fully knowing that you will forget to pack them.) My children love these parents because even at the tender ages of 7 and 9 they know that their soccer dreams and basketball fantasies would come to a screeching halt without the mighty Pick Up Parent.
The PTO/Sports Parent Scheduling Rainman
How in the actual hell does she know every single school event, function and time frame always? It is beyond me. If I didn’t have a few of these “on it” mamas I would miss half of the classroom parties, all of the fundraisers and probably forget to pick my kids up for early release at least two or three times each year. Because of them I get to make it to the big school events (on time) and feel like less of a crappy parent. Thank you PTO moms. I don’t know how you keep it all straight, but I sure am glad that you can.
The Party Playdate Mom
Her house is genuinely fun…and not just for the kids. I have a few of these women in my life and when their child’s birthday invite comes in the mail saying: please come after the party for food and drinks, it is on my calendar in a flash. Hell, if my kid got sick or didn’t want to go for some reason (like they are nuts because who in their right mind would want to skip one of her parties really) I think I would still go to this party. She cocktails, never judges, is genuinely engaging and fun to be around and she finds inventive ways to keep the kids occupied so they do not spend the next three hours crawling all over you and spilling your wine.