True account of a working mom / parents who had to manage everything on the home front without any help for some weeks and lessons learnt thereby.

This post should be useful to all those who are planning to employ a full-time helper / or planning to live without helper.

I have always had a full time helper and consider that it is a boon to moms especially working moms. I am too dependent on them and almost feel crippled in their absence. It is a shameful fact 🙁

So what happens when the helper had to be repatriated to her hometown due to an unfortunate emergency? How a family with 2 kids faced this “crisis”?

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Here are the pointers –

1. Get out of your comfort zone and get going –

For first 1-2 days after my helper left, I was like a newbie in my own home! Confused and haywire state of mind and lazy body were not ready to move at all. So firstly, shed all the slack and start working! Once we are out of the comfort zone set by the daily routine with the helper, it is easier to adapt to the new scenario.

2. Take stock of the situation in a balanced way – 

Okay, so the helper is not there, then what next? Are we going to get a new one? Are we going to become a SAHM? Are we planning to send kids to child care / student care / nanny?

Discuss with the partner about realignment of finances, who will share what work and so on.

3. Do meticulous Planning –

A good plan ensures great success. So to survive without the full-time helper, we will have to put a very detailed plan in place. Create a to-do list for all the day-to-day tasks and assign the duties and responsibilities. For example:

Task Day Time Assigned to
Making kids ready for school Mon-Fri 6:30 AM – 7:30 AM Mom
Dropping kids to school Mon-Fri 7:30 AM – 8:30 AM Dad
Buying groceries Weekly 6:30 PM – 7:30 PM Dad
Kids homework Mon-Fri 4:00 PM – 5:00 PM Mom

Once this is set, believe me, things will become quite smooth.

4. There should not be any issue in doing your own work –

Yes, we had helper but now we have to handle the work ourselves. Be it toilet cleaning, washing dishes etc. Once we accept this fact, it all becomes quite fun actually. Frankly speaking, I found my home cleaner after I did the mopping, sweeping myself and actually lost some weight too. That was the perk of all the hard work. Also, hubby remarked that after a long time, he has actually bought groceries and now he knows the cost of one kilogram of tomato.

We also have to make our family members understand this point and seek everyone’s co-operation. Kids should also contribute in their small little ways and help parents. Example, my 4-year old boy helped me to fold some clothes. We should not tax them too much though and appreciate their bit-size help.

5. Don’t get bogged down with all work and no play –

House work is a never-ending saga and we will never feel that we have completed all the work. So take a break, relax and just let the hair down sometimes. Order food from outside, get the services of part-time helpers and indulge in some pampering. It will help to recharge energies.

We eventually got a new helper. But the period we were without the helper, we managed not bad! We learnt the importance of doing work ourselves, we learnt a new meaning of team spirit and faced the challenges together as a family. After kids become a bit older, I think we are ready to go helper-free again. 🙂 🙂

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Note: I wrote this article for theAsianparent. Link to original article is here.