Paying For Sanity

1 Apr

As I sit here typing, my four-year-old and one-year-old are in the other room playing nicely together, sharing toys and building a town out of Duplo blocks.  I haven’t gotten my butt out of this overstuffed chair in over 15 minutes and the music of my choice is playing in the background (I’m on a Brett Dennan kick, if you must know).

I pay for this time every Monday afternoon.  You see, I have the world’s best babysitter.  Her sister babysat for No1 before heading off to college, passing the babysitting legacy to J.  They are both great neighborhood kids from an amazing family, and they are all mine (I may share their number with you for a small finders’ fee and a signed non-compete clause).  J has known No1 from the time she was 9 months old and is one of the only people outside of the family that No2 is comfortable around.  She has this playful yet stern nature and has wisdom befitting someone much older than her 13 years.  And she LOVES my kids.  I’m pretty sure she would come over and play with them even if I didn’t pay her.

When J was unable to babysit on piano lesson days, I was initially reluctant to shell out $10 an hour on a different day for “no good reason.”  But it’s turned out to be one of the highlights of my week.  I get time to write, or cook, or do something for myself, and the kids get time with someone much better at playing pretend than I am.

It always feels like money well-spent.

12 Responses to “Paying For Sanity”

  1. story3girl April 1, 2013 at 4:56 pm #

    You are so wise. And brave. And totally deserving of the break.

  2. Not Just About Wee (@notjustaboutwee) April 1, 2013 at 7:52 pm #

    I’d pay a stranger to come into my house so F would get scared & want to sit in my lap for 10 minutes! And maybe want a hug. I swear that kid doesn’t stop & his cuddles are too delicious for me to miss out on!

    • learnedhappiness April 2, 2013 at 9:38 am #

      I’m so lucky that my babysitter has been around since E was 9 months old and from day 1 with S. So damn lucky. 😉

  3. quinn0808 April 1, 2013 at 9:44 pm #

    I So Envy you!! There are days I would love someone to come over and occupy S for and hour just so I could get something done without having to stop in the middle. or heck just take an hour long bath. But well the 13 year olds around here are questionable… Heck the 16-18 year olds are questionable. And that’s with me being home. I don’t trust them at all. I’ve seen the things they are up to.
    And How do you get past the mommy guilt? I’m a fulltime sahm and would feel incredibly guilty, having someone come over. How do you get past that part.? Please share with me your wisdom. Did you have any guilt?

    • learnedhappiness April 2, 2013 at 9:37 am #

      I’m not immune from the mama guilt. Mine just takes a different form. Mine shows up when I’m feeling shame about being fair with my time between the girls. Or how excited I am for bedtime to come. But guilt is a sneaky emotion, so unless I’m actually feeling regret and want to make a change for the better in the future, I try to put guilt in its place.

      I don’t feel guilty for my babysitter time because I see how GOOD it is for the girls to play with J. They adore her and I think they’re honestly glad to get the break from me. LOL. Absence makes the heart grow fonder, right?

      • quinn0808 April 2, 2013 at 12:24 pm #

        Got ya!! That dang mommy guilt is a sneaky thing you know.? That and society guilt. I try not to let other opinions matter but I’m human and yeah. I could just imagine the reaction from my in laws. Heck even some on my side. They still are getting over me quitting my job to stay home, now add a babysitter while I’m home.. I guess I could not tell anyone, but I’m bad at secrets. Hmmm. Sorry I’m rambling.. I really really LOVE this idea, just thinking it out. What do you think?

      • learnedhappiness April 3, 2013 at 8:34 am #

        Honestly? I think that it’s YOUR family and YOUR decision. I don’t think what they say matters in this instance. But ink is family can be more complicated than that. And I don’t think keeping a secret is the answer either. What does your DH think? Would he help support you against the nay-Sayers?

      • quinn0808 April 9, 2013 at 12:05 am #

        Yeah he would. He always supports me no matter what I do, I just don’t know if I’m ready to add more fuel you know

      • Cindy April 2, 2013 at 2:48 pm #

        Hi Susan, it’s Cindy (Melissa’s friend 🙂 ). Oh, I love this quote from your comment “unless I’m actually feeling regret and want to make a change for the better in the future, I try to put guilt in its place.” That’s an excellent perspective. Also, I love Brett Dennen so much.

      • learnedhappiness April 3, 2013 at 8:32 am #

        Hi Cindy! 🙂 thanks. I try to keep things in perspective – sometimes I triumph and sometimes I flounder.

  4. Rach (DonutsMama) April 2, 2013 at 9:45 pm #

    It’s really nice to have that break and also? Sometimes our kids need that break from us too.

  5. Kimberly M (@momgosomething) April 3, 2013 at 1:32 pm #

    Oh I wish I could have done that during Chunky’s younger years. Enjoy that you time.

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