I don’t think it’s a surprise to anyone that we have help. I mean, I live at my parent’s house and even that isn’t enough. We have full-time help (as per Santiago’s request), and even though I feel guilty sometimes, I mostly feel satisfied.
I get the whole “why did you have kids if you didn’t want to hang out with them” thing–trust me I get it. I hear it every day from my own mother. But trust me when I say, that really the only people saying things like that are people who either don’t’ have kids, people who only have one, or people who forgot what it’s like to have them at all. Having multiples is a game-changer in every sense of the word.
When it was just Santiago, Santi and me, it was great. I’d leave Santi at my mom’s house while I was at work and then I’d pick him up, play with him in the afternoons, feed him, bathe him and put him to sleep. On the weekends we’d have so much energy to do things like go to the park, take in the sights, try new restaurants. But then we had Joaquin. And guess what? We realized why we felt we had so much time and energy. It was because we could tag team.
If I didn’t sleep the night, Santiago would take over in the morning. If Santiago needed a breather during the day, I’d take over and chill with Santi. Now that we have two, there is no downtime–EVER. If Joaquin didn’t sleep well that night, Santi still wakes up early enough to make me consider giving him up for adoption. If Santi is full of energy and I need to take a time out, I’m still stuck hanging with Joaquin (whose favorite activity lately seems to be crying). See the conundrum? So, in order to make us better parents, we outsourced. We got help and boy has it changed our lives.
Now, Santiago and I like different types of help. I like the help that I can rely on when I really, really need it. For example: Santiago isn’t home from work, Santi needs a bath, Joaquin wants to play. What do I do? OHHHH MAISEL (well right now Maisel is on vacay so her name is Rosita but you get my drift). I’ll give Santi a quick bath while she distracts Joaquin. I can get Santi out of the shower and hand him over while I give Joaquin a shower. We dress them both and then watch them play together. It’s super cute. Sometimes I’ll be with both and she’ll go and heat up their dinner. It’s like having a spouse when your spouse is “swamped at the office.”
Santiago’s type of help is going into his room to take a long and relaxing shower and binge watch a tv show while Maisel puts the kids to sleep. Don’t worry, he always goes into the room to play with the boys and no night is complete without a kiss, but damn–he loves to be left alone. Santiago loves, loves, loves to take Maisel wherever we go. We are going to Publix? LET’S TAKE MAISEL! Going to the carwash? MAISEL, HOP IN! Birthday party where we don’t have to hang out with our kids because they’ll be distracted? MAISEL WOULD LOVE A PIECE OF CAKE.
For all those people out there who roll their eyes at me, or judge me (shocking!!) or genuinely think I’m a “poquita cosa” (you know who you are), my advice to you is: have fun at home with your multiple children and no help. I applaud you.
The most important thing is that Santiago and I both agree that for our sanity help is essential. I mean, look at the cover photo for this post! That’s actual footage of the four of us hanging out on a Sunday…without Maisel…