Navigating Parenthood and Household Chores Without Help

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by Alliah Czarielle |

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My daughter’s nanny left last week for a two-week vacation to her hometown. Since then, my husband, Jared, and I have been getting by without an extra pair of hands to help with chores and childcare. So far, it’s been a tiring, albeit interesting, journey.

Ever since we became a family, we’ve always had someone helping us. It’s a practice that has carried over from Jared’s days in his childhood home. Since both of his parents worked full time, he grew up in the care of nannies and household help, who assisted him with his hemophilia.

When the two of us lived there as a young, fresh-out-of-college couple, we continued to enjoy the perks of having someone to help with most household tasks. We had so few chores to do besides clean our own room and occasionally wash the dishes. How pampered we were!

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But the real advantage of having a helper came into play during Jared’s bleeding episodes, especially when he became immobile. Thanks to our patient and hardworking helpers, we were able to spend time working and building a business without worrying about preparing food or keeping our house clean. It was comforting to know that we could delegate tasks to free up time for ourselves and our work.

When our daughter came into our lives, Jared and I decided we would become full-time, hands-on parents. One reason we managed to accomplish this was because we had a lot of help in the early days. I could concentrate fully on breastfeeding our child and learning basic infant-care skills, such as swaddling, bathing, babywearing, and changing diapers. Meanwhile, Jared stood right by me, lending assistance. We were able to give our full attention to our child because we didn’t have to think of anything else.

About four months into parenthood, I started experiencing symptoms of depression. I became antsy to get back to work, having always been a hustler. Resuming our usual business routine, which involved going out and meeting suppliers, proved easy because I was able to leave my daughter with someone we trusted.

And when we finally moved out of Jared’s childhood home, our trusted nanny moved with us. We took turns doing household chores, and she watched our daughter while we worked.

With all of this in mind, we expected that two weeks without a nanny would be a major adjustment. We prepared for this day mentally and physically. Jared made sure his medication was in check. I wrote down a schedule for household chores to help me remember, since I am diagnosed with ADHD. We also planned out how we’d distribute child care on workdays.

Now, after a week of keeping house and watching our daughter by ourselves, I’m surprised by how enjoyable this experience has been. Jared tells me he loves waking up early to give our dog a bath and prepare our family’s meals. He’s also quite fond of being the point person for most minor household repairs. He says he wouldn’t mind doing this all the time. Having been pampered growing up due to his chronic illness, he never imagined he’d ever get to do the simplest of chores. Doing them now, and knowing he can do them well, gives him a sense of fulfillment.

Our system is hardly perfect, and we’re still figuring out ways to get things done more efficiently. But we’re learning. And it’s empowering to know that despite chronic illness, we can manage everyday life by ourselves.

Note: Hemophilia News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Hemophilia News Today or its parent company, Bionews, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to hemophilia.


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