Thanks to some massive stupidity on the part of my ex-husband, I’m going to be a full time single mom for a while (or maybe forever). More on that another day.
I’m hiring a full-time live-in housekeeper/cook/nanny so I can make it work.
I’m struggling with that decision though because my “wife” experiment didn’t work out at all the way I had hoped it would.
I think I know why though.
I thought I wanted a wife. But then Jodi moved in to take care of the cooking, cleaning, grocery shopping and occasional childcare in exchange for rent and I started to change my mind about wanting a wife.
As I discovered, wives are high maintenance! At least this one was. I found myself spending an inordinate amount of time worrying about her schedule, her feelings, her needs and getting resentful.
Frankly, I had blown it when I started off the relationship by referring to her as my psuedo-wife. Wife implies partnership, mutual consideration, and sharing of common goals. At least, it should.
Thanks to one of the comments made on a recent article about the nanny/parent relationship on the WSJ’s The Juggle blog, I’ve come to terms with the fact that I wasn’t really looking for a wife.
I was looking for *gasp* a servant.
As I write this, I get a horrible feeling in my stomach and feel like an awful person. How horrible of me to want a servant! What is wrong with me?
But, it’s true and I’m not only coming to terms with it, I’m embracing it!
According to the online Merriam-Webster dictionary, servant means: one that serves others; especially : one that performs duties about the person or home of a master or personal employer. There’s nothing derogatory or negative about that definition and yet when I find myself thinking about wanting a servant I get a nauseous feeling inside.
Guilt, shame, embarrassment … just a few of the feelings wrapped up in that nausea. And, glee, joy, freedom and excitement too.
Yes, I really do want someone whose #1 priority is to take care of me and my family. I’m finally beginning to realize that I deserve it too! And, so do my kids.
On my Kindle right now is the Ken Follett Pillars of the Earth series. Set in the 12th and 14th centuries, his two books are helping me to understand the role of a servant in the family is to joyfully serve the family. By doing so, the servant feels respected and loved in return.
And, thanks to my willingness to have a servant in my home, I’m actually going to have time to read my book. That’s luxury!
Growing up, I got a skewed view of servitude from my dad.
We had a live-in nanny/housekeeper who my dad treated with disdain and disrespect. He pretty much looked down on anyone who wasn’t in search of the power he so wanted. The way he treated our family caretaker (servant) didn’t feel good to me. Back then, I was powerless to do anything about it or to even understand it.
Now, I have the chance to break that cycle and give myself and my kids what we all so desperately need – the love and care of someone who wants nothing more than to serve our family, help me create a loving, healthy home, and in return wants love, respect, vacation time, good pay and stability.
Every single mom’s dream! I’ll keep you posted on how it goes. And perhaps now, I’ll have more time to actually keep you posted. Wouldn’t that be nice?