By Janet Mbugua.
“3.36 am on a warm night in October and I’m watching Little Women LA, a bowl of Baby Huru’s left over Oats porridge and some water on a stool next to me, the baby monitor on the sofa, some cookie crumble poking through my pajama bottoms. It may seem like I’m having a strange night, but this is the first time in 6 months I feel like I’m getting it together.
It’s been a hectic ride and I’ve chosen to lay low and figure it all out a day at a time. I would hear women complain about domestic workers but always felt like they were being unfair. If you just treat them well it all comes together, right? Well, the last few months have been an eye opener!
I’ve had a day bug for almost 10 years so I didn’t quite grasp the concept of changing them every so often. When Baby Huru was born, she even helped by spending a few nights, especially the nights I was working, so I never quite felt the imbalance…until she announced her pregnancy! I was happy for her but…her timing…Naturally I had to start looking for someone who would be able to sleep in.
Sleep in number 1 was sharp and energetic but had a very unpredictable personality that I later told her might be bi polar. Her constantly making excuses not to come to work and having dramatic episodes and tantrums made me end employment with her. She saw it coming but didn’t anticipate that I’d be so quick to release her. I was stuck again and when sleep-in number 2 came, I still had a bit of patience. She worked very well but seemed slightly awkward with the baby. I asked my day bug to keep a look out for anything suspicious and try to learn her. 4 days later, it emerged that she’d been taking photos of my baby, selfies, no less! Coupled with her cavalier demeanor, I showed her the door, telling her if she can do that in 4 days I’m not sure what she was capable of doing in 4 years!
Sleep in number 3 and my patience was starting to wear thin. To her credit she was jolly and she and Baby Huru got on really well! But she was always…distracted. Spent a lot of time on the phone even when she was with the baby (that’s a HUGE no-no), would get emotional and cry when corrected and seemed to be in a daze. Her last week working for me she was very unwell and left, never to return.
By this time there were two things running through my mind: 1. Is it me? Am I the problem? 2. Should I take unpaid leave and figure out the homefront?
My day bug had since given birth and a close relative was helping out around the house and with the baby. One by one the sleep ins called me asking for their jobs back…I grunted, scoffed and scolded my ‘no’. Alas, it wasn’t all my fault after all!
After weeks of somehow figuring out how to work, do my projects run my home, with a lot of help with Baby Huru from my mother (I can’t explain how much I appreciate her!)
All while being pretty much sleep deprived and exhausted, I finally found one who seems sane. Mature and willing to work so I’m praying I can over look any minor issues.
This imbalance in one’s life can cost people their jobs, their relationships! And you end up sounding like the woman who doesn’t have it together. When you do! But a few selfish people who don’t appreciate all the good you do, come back begging for jobs they took for granted.
I cut back on my social life and didn’t expect everyone to understand. Thank goodness the important people, my hubby, my parents, my family and a few close friends have allowed me to wallow in my madness, all the while appreciating that it was beyond my control.
Thank you to those who understand and don’t take it personally when I go quiet because I’m trying to reach for my sanity.
Thank you to those who don’t – you’ve showed me who you really are! One day, you’ll understand. When your time comes…
People, before you assume, you should check in on someone. New parents can face all kinds of unpredictabilities and their most important job at that moment is to remain healthy and happy for their young family. It’s not personal; please stop making it about you.
Alas! There goes my 3 am reflection.
God bless everyone trying to make it through the day without losing it. God bless our precious babies, they keep us sane and sound through the madness. God bless supportive friends and family members; even though you get frustrated with us at times, may your consistency be rewarded!
Stay strong. Stay happy. Peace, love and light.”